Every now and then you meet a person who is thrilled with the challenge of detailed work, and if you do, that person is most likely an interiors photographer, namely Molly Culver. She takes pride in fine-tuning each minuscule detail and crafting a photo as near to perfect as any imperfect thing can be. Read on to learn why Molly has done an about-face and is learning to instead chase excellence and embrace imperfection.
Share with us a bit about the journey that led you to interior photography.
After several years of shooting portraits, weddings, and lifestyle, I wanted to try out interiors. A designer friend of mine needed some projects photographed and wanted to give styling a shot as well, so we styled and photographed a couple homes. I immediately loved it- the details, the design, the lighting, the control- it’s still my favorite thing to shoot!
So many of your photos feel like a breath of fresh air. How did you develop and refine your style?
So nice of you to say! I want them to feel natural and inviting so that the space feels the same way it does in person. I think I spent a long time trying to make everything a little too perfect- evenly lit, tack sharp, and straight. Now I am working my way back a bit to find the exact amount of imperfect to give the viewer that inviting feeling- it’s a hard balance to strike!
While scrolling through your Insta I was so charmed by an adorable photo of you and your baby boy’s matching Birkenstocks. What does a day in the life of a busy mom of two boys and full time photographer look like?
Woo- good question! It’s different every day, always a bit crazy, but we’re surviving. Luckily my boys have a great school, so I can drop them there in the morning and really focus on work during normal workdays. Shoot days are usually an all-day event and then a couple days a week I’m in my office editing and working on admin stuff. Evenings and weekends are for family and friends. I’m pretty good at keeping work and family time pretty separate. I’ll be honest though- I’m pretty tired!
What notable skill or spark to you bring to each of your shoots?
I think I am pretty laid back on shoots. I know they can be stressful for some clients, especially with all the preparation leading up to the shoot. I really work to collaborate with my clients on frame-ups and styling, pay attention to all the details, and show them the images on the computer as we go to put them at ease and make sure they’re happy with the final shots. I try to be a calm, but confident presence reassuring my client that we’re getting great shots, and they can slow down and relax bit.
What passions do you pursue when you’re not behind the lens?
In this season with young kids, most of my passions are kind of on hold. If I’m not working, I’m usually spending time with friends or family, but hopefully I’ll get back to some soon. I love to paint, cook, travel, sew, make photographs on film, and so many other things. It just seems like life is a little full right now to take on much more. Thankfully, I have a job where I get to be inspired by good design and flex those creative muscles.
Is there a piece of advice you wish you had gotten when you were just beginning your career in photography?
Assist more! I assisted a lot in my 20s, but mostly for lifestyle and portrait photographers. I learned so much from them not only about lighting and technical things, but about the photo industry and how the commercial and editorial worlds work. A lot of what I do in interiors is self-taught and I wish I could go back and assist for interior photographers. Everyone does things differently or has tricks and tips that you could adopt. It’s truly the best way to learn- and you can get paid to do it!