I was recently granted an opportunity to photograph a luxury home in Beaconsfield with EAB Homes after meeting Tonia, a lovely member of the Girl Tribe Gang. Tracy from Bright Yellow Coaching met Tonia at a Girl Tribe Gang meet up and told her about my love for all things architecture and how I was keen to develop an interior portfolio.
I met Tonia for the first time at the EAB Homes offices and I shared my exterior portfolio with her, she talked me through their wonderful luxury brochures and I remember saying how much I would aspire to take interior shots exactly like the ones in the brochures. She granted me with an amazing opportunity, allowing me into one of the luxury homes for a day to take photos for my portfolio.
Mulberry house has six bedrooms and bathrooms, a large open plan Kitchen/Dining/Garden area and a Study, Drawing room and additional reception room. It has three floors in total with the third floor having a cinema room, a kitchenette and two bedrooms.
Preparing for the Shoot
After myself and Tonia set a date for the shoot, I thought “I really must make the most of this incredible opportunity!” I decided to hire a Canon Tilt-Shift lens from Lens for Hire in Maidenhead who’ve always provided me with a great service. I also developed a Pinterest board of interior inspiration for shots and angles that I was confident that I could recreate.
Once I had got my inspiration, I then thought about equipment, I packed up my three Canon lens (24-105mm, 70mm-300mm and a TS-E 17mm), camera body (Canon 6D), Canon flash gun, a tripod and my laptop. I also took spare memory cards and you never know what’s going to happen on a shoot!
When I arrived at the property, I was greeted by Tonia and remember feeling excited and a little nervous, but I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. I started downstairs in the open plan kitchen and dining area which was all dressed. I set up my tripod, tilt-shift lens and positioned myself in front of the main dining area.
Developing my Craft
I really wanted to take my time with each shot, the tilt-shift lens I was using only focuses manually and I am used to autofocus, so this meant that I really had to take my time. My eyesight isn’t the best even with glasses! After each shot I had to check the focus and readjust when needed.
My plan was to take a wide angle shot of each room from a couple of different positions. In the back of my mind I had set shots prepared to recreate from my inspiration from my Pinterest board and the brochures that Tonia had showed me.
I made my way upstairs to discover the Master bedroom which was dressed with beautiful luxury décor. The bedroom led onto a dressing room followed by a Master ensuite bathroom which I like to call the ‘Bathroom of Dreams’. The bath was smack bang in the middle, sitting beautifully surrounded by spot lights. I captured each of these three rooms with the tilt-shift lens focusing on the angles and positions.
Getting out of my Comfort Zone
I have only used a tilt-shift lens a handful of times and due to my Cerebral Palsy I do find it a bit fiddley. When setting up my camera and changing lens I have to take extra time and care. In the reception area of the property was a large circular sofa, this was perfect for me to lay my equipment down carefully and change my lens over with ease.
Due to my disability, I’m naturally a shaky person and this can get worse if I’m under pressure (most of what I put on myself!). So when it came to photographing the smaller details of the décor and interiors, I found this tricky at times. I really had to take my time and make sure the key elements were in focus.
Seeing the Results
I love photography and believe I have always had the correct eye for detail and a passion to create bright vibrant images. It’s good for me to get out of my comfort zone and I am proud of my first interior shoot of a luxury home. When I reviewed and edited my images, I could see room for improvement and thought about how I could do things differently next time. I learnt a lot about my skillset and the types of images I enjoyed taking as a photographer.
I want to finally thank Tonia for this opportunity, I learnt a lot and it feels amazing to now say that I have made a start to developing an interior portfolio. There will be a body of work up on my website soon of the finished set of images. I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience on a shoot as a photographer with Cerebral Palsy.