Interior Photography 101

I'm writing to you from a bright yellow, neon green, dark purple hotel room at the Saguaro in Palm Springs. I'm attending my first Alt Summit here and it has been amazing so far. I'm learning so much and am surrounded by likeminded creatives which is just so incredible. The sessions range from working with brands to self-care to styling to business ethos. One of the underlying themes of almost every session I've been to so far is that we constantly hold ourselves back.

One area that I had willfully decided I wouldn't ever be good at was photography. My mom went to UCLA for photography, some of best friends in high school, college and today are photographers. I worked in publishing with professional photographers. My husband is a professional photographer. I haven't wanted to fail at it so I figured I just shouldn't try. When I started working part-time for Moglea last year, one of the significant parts to my job was photo styling AND photography. I had a lot to learn. And I still do. Things are much easier now, especially on shots that are fairly easy set ups, but I still shirk away from any other photo work. I'm in my element when I'm styling, not shooting. But I have this amazing house with a million projects and a new blog and I've just been pulling out my phone instead of my camera. And that's ridiculous because I am a freelance content creator and I would never let the majority of my client's work be  poorly executed cell phone photos. I need to care more.


Today I went to an interior photography and styling workshop at Alt led by Tessa Neustadt who took all of your favorite images of rooms on Pinterest. She is someone I've admired for years and I was so excited to learn from her today. Of course she was so kind and helpful. Her workshop reinforced the importance of styling and thoughtful composition. She designed three amazing sets with materials and products available at Lowe's and taught through the challenges of lighting, composition, camera settings, editing and styling. It was so encouraging to hear from a woman I respect so much make interior photography seem more approachable.

The first photo below is one I took after Tessa and Eric took out a bunch of items from the kitchen that would have been distracting from the picture. Editing out (even small kitchen appliances) makes a kitchen photo look more focused and beautiful. They added in a few elements that supported the styling goals and then we all took photos with the angles and settings that Tessa suggested.


You can see in this next one how the "rooms" were set up. We were in a parking lot at the Saguaro and they were not enclosed, allowing us to all take photos at the same time. If I wanted to have this one look like a real room, I would crop it in from every side and then use Photoshop to add a grey gradient to the mirror instead of having the reflection showing that it was actually taken outside.


I mentioned it before but all of the materials and fixtures are from Lowe's. This bathroom vanity is actually 2 pieces of plywood cut at 45 degrees and installed with supports underneath!! Amazing! The floor is 2-inch marble hex-tiles and the wall treatment is just painted 1x6's. It looks so high-end but could be done really affordably. Definitely remembering this as we work on our guest bath and master bath.

There will be so much more to share from Alt. I'm so excited to get home in a few days and start implementing the things I've learned.