Beautiful locations don’t just happen. When you are looking at a photograph of a room in a magazine, the room has usually been styled by professionals. Before any commercial photo shoot, you should always make sure the space you are shooting it is ready to be photographed. Coming prepared with accessories, art, and props is a great way to ensure the location looks as good as possible when it’s photographed. That means fluffing the pillows, organizing shelves, and arranging the flowers to look just right. Here’s our guide to preparing an interior space for a photoshoot.
Preparing the room
Get rid of any clutterThe most important thing before you even start propping is to get rid of unnecessary clutter. Anything that doesn’t add to the frame should be removed. If you are shooting in someone else’s house, take a before and after photograph so you can put things back where you’ve found them. Any envelopes, remote controls, random pens, toys, or dog beds should be removed from the scene. Although these things are natural to have around the house, they don’t necessarily add to the photographs. You want a simple, clean canvas to start propping with.
Clean the roomA dirty house is not a house that’s ready for a photo shoot. Give the room you are shooting in a once-over, so there is not any dust or dirt present. This is especially pivotal for the floor, as a dirty floor can show up in photographs. Wipe down everything right before a shot is being taken to have the highest chance of capturing the perfect photograph. That being said, it’s natural to have a little mess. If you miss anything, just ensure you can touch it up in post-production.
When it comes to bathrooms, make it very cleanBathrooms aren’t always perfect. But these are pivotal to be extremely clean in your photographs. The number one rule? Put the lid down! Make sure towels and floor mats match your brief theme and are folded or rolled nicely. Put any toothpaste, toothbrush or soap dispenser away under the sink. Showers should look empty and clean (no loofahs allowed). Tuck any personal belongings away and have a clean bathroom surface to start shooting in.
Clean the windowsAny room that is photographed should have perfectly cleaned windows. Dirty windows can change the light that enters the room, or if you’re photographing near a window, the glare on a dirty window can have a huge impact on your photographs. Make them shiny, make them clean.
Make sure you have the right lighting for the spaceWhen you are shooting interior spaces, sourcing the right can sometimes be difficult. The time of day and direction that the light enters the room really affects how your photographs turn out. Early in the morning is generally a good idea for most interior shoots that allow for natural light, however, be prepared to bring extra lighting sources in case things are too dark inside. Check out the space before you shoot so you know the kind of gear you’ll need. You don’t want to photograph any shadows, or overly warm lighting unless that’s in the brief guidelines. Space matches the mood prior to scheduling your shoot. We suggest always bringing a tripod when shooting interior spaces to eliminate any motion blurs that might occur from shooting in interior lighting conditions, especially at night.
Fresh FlowersAs photographers, learning the basics of arranging flower displays is key. Fresh flowers are one of the most widely used props you’ll find in any well-styled interiors. Some great places to place fresh flowers? Coffee tables, end tables, bedside tables, and fireplace mantels. Flowers and plants add a splash of color to photographs and can work well in nearly any space.
ArtworkSome homes have great art, and others do not. Be sure to remove any photographs that are not usable for commercial licenses (unless you have model releases for the people appearing in the photographs). Any artwork should be general and have the rights to be photographed. If you do not know if you have the rights to have the artwork in the background of your images, a safe bet is to remove it.
Add a rugA rug is a great piece to add to a room to bring the room to life. We love including bright and colorful rugs in photographs depending on the brief theme, as neutral rugs can appear bland or washed out on camera.
MirrorsMake sure you are aware of the reflection of any mirrors in the house. If you choose to shoot directly into a mirror, make sure you’re capturing some sort of beautiful aspect of the room or product you are photographing and not your own camera lens!
Add blankets and pillowsWhether you are shooting in a living room or bedroom, adding a beautiful blanket can pop against an otherwise plain surface such as regular bedding or your couch. Position them to be clean, bright, but slightly lived in for an authentic look. Pillows are another fun way to add color to your interior photographs, we love bright colored pillow covers that match the brief theme. A great way to easily bring in color into your shoot.
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