Interview  /  April 2022

How to take better interior images

We are very thankful to all the home decorators around the world who share their beautiful lamp images on our #sectodesign community site and let us have a peek into their homes. Social media is an important source of inspiration for us all. 

In this era of smartphones we take more photos than ever. Some of them are just quick shots, but the most important ones are carefully planned so that all the details are fully considered and in total harmony.

Sometimes, depending on the natural light in a space, it might be challenging to capture the warm light coming from a lamp. This is why we had a chat with our long-time brand photographer, Helsinki based Uzi Varon, who certainly knows how to photoshoot cozy light. 

A photographer next to a group of Secto Design lamps.

The fascinating shapes of Secto Design lamps inspire Uzi Varon in his work.

1. How has your path been as a photographer?

I captured my first frames in black&white at the age of 10 but it was not until I was 21 that I seriously got into photography. After completing my studies in Israel I moved to Finland in 1990 and started my career as a photographer.

I have done all kinds of projects, but I have concentrated on design and product photographing. I really enjoy the challenge of taking precise, detailed images of different materials. On the other hand, I like capturing interiors too, where the challenge is to balance all the elements to achieve a harmonious outcome.

I have collaborated with Secto Design since 2009. Together we have done not only product, production and interior images but we have also photographed lots of birches! Outdoor and nature photography is also close to my heart.

Four pendants in a dark space.

Secto Design pendants make an artistic impression on a dark background.

2. Which of the Secto Design photoshoots have been your favourite ones?

The factory in Heinola is a captivating place to photograph! It is truly fascinating to capture talented craftsmen concentrating on their work.

I also enjoy organizing large photo shoots at the studio with lots of different elements and technical details affecting the result. Everything has to be carefully planned beforehand.

The location photo shoots have been also interesting, as one gets to see Secto Design lamps in new places and meet new people!

My absolute favourite so far has been shooting all the Secto Design lamps in a dark room. I made several tests for this project to find the best balance between the darkness and the light. This project has been very meaningful to me also personally as I have developed the technical shooting method further and also used it in my own photo art. 

Personally, I enjoy working with Secto Design, for the challenge, the aesthetics and the crew that I work with.

A photographer adjusting his camera in a dark room.

The best result requires a lot of testing and patience.

3. We all know that taking quality photos of lamps is challenging because of the light. Can you share some of your tricks with smartphone photographers?

Well, a lamp will always look best with its own light on, otherwise it is just an object. Light gives the lamp its function. Balancing the warm light of the lamp with the other sources of light in the space is tricky and can affect the final result greatly. Additional natural light is always welcome. Other sources of artificial interior light should be kept turned off.

As the camera doesn’t work like an eye, you simply have to wait for the right moment when the ever-changing natural light and the light of the lamp are in balance. If the room is too dark, the lamp might look too bright but if the room is too bright the light of the lamp might not show. Fortunately most smartphone cameras adjust to the lighting so test also focusing on different spots in the room. 

Always remember to keep the camera straight, so that the lines and shapes are natural and if possible, use a tripod or any improvisation to stabilize the camera. As for the setting, the image will be better with only a few carefully chosen decorative elements. Don't make it too minimalistic, but choose objects which together create an appealing composition.

Sometimes snapshots can be perfect but in general this is a slow process that will require lots of tests and patience.

Two images side by side: one with two pendants in front of a window and the other with a floor lamp next to a fire place.

The balance of natural light and artificial light creates a harmonious atmosphere. Photos by Uzi Varon.