Two local boutique hotels in Edmonton have made a great name for themselves in recent years — the Matrix Hotel downtown and the Mettera on Whyte Ave. Both are great spaces and have been fun to photograph. Hotel interiors — or interiors in general — are usually quite fun though. Interiors are all about linear visuals and minimalism, which is something you would expect from a modern boutique hotel anyway. What might be surprising though is the amount of tweaking that still goes into creating images like these.
The first thing you usually see at a hotel is the lobby — normally with some space to relax or wait, but the lobby desk is where you’re headed first so we really wanted to showcase the lobby at the Mettera. What’s missing from this photo, aside from the people? Well normally any lobby will have paper work of some sort on display, whether it’s weather reports or local attraction information…but not here. Minimalism means cutting out all the non-essential elements of the space.
I’m not entirely sure why interiors are enjoyable to photograph — I’d imagine some people would consider it quite boring. But take a look at this image above and try to count the number of vertical lines in this photo — everything from the different wall lines, the art, the plant box, the sitting bench, the elevator…on and on. It’s all linear and all perfect. Personally I find that exciting and challenging to photograph well.
I’m not going to spill all the beans on how we shoot interiors here — but I will say that a lot of post work is involved. If you’ve ever been into The Matrix hotel, you’ll know that this second level hallway isn’t quite this white or this bright in person. But it makes for a hell of a nice clean looking image.
I say this infamous in jest. If you ever have to do photographs of a hotel, you’ll have to shoot the bedrooms — and they can be hit or miss. Regardless of how good looking the room is, one of the most important things to nail down well is the linen. A bedspread can be the nemesis of your day if they are made of poor materials or aren’t well ironed or cleaned. Fortunately that’s never a problem at The Matrix or Mettera. But a clean, good looking room can quickly be ruined by a bed spread that’s full of awful wrinkles and folds. Again here though — linear perspective is the rule of thumb, but you’ll notice this also isn’t shot from a normal standing perspective. Bad interior photographer is easy to spot when all the images look like someone shot them all just by walking into a room and shooting from standing height. That’s lazy.