Tips for Shooting in Tight Spaces

Over the past few years we’ve shot from skyscrapers, underwater, studios, mansions, helicopters, and everything above, below, and between. One of the most common questions we get is how to make real estate photography look good in tight spaces. This article, “Tips for Shooting in Tight Spaces” will go over three common tips to remember for the times when elbow room is limited, but the shoot is needed. Tiny homes are all the rage these days, right!Tips for Shooting in Tight Spaces

Light Tips: Shooting in Tight Spaces

One of the biggest issues we see with shooting in tight spaces is lighting. This can really be said for any environment or location, however, tight spaces REALLY need help from good lighting. If not, your shot could look like a dungeon rather than the ideal, comfortable, homey place that you have.

List of Tight Space Lighting Tips

  1. Open up the windows
  2. Shoot on a sunny day
  3. Turn on all the lights
  4. Open up your aperture
  5. Slow down your shutter

These are very basic. However, we know and have seen others struggle so much with the basics of lighting a tight space, that we have this as number one on our list.

High Corner Angle Shots

This is a little trickier, but definitely something to remember. Shoot from the longest corner in the room. If you are in an 8′ x 12′ room, pick the corner that shows the expanse of the room. Shoot from high up in the corner and get the length of the room. Although no one will ever be in that corner, this technique still allows for showing the size and scale of the room. There is always a temptation to use a fish eye lens. However, we avoid them, as the distortion from a wide lens breaks the honesty barrier.

Honesty Barrier

This is simply the line you have to draw as a photographer when shooting to make something look authentic and true. Some lenses can do an incredible job on making a 10′ x 8′ room look like it is a cavernous auditorium. Is that fair? Be honest and representative of the tight space you are shooting.

List of High Corner Angle Shots

  1. Shoot the length of the room
  2. Either use a tripod or a trigger release to capture the best shot
  3. If you have a fisheye use it, but use it sparingly

Shooting in Tight Spaces Requires Attention to Detail

Lastly, pay attention to what you are shooting. It’s embarrassing that we even have to write that… but in this world of instant everything… take a breath. Look at what you are going to shoot first. How can you best tell the story to someone who isn’t there? Shooting with a 256GB card and the best lenses do nothing for those who view a poorly thought shot. Take your time. This will save you time.

Top Attention to Detail Tips for Shooting in Tight Spaces

  1. How will this crop? Ask this question to yourself! It’s better to shoot wider than too tight. Cropping is good for the soul.
  2. Make the bed! This goes for staging across the board, but cleaning up things before you shoot is much easier than going wild in photoshop.
  3. Does this room look better vertical or horizontal? This is where shooting both is fine.

Final thoughts on Shooting in Tight Spaces

Digital has spoiled us. Remember, just because you have unlimited memory cards you still have to practice the principles of design to save yourself time. Take the extra 10 minutes to walk the location (or even better PRE-SCOUT!), stage the shot, and check the lighting. This can save you potentially hours in post. Be efficient with your time and feel free to chime with more tips. We could come up with hundreds, but these seem to be the most egregious mistakes we see.

Renton Prep

It was the summer of 2016 and we received a request for more information from a school with a unique mission, strong vision, and enlightened action. Renton Prep wanted a full redesign of their web presence, as well as, marketing and design support for their schools. After a business consultation, we set goals to position them as the global leaders in technology. Energyhill achieved this by creating branding, video, advertising, and marketing collateral for the schools. Since the summer of 2016, we have partnered with Renton Prep to create stunning videos and collaborative experiences. The work that has come from this partnership spans, print collateral, landing page design, conference banners, one sheets, ad campaigns, social campaigns, and more.Featured Partner: Renton Prep

Renton Prep Leading Technology and Education

This forward thinking school needed to be showcased. The challenge was fairly simple. We only needed to tell their stories. How fantastic are the Renton Prep teachers, students, staff, and technology that they use? Simply put, world class. Microsoft, Amazon, HTC, and other leading tech companies and organizations often visit Renton Prep to see and study the trends of where technology and education are headed.

Energyhill Redesigns

The redesign of their website and re-organization of their content yielded a 6,844% increase in monthly traffic to their website. Yes, almost 7,000%. This is organic traffic, no digital advertising (yet). What’s great about Renton Prep is that they are an amazing brand. Working with them is a complete joy. For one of the video shoots we produced, a local makeup artist was hired. She said, “I just really like working with this group of people, they’re fantastic.” We couldn’t agree more, great people, amazing students.

Dr. Michelle Zimmerman’s Testimony

Capturing the heart of a message is the most important thing we do. Dr. Michelle Zimmerman testimonial conveys this point. In advertising and design we are not always challenged with simply solving a problem. Sometimes it goes much deeper than that. How do you convey a mission, that doesn’t have a simple ending point. Energyhill’s culture is to capture an audience by exemplifying the core of your message. Thanks Dr. Zimmerman for including us in your schools’ journey.


3 Tips for Sourcing Stock Photography

Looking for the perfect picture to represent your brand? If you don’t have the budget to hire your own photographers, models, etc., stock photography is the way to go. But what sort of stock image should you choose? Gloria shares her top 3 tips for sourcing images and finding the perfect photo for your ad.

3 Tips for Optimal Image Sourcing

1. Know the difference between Rights Managed and Royalty Free – and choose wisely.

2. Remain conscious of the crop.

3. Look for luscious lighting.

Rights Managed vs. Royalty Free

To keep it simple, most people think of Rights Managed images as pay-per-use, whereas Royalty Free are one-time-fee images. This oversimplification can make Royalty Free images seem like the go-to in all cases. What a deal! But depending on your use of the image, the presence of your competition in the marketplace, and your budget – Royalty Free may not always be your best choice. For example, if your market is saturated with competitors and you want to stand out, you might not want to take the chance that your competition could use the exact same image as you – don’t laugh. It happened to Dell. And if it happened to Dell, it could happen to you.

Rights Managed images may cost a lot more, but they come with the guarantee that you, and only you, will have the rights to use this particular image. So if competition is fierce and you have a fierce budget to match, this may be the way to go.

Here’s a great article where you can learn more on this topic.

Conscious of the Crop

When you’re looking at potential images, keep your cropping in mind. For example, if your ad is going to be a long, horizontal rectangle, then you probably want to steer clear of portrait images. Similarly, if you want to feature a person with some copy off to the side, you’ll want to source an image with a clean background. Sure, you could pull the image out and do some photoshop magic – but the less work you have to do on the back end to make your image perfect, the more real and impactful it will be for your audience.

Luscious Lighting

This goes back to that photoshop comment we made above. Today’s audience is photoshop savvy – there are entire websites devoted to pointing out photoshop fails in advertising, and you don’t want to make that list. Look for lighting that supports the overall feeling of your message. Be particular on this point, bad lighting is difficult to fix. Keep the image light and bright if that’s the mood, or dark and brooding – whatever your goal, your lighting can make or break it.

Use these tips to find the best possible image for your brand. Check out the video or design page to learn more.




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