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Unveiling spaces: photographing interiors

Our physical spaces are a reflection of us. Our homes showcase who we are (or want to be). Offices and factories tell stories of industry and (maybe) ennui. Churches, of course, lend themselves to contemplation. Shops, stations and apartment blocks all have public and hidden sides to them, as we do.

Ambience, design and emotion are all at play when it comes to interiors photography. You focus on the dimensions and decoration of a space but by doing so you seek to reveal something of the people who created them. There's a sense of something veiled when you look at interiors (sans people), and photographs are one attempt to lift that veil slightly.

Light and shadows

In interior photography, light is the guiding force. It’s how you can accentuate certain aspects, create mood and play with textures. The interplay between light and shadows brings depth and character to a space.

Framing the narrative

In a static scene such as with interiors photography, your composition can play a crucial role in how the viewer perceives the scene. You can guide the eye in a particular direction, even make certain aspects harder to see. You can also use composition to suggest harmony in a space – or its opposite.

Capturing purpose

Beyond the mere documentation of interiors lies the challenge of capturing the essence of a space. Every room has a unique atmosphere, an energy that reflects its purpose and those who inhabit it. By paying attention to details, textures and colour palettes, I strive to create images that evoke the emotions and sensations experienced within these spaces.

Suggesting the inhabitants

While photographing interiors, the absence of humans can be as powerful as their presence. Decoration and objects hold the power to speak of the inhabitants of a space, even when they are absent from the image. Every carefully chosen item, from heirlooms to artworks, books to tchotchkes, speaks of the personalities, interests and stories of those who reside within the space. These details invite viewers to engage with the image on a deeper level, forming connections and narratives that extend beyond the physical boundaries of the frame. The absence of people allows the viewer to imagine themselves within the space, while the presence of objects and decorative elements enables them to construct narratives and connections. I try to capture these subtle clues, allowing the viewer to decipher the unseen presence that lingers within the frame.

Evoking emotion

Photographing interiors extends beyond the aesthetics. It is an attempt to evoke emotions, to elicit a response from the viewer. It could be imbuing a sense of tranquillity, using sunlight or firelight as illumination. It could be using larger elements to prompt awe, or small ones to give a sense of homeliness, evoking hiraeth, that marvellous Welsh word that means a deep longing for one's home.


I wouldn't go so far as to say that photographing interiors is about “capturing the soul of a space”, but there's something akin to it in the complex interplay of physical elements, the absence of people but the presence (somehow) of their stories. Sometimes the stories that interiors tell are but whispers.

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