|Ms. Emily Gilbert, Interior Photographer Extraordinaire|
How did you learn to photograph interiors and architecture? Any formal training?
I don't actually have much formal training. I learned a lot while working as the Studio Manager at a still life studio in Manhattan. I had access to three great full time photographers who taught me a lot about photography & I had access to the studio and the equipment so I would go in and shoot during off-hours. When I decided that I wanted to shoot Interiors & Architecture, I took 2 classes (one at ICP with Elliot Kaufman and the other at Cooper Union with Albert Vecerka). They were both great classes, but I would say that I've learned the most about shooting Interiors by being on a shoot & having to figure out what I need to do to produce an image that both I and my client are happy with. On every shoot I do, I find I'm learning something to add to my (increasingly growing) bag-of-tricks. Each location presents a new lighting situation so it's always a game of troubleshooting. If I could start over again, I'd assist. I wish I had assisted other Interior Photographers before going out on my own.
|Designer: Ali Schwarz|
|Designer: Modern Declaration|
How did your photography equipment evolve? Any drool-worthy upgrades that made a huge difference?
I try to keep my equipment minimal. Since I had access to top of the line equipment at the studio I worked at, I made the decision to invest in good equipment from the beginning. I do have to keep maintaining it and upgrading it every couple years, but it hasn't changed much since the beginning. My first digital camera was the Canon 20D and then the Canon 5D, and now I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II. I would say that the 5D Mark II is far superior to the first two models- they just keep getting better. My main lights are Profoto Acute2's and they are great. I've had them from pretty early on.
What's your favorite lens right now?
I love my 24-70mm lens. It is a great versatile lens- though it is a bit heavy! I do have other fixed lenses that are much better quality, but the 24-70mm is the one I end up using the most.
Is a wide-angle lens essential for interiors?
I don't think it is essential at all. I think that's a myth. In my opinion, the best interior photographs are intimate- not wide shots showing the whole space. I think you get a better feel of a space by seeing 2 or 3 tighter shots that show the texture and detail of a space versus one wide shot showing the whole room. I like to take photos that make the viewer feel like they are in the room rather than pressed against a far wall looking in.
|An incredibly intimate shot. Stay tuned for the designer credit :)|
What tips can you share for readers looking to take better pictures of their home? Any go-to camera settings, equipment must-haves, etc.?
A tripod! Put your camera on a tripod, turn off your flash, and set your shutter speed for a long exposure. I suggest turning off lights as well. The sun is an amazing light source. Of course, there are many rooms (especially in NYC!) that don't have good natural light. These rooms are much more difficult to shoot with out additional professional lighting.
|Designer: Darci Hether|
Your travel photography is stunning, do you sell prints?
Thank you! Yes, anyone can email me if interested in prints. I'm hoping to set up a website that will make art prints easy & quick to purchase in the near future.
Your bio speaks of a very artistic background. Are you doing any other kind of art right now?
Sadly, not much. I've been having trouble making the time to do any other art. It is one of my biggest stresses in life, as I really miss it. We did just move apartments & its been fun to paint and get my hands dirty. I love tools and building things. If I had the time, I'd make all my furniture. Maybe one day!
Thank you SO much Emily for sharing your talents with One Brooklyn Modern. We're incredibly appreciative. And now I just need to pick which of your travel photograph I need to buy a prints of :)