Restyling a home or commercial property to make it more appealing to buyers is a common practice these days. A relatively small investment in the services of a professional stylist pays huge dividends in the eventual sale price of the home or business. Professional stylists are also involved in choosing the decor of new or redeveloped restaurants. And when a stylist works in conjunction with an interior photographer, it means the stylist has high quality images of the completed project to share with the owner. This collaboration is an excellent arrangement, especially when you know what to do to prepare for a session of interior photography and what to avoid. In this article we’ll discuss those situations, but first, let’s explain some terminology.
What is Interior Styling?
As an interior stylist, your role is to create an appropriate environment for your client. By adding, removing, or collating items, you beautify the space with elements that make it comfortable and elegant. When you are finished it’s important to capture the result with photographs for use in advertising. Your client will also appreciate having images for publicity in magazines, photos to display on their website, and pictures that can be used in their social media. This is what your client requires from your work, but it’s also an opportunity to show future customers how clever you are! But don’t rely on your smartphone to record your results. You need a professional interior photographer to document your work, so you can share those images on your website or save them in a portfolio of sample shots.
When a client is looking for someone to style their home or business in readiness for selling, or as part of a redevelopment plan, they want to see examples of what their premises could look like. Having vibrant and sophisticated images from a professional interior photographer will seal the deal.
What is Interior Photography?
Taking photos of indoor spaces is a skill known as ‘interior photography’. It’s a specialized area of photography that is used in homes, commercial venues, and architectural photography to emphasize the value and style of the property. An experienced interior photographer has a range of lenses, the latest camera equipment, and specialized lighting to take pictures of the property for use in advertising, and to record your accomplishments as a stylist so you can promote yourself to future clients. The photographer and stylist work together to conceptualize and create the shots required. In real estate photography the aim is to portray the perfect lifestyle in order to have buyers emotionally invested in the property; in commercial venue photography it’s about attracting new customers; and architectural interior photography is about producing a sense of space.
A professional interior photographer uses wide-angle lenses to indicate the scale of a venue, for example, they can show how many tables there are in a restaurant. In a function centre they will provide images that showcase features such as a photo wall, a dance floor, and areas that can be used as a stage for a band.
Things to Avoid in Photography Styling
There are a lot of things you can do to make a home or venue ready for a photo shoot, and there are just as many things you should avoid doing on the day, such as…
Avoid Bad Lighting
Unless you are preparing a property for a quick real estate listing, interior styling is more about producing a feeling of comfort, rather than being about functionality, so don’t go switching on every single light in the whole place. Apart from the lights that are necessary for finding your way around, leave all the other lights off so the photographer can choose which ones will be helpful for the mood you are trying to create. Subtle lighting creates a natural feel. Too many lights cause problems with reflections, hot spots, and color casts. Shadows falling on walls, furniture, and across floors are very distracting and they change the elements of the interior design.
If possible, organize a walkthrough with the photographer before the shoot. Looking at the project in advance means you can both discover what time of day will offer the most natural light in the space. The photographer can see which direction the rooms face, so you can avoid having the sun shining directly through a window during the time of the shoot. By working together you can blend photo styling tips from each other’s experiences and share your expertise to get the best outcome.
Avoid Business Hours
When a venue (such as a restaurant) is ready to be photographed, make sure the photographer has access to the dining area before customers arrive. If customers are on the premises, the shoot becomes more like event photography than interior photography. Sometimes the photographer will want to suggest the scale of the room, so a long exposure shot might be used to blur the image of a person walking past the bar, so make sure staff members are available to provide a ‘walk on’ role if necessary.
Avoid Locking Into One Style of Shot.
When doing real estate interior photography, it’s a mistake to think that one style of shot is going to cover all your advertising and promotional needs. Interior photography requires three types of viewpoints to give the complete idea of a property, so make sure the following list of essential shots are conveyed to your photographer when the shoot is booked. You need a wide-angle photo to show the whole room — this defines the space available and gives context to the area in general. A medium shot highlights a specific feature of the room, such as a fireplace or bar. The final type of image required is the detail shot that completes the overall scene. This is especially useful when there are attractive details in a room, such as custom artwork, colorful textiles, or decorative structural pieces. And if a venue is associated with a particular style of food, or is sponsored by a specific brand of alcohol, let your photographer know if he needs to provide product placement within the shoot.
Avoid the Temptation to do the Photography Yourself.
Whether you are an interior stylist or a business owner who wants to self-style a property, you’ll soon realize it’s a big undertaking. To get the most from your investment of time and energy spent setting up the design of this area, hiring a professional photographer is the best way to ensure that it is presented with the greatest appeal to potential buyers. Unless you have high quality cameras, lenses, and photography lights, the results are not going to reflect your intentions and hard work.
Who Can Help You?
The best way to make sure you have high resolution images available for promotional and advertising purposes is to hire a professional photographer such as Jure Ursic. He will establish what you need and then he’ll tailor a package for your requirements. Jure will create beautiful photographs that complement and elevate your styling.
Hiring and collaborating with a highly experienced interior photographer gives a stylist peace of mind by knowing that all your effort in styling a room will be captured and portrayed in the best possible way. Having Jure’s skillfully-shot images in your portfolio will showcase your design aesthetic, attract your ideal clients, and make you stand out from your competitors.