October 20th, 2015
Bill in Southern California recently asked:
Helping an agent complete her interior decorating in a 2 bed/2-bath mid-century newly remodeled home earned me the invitation to shoot it for her upcoming listing. Searching through the PFRE blog postings, I couldn’t find anything on how to shoot problematic spaces like the REALLY small 5′ x 8′ guest bathroom (with commode, sink, & shower) in that home. I know I could say it’s too small to get a good, meaningful photo out of it but I don’t think the agent would forgive me without at least trying. One thing I’m considering is taking the bathroom door off so I can squeeze my camera & tripod into the corner where the bathroom door opens into. Wondered if you or your readers have any other tips.
We have had some discussions about small bathrooms in the past. See this one about a year ago. But this is probably important enough to recap again.
I always shoot these little baths or powder room. Every home I shoot has one or two. And yes the are important. Here’s how I shoot them:
- I almost always shoot from the doorway. Tripod is usually half in and half out of the door… never seems to be a problem. Height of the camera should be the standard 36″ to 48″.
- You need to be able to shoot wide (16 or 17 mm effective) to get everything that’s important in. I have 16 mm effective lens and I haven’t found a small bath I can’t shoot with that.
- I find about 50 percent of the time I have to Photoshop my camera and reflection out of the mirror. This is not difficult if you plan ahead on doing it. Don’t shoot below the mirror to avoid reflections just face up to removing yourself and the camera if necessary – it’s not that hard. I always find that using the clone tool in Photoshop to be the best way to remove my reflection from the mirror. I remember that on the last post on this subject Bill asked for a tutorial on cloning your reflection out of the mirror. I’ll see if I can find time to do one, I can’t find any good ones on YouTube.
- For lighting, a flash on the top of the door set at 1/3 to a 1/2 power bounced off the ceiling/wall joint always works and sometimes a flash in the shower, depending on the situation.
- I think one should always show all the features, vanity, some small part of the toilet, and most importantly the shower setup.
- Oh, yea, and I always shoot in horizontal format so the photo nicely fits in with other horizontal format photos in a slide show. I hate it when photos flip from horizontal to vertical and back. I find I can always can easily present small baths with a horizontal format.
I’m sure other have advice on this subject.