Tips For A Successful Photo Shoot

Posted on | January 24, 2012 | 9 Comments

We noted in our previous post, Portrait Of A Successful Photo Shoot, that as a designer, builder, architect, or other home professional, a portfolio filled with quality images of your work is essential for promoting your business. Today’s consumers are visually driven and savvy. They are also more likely to search the internet before making a decision on who they choose for their project. Thanks to our conversation with Dustin Peck of Dustin Peck Photography in Charlotte, the following checklist can help ensure your photo shoot goes smoothly, providing you with the portfolio you desire.

    1. Select a professional photographer with a background photographing residential architecture and interior design.  As good as your consumer camera may be, the foreground is too bright and the background is too dark.  A good professional will have the equipment to properly light it and capture what the eye sees.

Image Courtesy of Anne Simmons Designs Photography by Dustin Peck

    2. Have a plan in mind. Think carefully about the mood, feeling and look you’d like to achieve with your photograph, keeping your brand and your potential client base in mind.

Image Courtesy of DL Design, Inc. Photography by Dustin Peck

    3. Be open to your photographer’s suggestions. You may have a fantastic idea about how you want something shot, but your photographer has the expertise to know whether it’s really the best option. Trust that he or she is there to help you make you look your best.

Image Courtesy of BlueRidge Design Photography by Dustin Peck

    4. Staging the photo shoot to showcase your true talent is essential. If the homeowner has added personal touches to your design, or if their budget didn’t allow you to add all of the accessories you would have liked, feel free to arrange the room so that it represents your true vision. Don’t worry about hurting your client’s feelings—this is about promoting your business, and the room has to represent you honestly.

Image Courtesy of Ivey Lane, Inc. Photography by Dustin Peck

    5. If you are doing an outdoor shoot, arrange to have the lawn mowed and the landscaping in tip-top shape the day of the shoot.

Image Courtesy of Dustin Peck Photography

    6. Arrange the photo shoot as soon as you possibly can. Houses get sold, people repaint, and families change and rearrange things. You only have a limited window of opportunity to capture your work, and you never know when that window may slam shut.
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9 Responses to “Tips For A Successful Photo Shoot”

  1. Donna Livingston
    January 27th, 2012 @ 2:18 PM

    Dustin is an amazing photographer with a genuine talent and knowledge of his craft. This combined with his tenacity and patience make working with him a pleasure!

    Donna Livingston, ASID

  2. Liz Hughes
    February 1st, 2012 @ 6:06 PM

    You are so right Donna. Incredible interiors and exteriors! He also is amazing at photographing food. Mmmmm…

  3. Barry Gorn
    February 15th, 2012 @ 11:18 AM

    One of the obvious things that separate the professional from the amateur photographer is the understanding of how to compensate for perspective. In the film days when interior and architectural photographers used view cameras that had tilts and swings for the lens board and the film plane, walls were always straight. It is much more difficult to accomplish with a digital camera. The featured photographer is clearly a pro.

  4. Liz Hughes
    February 15th, 2012 @ 12:39 PM

    Thanks for your comments Barry. Sounds like you also know how to handle yourself with ease behind a camera.

  5. Cameron Carothers
    February 16th, 2012 @ 5:18 PM

    Excellent article! I would add: Be realistic about how long it takes to create a quality photograph; alert homeowners that you are not just taking snapshots. Most are surprised that an hour or 2 is often required to compose, light and style an image.

  6. Nancy Woodhouse
    February 17th, 2012 @ 10:05 AM

    Additional touches: Live floral/plants & food/fruits add life to a photo shoot. The room generates a feeling of realism that your clients will relate to, something simple as staging a cup of coffee with an open book on an end table, cocktails on the balcony, dogs are great in dens and libraries, decorative soaps & a bubble bath in bathroom photos with strategic bathrobe or towels place to look as if you are in the room. You need to not only capture your work well you need to extend that emotion to the viewers, insure the photos are inspiring. Keep it simple, you can easily go overboard and distract the eye.
    Another big element is lighting, only a professional photographer can pull this off the best, I’ve tried and I leave this to the pros. I do carry my own bag of tricks with me to shoots and assist with staging, using my own table top framed photographs, ever detail counts. It’s your work, your photo shoot and your money so make it count.

  7. Liz Hughes
    February 17th, 2012 @ 10:20 AM

    You are so right. Photography is definitely an art that takes time to light, style and compose.

  8. Phil Mathis
    March 19th, 2012 @ 4:51 PM

    We really appreciate this post, as we’ve had challenges getting our work to really shine in pictures (even with all the natural light we usually have here in San Diego!).

    The remodel project would look amazing and the homeowners loved it, but we couldn’t capture it on film! So frustrating.

    Thank you for the tips and the great example photos. We’re putting the ideas into action here soon!


    Mathis Custom Remodeling

    La Mesa and San Diego, CA

  9. Liz Hughes
    March 31st, 2012 @ 3:56 PM

    So glad you like the article, Phil. I believe that kitchens are the most difficult rooms to photograph. The fact that you have to deal with several different kinds of light does make it challenging. Good luck to you!

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