A Helping hand

Interior photography is filled with patience. Waiting for the light to change: bright, darker, greater contrast, less contrast; trying to decide if a book, a flower or even a chair looks better one millimetre to the right or maybe it was best in its original position.

For my interior design client, Sofia Clara, patience was also a big part of her day at this photoshoot in the village of Horgen along the Zürichsee (Zurich Lake). Although heavily pregnant and eager to be as involved as possible, she engaged a stylist to assist her for this particular shoot. A wise decision as it gave her more of an overall view of the day without having to be too involved in the minutae of the day.

intense perspective

A photoshoot is an intense day regardless of additional circumstances from both the perspective of the interior designer, the stylist if there is one as well as of course from the persepective of the photographer.

Interior photoshoots are both physically and mentally engaging. Furniture may need to be moved. Styling items, whether it is small items such as vases and books or larger items such as artworks and even additional furniture pieces such as rugs and chairs may be added and taken away from the setup innumerable times in order to get just the right setup.

In the dining room setup below, we actually moved the table, which was pretty solid, a couple of centimetres to the right so that it was in perfect alignment with the pendant light. Of course, all the chairs had to be moved as well as then placed in perfect placement. BTW, a perfect placement in the photo is very different to a perfect placement in real life.

flow of the day

As this photoshoot was a multi-room shoot, the plan was to move from area to area as it was completed.

Some areas required more styling than others. By the time, I arrived the hallway was already well underway in terms of styling; therefore, I was able to set up my equipment and start shooting as soon as Sofia and I had done the pre-shoot walkthrough. With a beautifully simple and balanced focus on the styling, the bobbin-turned shelves were neither over or underfilled.

Quite the other end of the spectrum was the balcony yoga space, styling was super easy: add a plant; and throw a blanket across a chair. Although a helping hand was required from the home owner to gently push the rather large credenza across by a couple of centimetres. It's always about finding that point of balance for an image.

time to wind down

As Sofia and her stylist moved around the apartment from room to room, removing and rearranging items. I followed in their footsteps with my camera and flash.

At the end of the day, the bathroom space offered an atmosphere that was as relaxing as the living room area. With fluffy scalloped hand towels hanging from the blue bathroom cabinets, the brass handles and hanging wall lights matched the autumn colours captured in the framed mirrors.

Framed above the living room seating area, a large Suzani textile art piece dominated the wall space. With its intricate design and decorative embroidery, this focal point enhanced the contemplative landscape of this room. Of course, opening the window blinds would offer the distraction of Lake Zurich; for this photoshoot, we decided the leafless trees in the foreground were a less attractive view.

Finding the balance is the essence of interior photography.