For Danish architectural and interior photographer Kirstine Mengel, it is all about obtaining the perfect amount of simplicity to really showcase an object. These are her thoughts on what makes or breaks a picture, and how you can improve your photography skills at home.
Award-winning photographer Kirstine Mengel has previously made a name for herself on the international scene by taking stunning architectural pictures. She has been behind a camera for more than twenty years and captures the design and expression in a simple and minimalistic way, which truly shows the essence of the motif.
“When photographing, I focus on creating visual calmness and sense of space. This comes from my special regard for minimalism. I create calmness in each image in order for the message to emerge,” says photographer Kirstine Mengel
Her experience with architectural photos gives her the edge to really understand a room and how to combine and showcase it with its contents. And this ability has led to new customers within the interior design business. She continues:
“The clients who choose me for their product pictures choose me because I’m good with architecture and spaces and therefore I understand the space that compliments the product. This is not an easy task.”
Small Items, Big Teams
Photography is a funny thing. For the most part, architectural photography consists of the photographer and a camera, while taking pictures of a couch can require an entire team of movers, client representatives, stylists, location managers, lighting assistants etc.
“When I’m on an architectural assignment, I’m usually on my own, lurking around in the streets or hallways . But photographing smaller items takes an entire team to make sure we get everything right, for the perfect interior picture,” she says.
Regardless of the number of team members, a good photo starts with a client meeting.
The same goes for most situations – if you aren’t prepared, you will never reach the desired goal.
“While it might seem simple to make a minimalistic and clean picture, it usually takes hours of planning. What does the client want? What tone and style do they like? Do they have preferences for location and so on,” says Kirstine Mengel.
And even when you have all the details prepared, the perfect picture doesn’t compose itself.
Taking the perfect picture isn’t easy. It usually requires a lot of variables to be achieved at the right moment. The product has to be placed and angled just right, with the right number of accessories that complement the style and expression. And of course, the lighting has to be just perfect.
“The moment when everything comes together, when you hit the perfect picture, with all the variables aligned, when the client and the entire team is cheering in the background – these moments are truly the best feeling,” says Kirstine Mengel.
While Kirstine Mengel owns professional photo equipment that definitely doesn’t come cheap, a few tips and tricks go a long way, if you dream about taking better photos of your interior at home with your own camera or mobile phone.
Kirstine’s quick tips to better pictures at home
1. Mount your camera or phone on a tripod
“Whether you own a small camera or if you just have your mobile phone, go out and buy a tripod. This will help you in different ways – You can secure your angle, and compose your picture by moving things around, and then return to the same angle. And secondly you will avoid unsharp pictures due to movement and shaking.”
2. Disable the built-in flash
“The built-in flash of the camera or phone is a last-resort option. Move your object to another light source if the first one isn’t good enough.”
3. Notice and consider the light
“You should always consider how the light falls upon your object. Does it look natural, is something too bright or too dark? If possible, correct accordingly.”
You can read more about Kirstine Mengel on our company profile here.