Residential photography in Scotland courtesy of G75 Images

Why residential photography is a unique specialism

There’s a common misconception that photography is an artform which transcends industries. People assume that knowing how to adjust a camera’s aperture settings or set up a slave flash gun qualifies a photographer to operate across any market or specialism. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth – which is why you should always employ a commercial or residential property photography specialist for sales particulars and marketing materials…

Because we’re dedicated to commercial and residential photography in Scotland and the wider UK, G75 Images has no experience of photographing live sporting events or breaking news stories. Our attempts at motoring photography (to complement our founder’s background as a freelance motoring journalist) have been largely successful, but not worthy of billboards or front covers. We’ve never been commissioned to attend a party or celebration, and despite various enquiries over the years, we don’t offer photography services for weddings.

To paraphrase Liam Neeson, different photography niches require a very specific set of skills. To continue the wedding analogy, we’d be able to identify great architectural backdrops, but we’d struggle to persuade six tipsy bridesmaids to stand in the right places. And the same is true in reverse. Even an experienced wedding snapper would struggle to replicate the skills of a residential photography expert by making a downstairs WC feel spacious, or capturing the exquisite detail imbued into Victorian cornicing.

Residential photography requires a combination of specialist camera equipment and attention to detail not necessarily shared by photographers in other industries. To demonstrate our point, take a look at the photo accompanying this article, and consider the following attributes:

• The room is brightly-lit, but the garden remains visible. Without the effective use of a flash gun, everything outside a window may appear bleached. Internals might look unnaturally dark, as the camera struggles to balance different internal and external light levels. Striking this balance is crucial for effective residential photography.
• Every vertical line is completely straight. Holding a camera at a fractional angle (even half a degree off true horizontal) can add a slope to lines that would appear perfectly straight in real life. In our photo, every doorframe and cupboard edge is plumbline-straight, as it should be.
• The best elements are all clearly visible. To some degree, this depends on a room’s layout and presentation. However, in this 1980s kitchen, the best features are clearly its double-aspect garden views and its three-sided expanse of solid wooden cabinetry. These elements take centre stage in our photo, with the dining table also on show.
• The sense of space is maximised. By taking this image from a doorway, we were able to use the full 102-degree field of vision offered by our chosen wide angle lens. Three of the kitchen’s four walls are visible in a single photograph, creating a sense of spaciousness which wouldn’t be achievable using a smartphone or tablet camera.
• Character is maximised. Every light source was turned on to add pools of illumination, subtly drawing the eye towards that quirky beamed ceiling. Bleach bottles were hidden, clutter was cropped out, and the dated eye-level oven was relegated to the periphery. Every effort was made to improve the kitchen’s aesthetics.

The photograph accompanying this article encapsulates 15 years of experience in commercial and residential photography in Scotland and across northern England. You can see other examples of our handiwork on the residential page of our website, or see how we’ve transformed hotels and B&Bs on our travel and hotels page. To give your property the ultimate makeover (or to ensure properties you’re selling and marketing look their best in online listings), send us an email or give us a call to discuss freelance property photography in Scotland or across the UK.