How indoor locations appeal

Titel picture for tip 5 by Heidi Rondak

“Think about the images’ effects you want to cause on the viewer”

Part 1: How indoor locations appeal

You’re the commissioner and you want to get the best photo shooting results from your photographer? I’d say that it’s advantageous to know exactly what you want, because there are so many possibilities. In order to define the appearance of your future pictures better, you should learn a little about the visual effects of different locations, perspectives, colors, dynamic or static poses, hair and make-up of the model, additional styling and props, so you can decide easier. Therefore, the following articles are going to treat these factors one by one and help you estimate more precisely what’s best for your next campaign or lookbook. 

For everyone joining in the first time, my name is Heidi Rondak and I’m a fashion photographer. In my last tip I was talking about the importance of knowing your financial limits when planning a professional shooting to capture e.g. your next collection. In this article we are moving on to some concrete examples of indoor locations and their effects on the viewers’ eye and heart. As I mentioned in tip no. 4, most of the times it’s  easier and sometimes cheaper to shoot in a photo studio or another indoor location. Nevertheless, you can create beautiful and strong images in there. 

To begin with the studio photography, here are some (quite common) possibilities you have:

Photo studio images

1. Studio with infinity cove 

When shooting on a white background, especially on an infinity cove, your fashion benefits from the undivided attention of the viewer. The focus is on the model and her attitude, which enables you to communicate your brand’s philosophy very well. There are many possibilities of variation included, e.g. different shades of white or grey, depending on the light’s intensity, or even colors coming from foils on the lamps. So when it comes to soft and light colors, there’s no need to paint the background. If your plan is to knock out the background of the photos later, an infinity bowl would definitely be the best choice. 

2. Colored Backdrop

Every color implies a certain symbolism that you can add as a subtext to your images. If you’re interested in learning more about color psychology, here is a great blog article from Canva about it. Even though it’s meant to help when choosing your logo’s design or your CI, the meanings of the colors are well explained. So if your brand is for example very classy and traditional, you might think of dark blue as a background color. If your styles are very young and vibrant, you might want to go with a fresher color or something reddish or yellow. When it comes to seasonal actions, there are clear color codes to be followed, like e.g. for Christmas time red and fir green.

3. Textured walls or facades

Whether it’s indoor or outdoor, facades offer interesting textures that add a little more atmosphere to your images. Depending on the structures and colors, you can tell a whole story with them in many different ways. If you’re having for example an elegant boarding behind the model, people will see more in the picture than just a wall. They imagine a tasteful room and associate a certain lifestyle with it. Of course this should fit your brand. Shooting in front of bricks or a vintage looking facade can also look more qualitative, as it brings the fashion into a context, which may appeal more authentic. 

4. Sophisticated set designs

You can create even more ambience when building a set with the help of a professional set designer. Compared to finding the perfect location, the advantage of making your own set is that you have full control over everything involved in the picture. Many theater and film funds offer a high range of furniture, decorations and other props for rent, which allows you to  create sophisticated sceneries right in a studio, where everything else you need for shooting is close.

5. Minimalist/graphical elements and props

Coming back to simplicity, there’s always the opportunity to involve graphical elements or out-of-context props to make a picture more interesting. Geometrical elements in the background keep your image clean and bold at the same time. 

Most photo studios offer a selection of white blocks, chairs, stools and other props. But if you need something more special, you’ll have to order it or bring it to the shooting. Using only a minimum of props can add some atmosphere to you pictures, like when you use a set design, but still your images stay pure and focused on the product.

Indoor locations

In the following I’m letting some pictures of possible locations speak louder than words. If needed, you may regard them as an inspiration to your future shootings. Sure, the list could continue and be endless, especially because you can find very different styles of every type of location. E.g. there are of course hotels that are very luxurious or others that are very modern and minimalist, so you just have to find the right one for yourself (:

6. Hotel rooms, Lobbies, Motels

7. Offices

8. Gyms, riding halls, bowling clubs, billiard saloons

9. Baroque rooms

10. Botanical gardens, greenhouses

11. Ateliers, studios 

12. Museums

13. Country houses

14. At home: kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, balconies

15. Ski lodges

16. workshops, Car wash places, Fire departments

17. Transportation: cars, planes, trucks, trains, subways

18. Theater and opera Stages

19. Antique shops

20. Carpet shops

21. Libraries

22. Doctors’ offices, dentists, hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies

23. Gentlemen’s lounges

24. Churches

25. Industrial halls, event locations

26. Circus

27. Casinos

28. Cafés, bars, restaurants

29. Abstract rooms

30. Far eastern, oriental and mediterranean rooms

31. Basements, bunkers, underground garages 

32. buildings with glass facades

33. Bars, clubs, diskos

34. Unicolored rooms

35. Public bathrooms

36. Prisons, padded rooms

37. laundry shops

38. Cinemas

39. Supermarkets

40. Indoor pools

The bad news is: all that has been used for campaigns already… But the good news is: you can reinvent everything new for your brand! There are endless possibilities of combining and translating these topics into your individual story, since the looks of the model, your fashion pieces and the style of the photographer are playing a great role. You can also bring something into a new unusual context and combine what seemingly doesn’t fit together. This way your photos are cutting-edge and they arouse tension. I recommend googling “Fashion Campaign” and seeing how funky many big brands are designing their campaigns. For example the campaigns of Dolce & Gabbana (see on Pinterest) – they often show lots of people in their pictures, simulating a bigger scene, which makes the pictures very opulent, so the viewers need to gaze at them long enough to recognize all the details – campaign goal achieved, right?! But there’s more to it: You can find emotions and humorous situations in the pictures of D&G, just as if they are about a big Italian family. This impression conveys a consciousness of tradition in a very modern way. Gucci did it alike in 2016, but with a group of youngsters and a nice and colorful winter garden (see on Pinterest). Another great example is Mulberry’s campaign 2011 (see on Pinterest), where you can see a room filled with branches and oversized birds, feathers, dappled eggs and other forest elements. The models are standing right in the middle of the scene with a slightly startled “Alice in Wonderland” look in their face. The campaign appeals quite playful and girly, while at the same time nature and the autumn season are being associated with the collection, due to the earthy and rose tones. 

In the most general sense, the usage of “wrong” ratios in photography is an eye-catching method amongst countless other ways to arouse attention. The way of how you combine the different factors decides on your imagery, so you can start being creative and I hope that I could help you a little with that through my indoor location suggestions (;