We all want that Insta-worthy home, and as someone who has photographed countless GAFFs, the amazing Aoife Herrity has a pretty good idea about what makes a space Instagramable. We asked our house tour photographer and all round aesthetic genius to give us a few tips and tricks on nailing that perfect Instagram shot.
What makes a home stand out for you?
“It sounds obvious, but I really think personality is key. We can all appreciate varying styles and aesthetics, so when it comes to your personal space; own it! Think about how you want to feel in your home, are you cool, cosy, lively, etc. Be smart about what will work, don’t try to shoehorn the latest trend into an unsuitable environment. Details and simple changes can literally transform a space if used well. Pay attention to colour, light and balance and you can’t go wrong!”
Can you give us a few tips on natural light? What way to use it when snapping a room, or are there any easy lighting tips that people can use when photographing?
“First thing’s first; natural light is your best friend when shooting interiors! Light cloud cover is my personal favourite – it keeps the exposure even without high contrast or hard shadows. Direct sunlight can look great too – but be conscious of where you’re shooting from and where the light is hitting. The main thing is to be conscious of the space. Notice what time of day you enjoy being in a particular room, does it have something to do with the light? That can be a huge clue to when a room is at its best.”
Is less more? When it comes to accessories and talking point pieces, should you have less in a photo to avoid it looking cluttered?
“In terms of less vs. more, I do feel that this depends on the space. If your aesthetic is minimalist, utilising negative space can result in really strong compositions. At the same time, maximalists can benefit from clutter with images that are full of activity and energy. The most important thing to keep in mind is your framing, it’s all about creating balance in the shot. If there’s a key focal point or ‘hero’ item in your image, be sure to make that clear so the viewer’s eyes will be led to this point.”
Do you have any tips for photographing small spaces?
“Sometimes a tastefully cropped image can work far better than trying to battle with a small space. Try to find an angle that gives you the most amount of space to work with. Personally, I’m not a massive fan of super wide angle shots, I prefer to focus on key elements to get a sense of the space. Remember, you can’t see what’s behind the camera so if that means a bit of shuffling around to make space for yourself, that’s ok!”
OK – this is something we struggle with this a LOT. How do we photograph awkward shapes like couches?
“Height is the main thing to be aware of when photographing awkward shapes. Try to keep your shoot level even, it will reduce distortion and also keep things like wardrobes from appearing intrusive or looming. It’s ok to break the rules too – using a portrait orientation to shoot a section of a couch or table can look great! You don’t need to show the entire object, sometimes the suggestion is enough.”
Anything advice for budding photogs?
“If you have a camera and are keen to level up your photography skills, invest in some equipment! Yes, lenses are important, but a basic tripod or a reflector can make a tremendous difference. If that sounds a bit pricey you can always go the DIY route and use white sheets to diffuse light or card/mount board to act as reflectors. Countertops, tables, and even ironing boards can be used as tripods so don’t be afraid to think outside the box!”
Thanks so much Aoife! The Dublin-based photographer graduated from IADT Dun Laoghaire with a BA in Photography and since then has worked with everyone from Brown Thomas, Airbnb, Knight Frank, abgc Architects, Irish Times Magazine, IMAGE Magazine, Blow Photo Magazine, Totally Dublin, le cool, Prowlster & Sweatshop Media. Check out more of her gorgeous work here and see her house tour with Keelin on GAFF here.