Tips for Photographing Architectural Interiors

Mike Kelley recently took a trip to the Bahamas to photograph the super posh penthouse at The Atlantis Bahamas and made a behind the scenes video so we can tag along. Take a look as the architectural photographer shows you what equipment he used for the shoot and a few shooting and editing tips to help you take your own great shots:

One of the rooms in The Cove has a gorgeous chandelier that is one of the main decor pieces in the space. The problem is, using a standard wide angle lens would create obvious distortion on the images. To get around that, Kelley put a Canon 24mm TS-E (a tilt-shift lens) on his Canon 5D Mark III. He then took two exposures of the room, one of the floor space and a second of the ceiling and chandelier. He then brings those exposures into Lightroom where he blends them and exports them to Photoshop where they are stitched together to create a single image.

architectural photography

The next step, which is also one of the most tedious and time consuming, is to hand apply areas of shadow and light throughout the photograph to add depth and dimension to photograph, making the room “pop” off the screen. Next, he changes the view from the window to a more aesthetic sunset by using the Pen Tool in Photoshop to select the windows before dropping in the new sky.


The entire editing process took Kelley about six hours to complete and while Kelley admits that seems like an excessive amount of times he makes a good point:

“Now I know six hours might seem like a crazy amount of time to spend on one image but a lot of my clients hire me for just this reason. There’s a lot of stuff I can do that you couldn’t otherwise do using only natural light. So, by adding your own light and waiting for the right time of day and putting it all together in post, you really get an image that jumps off the page and impresses your potential clients.”

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One response to “Tips for Photographing Architectural Interiors”

  1. jsm1963 says:

    One thing that he didn’t mention is that (I think) he had to photoshop himself out of all of those layers where he flashed various parts of the room.

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