Notes for making good images together by

Getting The Most Out Of An Interior Photoshoot.

    1.     Knowing What You Want

Now that you have hired someone. How do we go from there?

Knowing what you like is very important. Most of my returning clients who trusted in me would just leave the site to me decorated and cleaned. It’s sweet but it’s also not for everyone, and it takes time to have that bond.

Once in a blue moon I have clients that could not convey what exactly they were looking for and ended up feeling less. I try my best to avoid that at all cost by going out of my own way to ask questions. So... how?

As a start, here’s a kit of things you should think of.

    2.     Set a mood.

Pin down what exactly you want your future clients to feel. Quiet and airy, dark and abstract, warm and comforting, lights on / lights off, or just a mix of things.

If words don’t work, resort to images. Pinterest or Instagram is an awesome place to start. Every photograph can be dissected down to the very one reason it reasonates with you.

I can only think of one example where words don’t work. It sounds like ‘I want photos that inspire and move me.’ Reason one, the statement is too vague because everyone is inspired differently. What speaks to me may not speak to you. Reason two, it is insufficient and it leads no where. Everyone wants photos that inspire, it’s how do you want it to inspire that matters in the conversation.

Other than that, I think anything goes.

    3.     Quantify.

Put your expectation of a set of photos into something finite. Give it a number. If you’re doing your first shoot it may be hard to visualise.

10? 20? 50?

A good guide will be 1 shot for every 60 sq ft of a space. If you are feeling more adventurous, 1 shot for every 45 sq ft.

But size isn’t everything. A meticulous 700 square foot well-put-together upscale apartment can have more photo opportunities then a 2,000 square foot landed property. (This is also one of the reasons why I don’t charge by size.)

You will have a much better idea at guesstimating this after your first photoshoot.

A quantified expectation (or a shotlist) sets the photographer’s pace and gives him/her a mental checklist. For someone who gets easily antsy like me, it calms me down and helps me estimate the hours.

    4.     List down your must-haves.

Identify the spaces, angles, details that are your must-haves. If you are not sure, start from telling what you like about your design. It may sound like:-

  • I’m not sure about this bedroom, but we did work on the side tables, maybe you can try to compose but it’s optional.
  • There are storages underneath the bed frame and we would like to feature that within a spatial shot.
  • We would want a shot of this kitchen counter. The marble top is rare, and we customised the pedestal.

Or even better: -

  • I want to have at least 2 angles for every bedroom, looking at the headboard and the wardrobe.
  • I prefer one-point perspectives (elevation shots).
  • I would like 1/3 of the set to be details (vignettes).
  • I just want one for this room.
  • I don’t want any for this room.

    5.     Decoration matters.

For almost all instances, decoration is that final 10% that makes an A work A+. Props are testaments of your vision for a space. Take charge because that is what gives your work finesse.

Not all designers (locally) want to invest on decor. It’s up to everyone, but if you have the budget and want to be the few who pay attention, go for it, it could be a game changer.

    6.     Let loose and giving space to the photographer.

Of all things, I should emphasise that you should only hire a photographer who you have 100% confidence in.

Then take a backseat.

All set and once we are at the site, we forget all the rules and go into creation mode. It is important to give space to a photographer and don’t breathe down their necks.

Some of my clients request to see the outcomes during the shoot. It is OK but I do it during the break, or at the end of the day. It is to make sure we have all covered. It is awesome that both parties go home satisfied. But never, never nose behind a photographer when he’s working. It is super stressful and uncomfortable.


And that’s all. If you are ready to get creative, DM me on Instagram.

Thanks for reading. WJ.

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