How to Style a Room IRL vs. for an Interiors Photoshoot
Designers can create a perfectly beautiful home, but the photos have to be a little different and eye-catching to get editors' and/or a prospective client’s attention.
Having just completed a photoshoot for my latest project - a 3500 square foot house requiring a complete renovation for an empty nester couple - I thought I'd give an insight into what I did behind the scenes to get this home camera ready.
Setting Up for an Interior Design Photo Shoot
Most people do not realize the amount of work and effort that goes into a photo shoot. A single shot requires several hours of planning, cleaning, choosing the right florals and accessories, in addition to the editing that the photographer does on the back end. PHEW! The effort and investment is always worth it, though, to get that perfect shot.
Prop Styling for an Interior Design Photo Shoot
What might read as clutter in real life actually adds a lot of visual interest on camera. Creating visually interesting levels and groups of objects is like creating them in real life, but you have to think about the camera lens and ignore what looks good to the naked eye.
Photographers may crop a photo or shoot part of a scene if there is an opportunity for better lighting. It means the way you style something for real life might not even appear in the frame. And large empty surfaces don’t usually read well on camera. Oftentimes, more is more when it comes to styling your interior for a photoshoot!
SOME OF MY FAVE SOURCES for INEXPENSIVE Prop Styling:
Crate & Barrel or CB2 (Pro Tip: They have the cutest fireplace wood bundles under $30, which makes photo styling a fireplace like this one a breeze!)
Amazon (Pro Tip: Excellent for finding matching colored books on the cheap! #shelfiestyling)
The Star of the The Interior Photo Shoot
Nope it’s not the gorgeous pendant light fixture or the fancy rug. It’s whatever gives the space LIFE!
Here’s what I mean: many of my clients are passionate about their pets - just like me! This was especially exciting as we had a dog that was a perfect pup model. Our client was thrilled when their beloved dog named Whisky was able to be a part of the day. It was so simple...set up the shot, ask Whiskey to jump up onto the banquette, and shoot. He looked fabulous, and the colors in his fur complemented the shot perfectly!
One of the things my photographer Angela Newton Roy is famous for is her signature blur-style pictures in which a person is walking through the room and is caught out of focus, giving the photo movement in a kind of abstract, ghostly way. This is another excellent example of giving your interior photos LIFE! She just gets it.
Pro Tip: Don’t have a pup or an adorable baby to model in your photoshoot? Plants – even faux plants (I use ones from Target) work wonders at adding just the right amount of life into your interior photos.
Post Production for Interior Design Photoshoots
I’m going to let you in on a little secret – a photoshop secret. As opposed to fashion photography, interior photography doesn't alter photos as much as a model might. But, with this living room shot, we did something that was necessary to edit the photo a bit. In real life, on the top corners of this bookshelf sits two large bulky white speakers that we could not remove. In real life, it looks fine. On camera? Distracting.
My wonderful photographer worked her photoshop magic to take out the speaker and replace it with a white vase and gold bowl to match the rest of the shelf styling. Voila! A perfect shot, if I do say so myself.
Interested in more photoshoot BTS content? Check out this post here – where we styled my own home for a photoshoot. And stay tuned for the full reveal of this project next week!