Have you ever seen a photo of a city space that’s made you stop and stare in wonder for a moment? Maybe it was in the majestic corridors of the Alberta legislature, surrounded by the gravitas of provincial politics. Perhaps it was a custom-built and perfectly outfitted mansion in Westbrook Estates. Wherever it may have been, there’s one thing that all these photos have in common: they didn’t happen by accident. Such compositions are the result of many years of work and likely hours of effort for that perfect shot. Their creation relies on the skills and talents of a dedicated Edmonton interior design photographer.
The impact of an Edmonton interior design photographer
Just like creating an appealing interior design comes down to a “science of physical space”, so too does the capture of such spaces. When you reach out to a professional interior photographer in Edmonton, you’re ensuring that all the hard work already done to make a place look its best is not lost in poor lighting, improper framing, or other common photography faux pas.
Plus, there’s no substitute for the inherent details and personality imbued by intelligent interior design; these are intangible qualities that even the best renderings could not hope to convey as well as professional photography can. This is true whether you are designing a single-family home or a skyscraper along the North Saskatchewan River valley. Artists are specialists, after all – just as much as the interior designers themselves, who intentionally and meaningfully tell a story through a physical space.
As visual artists, we know how to effectively utilize our knowledge of composition, lighting, timing, and focal points in order to maximize the viewer’s attention toward our desired details. On the macro level, it may look like we’re simply capturing photos of “a room”; but when you look closer, you will see how the intrinsic details and personality within that room are drawn out to paint the larger picture and visually tell a story. We show how the space enriches the experience of the people within it, and how the larger gestalt is ultimately a product of those small details you may have never otherwise noticed.
For photographers like me, it’s not about taking every possible picture at every angle; the ultimate goal is to make a statement without saying a word – to maximize impact through optimal visual selections. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, and every one says something about your brand.
What’s the difference between real estate photography and interior design photography?
While many people use these terms somewhat interchangeably, they are actually quite different in their application and purpose.
- Real estate photography is meant to sell a home, which necessitates showing wide views of every room in the house to inform buyers. Thus, they are focused on things like size of the space, overall features and amenities, and adopt a neutral “bystander” perspective. Generally, these photos need to be made as quickly as possible at low cost in order to cover the large volumes of properties listed each day, while the realtor prioritizes getting a home on the market. The result is many real estate photos become a commodity with “as-is” compositions, because there isn’t enough time to stage each composition or create ideal lighting.
- Interior design photography, on the other hand, is about showcasing the work of those who designed and built the space. It shows the creative intent, the materials, the relationship between fixtures and furnishings – basically, all the deliberate decisions that make the interior bespoke. The staging is more elaborate, the lighting and editing more intense, and we consider the movement of light as it passes through the interior throughout the day. You may not see the whole room at all in a series of interior design photos, or it may be a series of wide establishing shots – there are no rules, just the objective to tell a story with visually arresting images that will get the design and construction team noticed.
Different types of interior photography in Edmonton
Working with a residential interior photographer in Edmonton
When hiring a residential interior photographer in Edmonton (or anywhere else), there are several fundamental factors to keep in mind.
This type of photography primarily aims to capture the intimate essence and personalization of homes, making it an appealing choice for interior designers, home builders, and architects. These are not necessarily the same qualities that you might want for a commercial space, so remember that a photographer specializing in one may not be comfortable with the other.
Collaborating with a skilled residential interior photographer lends an environment of warmth and authenticity to the photo set. This can be a great way to showcase bespoke furniture, architectural details, or a beautiful window view that was masterfully designed and built. This is the type of photography you would find in magazine spreads, architectural features, and home design websites.
If you’re a client looking for this type of atmosphere in your photos, it’s essential to communicate your preferences and any specific design elements you wish to emphasize. This attention to detail (such as the use of intentional lighting and close compositions that reveal texture) is vital to convey the unique character and allure of residential properties.
Working with a commercial interior photographer in Edmonton
In contrast, the realm of commercial interior photography in Edmonton serves a different purpose for a vastly different audience.
Businesses, property owners, architects, and designers seek commercial interior photographers to showcase their spaces in a manner that exudes professionalism, functionality, and branding. When working with a commercial interior photographer, the focus shifts to delivering images that align with the specific identity and purpose of the commercial space. Commercial interiors include any non-residential space – from the functional beauty of the workplace to the inviting grandeur of hospitality or the community supported by healthcare and civic structures.
Even within the scope of interior design photographers, it requires even more experience and specialization to consistently produce beautiful images of commercial spaces. This is because of limitations on control of ambient lighting, pedestrian traffic, code requirements (someone please make exit signs more attractive), and zoning. The stakes are also higher, since we usually only get one day of access to high-value properties (or even just a few hours in a restaurant), which means the whole team needs to be experienced with managing all of the variables that go into a successful shoot.
The goals of this type of photography demand meticulous staging and professional editing to reflect a brand’s image and create an atmosphere that communicates the intent of the designer. The photographer may employ creative compositional decisions such as sharp geometric lines, unique perspectives (especially for taller buildings, such as the Stantec Tower or Epcor Tower), and lighting that effectively conveys the functionality and corporate image of the space.
How to be a great client for an Edmonton interior design photographer
Getting a great local photographer is just one half of establishing an excellent working relationship. To get the best possible results for your home or commercial property, there are a few best practices to keep in mind that can help you stand out and enjoy long, fruitful professional partnerships and collaboration.
Have an interesting space to shoot
Perhaps the most basic and fundamental requirement for a series of great photos is to have an excellent subject to put in those photos. While any good interior photographer can do wonders for even basic structures, it should come as no surprise that interesting visual places provide more opportunities for creative, engaging approaches.
The ultimate appeal of the photographs is significantly influenced by the amount of time we have on site. You can create more time on the photoshoot by ensuring the interior is styled, cleaned, and free of any distractions:
- In a residential setting, this may require removing some of your clients’ personal photos, bringing styling items like fresh greenery, and setting the homeowners’ expectations for how long we’ll be in their space.
- In a commercial space, it is important to get participation from local tenants/staff (to keep their desks clean and ask them to be in photos), ensure we have access to all necessary areas (perhaps booking the boardrooms so they are not occupied), and visiting the space ahead of time to ensure there are no deficiencies. As with most things in life, it is best to start with a plan; reducing as many variables as possible will give us more time on site and ultimately lead to more quality images and videos.
Operate with mutual respect
All too often overlooked, an indispensable component of client-photographer collaboration is a base agreement of mutual respect.
As a client, you are hiring us to perform a service, yes – but you must also acknowledge that interior design photography is an art form that requires expertise, time, and meticulous attention to detail. If it were as simple as pointing a camera and clicking a button, many more people would be doing it.
By acknowledging our creative vision and professional judgment (to a point – there is such thing as too much; known as creator’s ego), clients empower us to deliver our best work. In turn, the clear communication and foundation of trust will enable frank discussions about how to achieve your vision in an effective way. This then becomes a harmonious collaboration that can produce amazing results.
Understand the value of the investment
High-quality interior photography is an investment that can significantly enhance a space’s appeal and convey the design’s essence to a broader audience. As a client, part of your responsibility is to recognize that these images not only serve as visual assets, but also as powerful marketing tools for showcasing your work and your brand. Their value is not just visual; they are investments that will influence future buying decisions of your clients.
As such, show that you value these benefits and the effort that we make to highlight them. You wouldn’t undervalue your own skills and knowledge, so it’s only reasonable to expect interior photography specialists to price in the value of our work, especially when we have clearly demonstrated our abilities. Remember that you’re not just paying for the photos – you’re paying for the many dedicated years of patient learning, effort, equipment, industry connections, and practice that makes those select images so amazing. Good work is always worth it, and establishing a long-term relationship with your interiors photographer will make the process easier after each project.
Contact an interior design photographer in Edmonton
Your property’s story deserves to be told in a way that’s emotionally compelling and visually breathtaking. Reach out today and let’s begin that journey together!