Portfolio

Photography Tips from Twelve Images
This is the utility room, through to kitchen and entrance hall of an exclusive property in upmarket Solihull. I used on-camera flash, with an additional flash in the kitchen and in the hallway. Balancing the light was a big task. I had to moderate the glare from the utility window caused by the flash. The final image does give a good feel of the space, mainly because of a decent choice of camera angle and position.


This (below) is a dining room in Acocks Green, Birmingham. A terraced house in a run-down city suburb. The amazing thing about this property was the length the vendor had gone to stage the home. Every room was set up for a special occasion. The foreground white tablecloth here is overlit, and the tripod should have been higher to give a better view of the table layout.


This is the kitchen of the same house. The attention to detail from the vendor is exceptional. Once again, the tripod should have been higher. This is a strobe assisted image. Most photographs of interiors are shot at f8 to give a decent depth of field. Estate agents want the whole room in focus. That being the case, shutter speed often has to be very slow, and tripod and remote shutter release are essentials. Even with a slow shutter speed, high ISO is usually necessary (up to 500 or 640, and even higher at times. On a Canon 5D Mkiii this is just about acceptable in terms of noise. But strobe lighting, with all its deficiencies, is often essential.

This is the lounge of a show home in an inner city one-bedroom flat. Show homes are so carefully styled. They make maximum use of space. One problem with the wide angle lenses that these shots need is the distortion at the edges. Here, it's noticeable in the clock face.


This is one of my favourite assignments of the past 12 months. Property developers bought a disused convent, formerly the home of Poor Clare Sisters. Ironically, the site, once renowned for the ascetic and spartan lifestyle of its inhabitants, was made into 16 homes, some of which sold for over £1 million. Exterior shots for estate agents are often enhanced. Post-production work adds blue sky and sharpens up the brickwork. The post-production is often overdone, but the images get away with this treatment for two reasons:
1: property photography has a limited shelf life and is not subject to close scrutiny. Its purpose is to give an impression, to attract footfall.
2: the platform is online, where excessive post-production work is not quite as discernible as it would be in print.

This is an interior, a kitchen shot, from the above property, the convent of the Poor Clare Sisters. I used stepladders for a slightly higher angle, to show worktop surfaces.


No upstairs rooms in this home were finished by the time of the photo shoot. The building had been gutted and refurbished. The downstairs looked great, but the upstairs had virtually no floorboards. This view of the garden and beyond from the skylight was the best I could get.

Forgive the post-production skyline. This was an expensive home with a huge garden. The bridge at the bottom of the garden was a full 85 yards from the property. It's a case of how the other half live.

This small bedroom made me smile. The vendor had given it a French theme, and I thought that the dressing screen was a brilliant touch.

There's plenty of post-production work in this one. I used a grey card to get the colours, because I knew as soon as I walked in that it was going to be tricky. The front had huge windows up to the ceiling. The balcony above the winding stairs was badly lit. The colours were bold, not to say garish. The property took me by surprise - a mansion in the middle of a very run down area in the Black Country. I'd love to have another go at photographing it. This time, I would use only natural light, instead of the two strobes.

I love photographing old, antique homes. This (below) is a kitchen in a Warwickshire cottage. There is barely a modern convenience or gadget in the whole house. I love the wood, its texture and its shapes. I also like the fact that something of a bygone age has been valued, and preserved so well.

This, the final image in this portfolio, is the attic landing of an early 17th century house in my home town, on the High Street. I had no idea it existed until I was asked to photograph it by the local estate agent. The whole property was a joy. As with the previous shot, the wood was superb, in shape, colour and texture. There's some post-production work to lighten up the room beyond the half-closed door, and the window down the stairs shows no exterior details. A difficult shot to light, but a beautiful home to photograph.