I absolutely love shooting interiors. Before I even walk into the home to do the shoot, I know that the client has spent hours agonizing over the styling of his or her home. Preparing for a home shoot is no small feat. I always give my clients the following advice for how to best prepare for the day of the shoot.
- Prepare flower bouquets of varying sizes and textures. Every home shoot needs at least 2 beautiful bouquets of flowers! (The more the better.) I happen to love having two flower bouquets that feel different from each other. The best way to do this is to buy a bouquet of large branches like this and also a short little vase full of white ranunculus. Olive, eucalyptus, ferns, and cherry branches are some of my favorite. I love adding a big vase with eucalyptus branches to the mantle of a fireplace and juxtaposing the big size with a trio of short stemmed hydrangea in an small vase. A few different topiaries also add interest to any home shoot. Make sure you have one bigger bouquet of larger flowers, i.e. branches, a big boxwood or tons of large hydrangeas, as well as a smaller little vase full of something more delicate like ranunculus or roses. It’s important to have some flowers with a feminine energy and then also some with a more neutral masculine energy. But when in doubt just focus on buying flowers that you love. You really can not go wrong here.
- Add visual interest that makes sense and pare down the rest. The very first thing I do when I prepare to photograph a room is remove all clutter. You must make sure you remove all unnecessary and needlessly mundane items in the room. I always remove all TV remotes, hide all wires, and any other needless items that ruin a photos much needed white space. Every photo needs purposeful white space, so that there is a place for the eye to rest. I then go back and add in a few beautiful, whimsical accessories so that the picture really packs a visual punch. Some of the best ways to add visual interest are to stack a few beautiful art or style books on a coffee or bedside table. I also like to place a warm throw on the back of a coach or across a bed. I love a big wooden bowl filled with lemons in the kitchen and a fun candle or diffuser placed in the bathroom. Because I love blue and white almost as much as Mark Sikes, I absolutely love adding blue and white ginger jars everywhere if it makes sense for the home and the family. Acting as a stylist for the room is half of the interior photographer’s job. Do not be afraid to move items around and work until the shoot feels interesting and perfect.
- Look for moments to pair different textures and metals. Juxtapose different materials like brass, rattan and ceramic to create visual interest on your mantel, kitchen counter or book shelf. One of my favorite ways to do this is to place a rattan tray on marble kitchen counter or glass coffee table. Place some gold atom clusters on top of a stack of art books or add a quartz cluster for more elegant dimension. Place interesting art on book shelves to break up some of the book monotony.
- Hide all knick knacks. There should be no general knick knacks lying around on the day of the shoot. Move all small items into a stylish hide box. Go through and remove books from your bookshelves. Most people force too many books into their bookshelves. Each shelf on your bookshelf should be empty for 1/3 of the space so that your eye has room to rest. If there is no white space then the shelf appears cluttered.
- When in doubt, less is more. If a scene feels slightly out of whack, remove something. Pare it down so that the image does not become cluttered. Make room for the essence of the home itself to really shine through.
All of the images featured in this post were captured in homes designed by Smalldoor Design.
Photography by Wonder & Awe Photo.