How to Prepare For Your Interior Photoshoot
A successfully executed interior photo shoot usually comes down to preparation. No matter what you are shooting for, communication and preparation are an important part of the process.
Consider the purpose. What you want to do with the images? Do you want to publish them on your website, a blog, social media, contest submission or a print publication?
Expectations. Before you start, open up a conversation about the space. What are the important elements? What challenges does the space present? Is it a tight space? Is there clutter that will have to be removed? Is there natural light?
Is there a specific layout you need? Are you trying to keep a consistent look on your website by using all horizontal images? Do you need them to be cropped square for Instagram? If you are submitting for publication, you’ll likely want both horizontal AND vertical options
This is where preparation pays off! Styling should be a conversation that happens BEFORE the photoshoot. Whether you are walking through the space, or sending snapshots from your phone, styling should be discussed and prepared for ahead of time. Talk about things like colors, props, florals, and know who is bringing what. Do you need tall flowers to fill a space? A short wide bowl to pile up lemons? Need to borrow artwork?
Pick a theme. The styling should tell a story. Who lives there? What is their lifestyle? If you are styling a kitchen, choose to go with an evening wine and cheese OR a doughnuts and juice breakfast vibe, don't mix the two. You can choose to go all out, or If you are a minimalist, keep it simple!
Food. Choose foods that photograph well. A dark food like pumpernickel bread won’t photograph as well as a lighter color bread with cranberries in it. It’s also important to bring enough food. An eight foot island will make one lone muffin look like a crumb. (Pro tip: Bring actual delicious food so that you have delicious snacks, but don’t eat it until AFTER you get the shot)
The styling should compliment the design. Be true to the space. Vases, books, and other objects should integrate with the colors and textures of the space itself. If the walls are bare, make sure you have prepared to beg, borrow, or steal (please don’t steal) artwork that completes the space. (Pro tip: bring command strips for an easy hang and remove strategy)
Get rid of the labels! Our goal is not to advertise for every brand the client may own, so be mindful of removing items with labels on them. This is especially relevant in bathrooms. Brand labels can be very distracting in a photo, so replace them with nondescript bottles and containers. Bath salts, soap dishes, clean white towels, and organic looking loofas are all great bathroom styling props
Know the space you are walking into. If your client and her 3 kids live it up in every corner of the home, you may want to consider sending a cleaner in before the shoot.
DECLUTTER. Even if the homeowner is generally tidy, chances are we will still need to move a few piles of papers, catch-alls, and clear some electronics and appliances out of the way. (Pro tip: So that you can always put things back as you found them, a quick snapshot on your phone of the space BEFORE decluttering and styling is incredibly helpful). If you do nothing else, if all of your styling props go missing, make decluttering a priority and your space will immediately look better in photos.
More is usually more. When you think you’ve brought the perfect amount of “stuff” to style with, bring more. If you are shooting a whole house, it is amazing how quickly you run out of items, especially if a few things didn’t work out as planned. You don't want to have to repeat flowers or throws because you ran out. Even if you are keeping it simple, it never hurts have a few extra throws, vases and bowls on hand.