The kitchen is often called the heart of the modern home—it’s where people cook, eat, and gather. And so, it’s not surprising that the kitchen is a common room to document through photography. Kitchen photographs can serve a wide variety of purposes, from the backdrop of blog photos to the images in a real estate listing.
In this guide, learn how to photograph a kitchen background and get a look into some of the uses for those photos, so you can build your business.
How to Photograph a Kitchen
Kitchens are unique rooms, containing a variety of surface textures, light sources, and design details. To effectively capture a kitchen in photographs, there are several considerations to keep in mind:
The most appealing kitchen photos are often light and bright. Open the curtains and raise the blinds to take advantage of as much natural light as possible, but don’t be afraid to use the room’s light fixtures, as well. If possible, take the photos during the brightest time of the day—generally, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
If you have access to professional lighting equipment, studio lights can provide additional light, which is especially helpful if your kitchen doesn’t have ample natural light.
Use Light to Enhance Your Images
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Kitchens typically contain several reflective surfaces, from shiny countertops to mirror-like panes of stainless steel appliances. These surfaces can be difficult to photograph, and if you’re not careful, you could end up with distracting glare or an unintentional reflection (of yourself or your equipment) in the photos.
A polarizing filter for your camera can reduce those reflections. Otherwise, get creative with your lighting—for example, strategically block the light from a particular window while adding studio light from another angle. Alternatively, you can purchase a dulling spray, which is specifically made to reduce shine or glare on surfaces being photographed, including metal, glass, and ceramics. If all else fails, some reflections and glare can be reduced during the editing process.
For realistic but aesthetically pleasing kitchen photos, carefully consider how to stage the room. You certainly don’t want the countertops to feel cluttered, but including a few props can make the kitchen feel cozier and more inviting. Try adding a fruit bowl, a vase of fresh flowers, or a French press and a couple of coffee mugs.
Varied Points of View
The kitchen often has many points of interest, so use that to your advantage! Consider how you can create a variety of shots of the kitchen. For example, use a wide-angle lens to get as much of the kitchen in one shot as possible. Then, move in closer to capture the details and smaller areas of the room, like the countertops, backsplash, and cabinet hardware.
Uses for Kitchen Background Photography
Why should you pursue kitchen photography? There is a wide variety of individuals and businesses that need kitchen background photos—here are just a few examples.
Often, companies need photos of kitchen backgrounds, but they don’t want to find a kitchen to photograph and pay a photographer for custom work. Instead, they will turn to stock photography websites, where they can buy the exact number and type of photo they want. As a stock photographer, you can sell kitchen photos on stock websites and, depending on the website, get paid royalties or on a per-download basis.
Photography can make all the difference in a real estate listing—some sources report that homes with high-quality photos sell more quickly and for a higher price per square foot. And considering that kitchens (and bathrooms) are known to sell houses, kitchen photography is critical. By marketing your services to real estate agents, you can work with them to create stunning images for their listings.
If you establish yourself as an experienced kitchen photographer, you will be well equipped to work with food and home design bloggers who need photos for their websites. While some bloggers may purchase stock photos, most prefer to create their own custom content—and you can work with them to bring their visions to life.
Studio Photography Backgrounds
High-quality kitchen photos can easily be turned into large, canvas backdrops that are perfect for studio photography. A photographer might choose to use a kitchen backdrop for a first birthday cake smash or a “baking with Santa” photoshoot, for example. Instead of finding a suitable kitchen to use, a backdrop allows the photographer to work in his or her own studio that’s already equipped with lighting, props, and camera equipment.
Document the Heart of the Home
Photographing kitchens may seem niche, but lots of businesses and individuals need kitchen backgrounds—so it’s worth learning how to photograph this room and using that knowledge to build your photography business. With these tips, you’ll be well equipped to capture the unique details and aesthetics of any kitchen.
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