How to create perfect interiors pictures for your design business
What’s the best tool you have for marketing your interiors or decor business?
Does it surprise you to know that it isn’t social media or email or networking. It starts way before you employ any of those elements with perfect interiors pictures.
Creating perfect interiors pictures is a fundamental cornerstone of your marketing and here’s why. In any industry you are only ever as good as your last job. However in interior design the success of your last job, your unique style and every good reason people will hire you or buy your products is easily apparent from your pictures.
As a digital marketer I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to present beautiful, captivating pictures of everything you do. The ability to create the perfect interiors picture is the tool you need to make your business visible. Social media, online and print editorial, advertising and email marketing only work if your pictures are the best quality to showcase your work at it’s finest.
Good photography is the starting point of any marketing campaign and will help to elevate you against the competition. It’s also the backbone of your portfolio. Online photography, in any shape or form, is often people’s first encounter with a brand. It can be a single image or a consistent style that defines your work. Make sure you get the best images to position your work and brand as professional.
Here is a step by step guide to getting the most out of photographing each completed job. I’ve also asked some industry professionals to give us their tips on how to get the perfect picture so read on and get ready for perfection in your next project photoshoot.
Create perfect interiors pictures with a professional photographer
It always pays to employ a professional. A good photographer will have experience of shooting interiors. As well as experience they will have the best equipment and good lighting. Lighting is essential for illuminating your interiors work in the best way, even on a dull day. They can do wonders to get the best photos from the most challenging situations such as bad light or awkward shaped rooms or products.
When hiring a professional photographer you should always agree in advance the number of images you can expect from the shoot. Additionally who will own the rights to images and where they can be published.
Do it with style
Styling also goes a long way to creating the perfect picture. It may be worth investing in a stylist, here’s why. A stylist will bring props such as plants, cushions, throws, fresh produce, rugs and flowers. The photographer may have someone they work with regularly or you and the photographer can do this together. If your business is product based consider hiring a location space for your shoot. Presenting your products in a beautiful home or perhaps a more quirky location such as an industrial space, garden or historic building is creating a lifestyle vision of your products which is key to your brand. Lifestyle photos are an essential part of your marketing assets. Alongside the lifestyle products cut-out photos are a must have for ecommerce online catalogues and featuring in the media.
Decide on a shoot list
This is a plan of the shots you would like to achieve and the order you would like them done. Also to consider at this stage, is how to shoot them. Wide angled shots will best represent the context of each space or room. By wide angled I mean where the most part of the room and furniture in it can be seen. However avoid using any lenses that distort the image just to fit in the whole room. Awkward or small rooms are where the trained eye of a professional can really get the best results for you. Well lit images that display the whole room are the type of shots that do best on social media. Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz algorithms all seem to favour showing pictures which display all or a large part of a room. Close up pictures don’t do as well here. However you’ll want to consider more particular close up shots that will communicate ideas about materials and design details. These can be used for your own websites, brochures especially if you are working with products.
Deciding in advance the list of rooms, products and the particular elements you want to highlight will help you put together a shoot list. This all forms part of the brief you give to the photographer to discuss how you will get the best out of your project.
Tips from the professionals for perfect interiors pictures
I asked some industry professionals to share with me their top tips for perfect photoshoots. Between them these ladies have created countless beautiful images for our favourite interiors magazines, brand catalogues, websites and social media. They’ve been kind enough to leave me with me some great advice on this topic which I’m so pleased to share with you.
Cathy Pyle is an interior and lifestyle photographer who works with some of the UK’s leading interior magazines as well as with creative brands and designers. She is known for her calm, light-filled images of homes and creative spaces, and she seeks to bring her love of all things seasonal, handcrafted, and vintage into both her work and her own home. Cathy also offers workshops and one-to-one photography tuition from her home studio in Guildford.
- Compelling images are all about emotion and story. So before you start, think about the mood you want to evoke, or the story you’d like to tell, in your image. This will guide the choices you make in setting up and capturing your shot.
- Light is, of course, key to a great image. Notice where the light is coming from, and see if you need to remove or add light (which can be done easily by turning off lights, and using a diffuser or reflector). The quality of light you’ll need will depend on the story and mood you’re aiming for.
- Less is more – I’m a huge fan of simplicity. It’s always better to start with fewer items in shot and then add elements in where needed.
- Pay attention to the lines in your image. In any interior shot, straight lines – especially the verticals – are a must.
- It’s often tempting to rush to get your shot, but attention to detail is key. Take time to tidy away any distracting elements such as wires, wipe away dust, and straighten cushions etc, before you start photographing. I speak from experience when I say it’ll save you time (and the frustration of a less than perfect shot) later!
Leoma Harper is founder of Style the Clutter a styling service to transform your home into a stylish functional space, you will love to spend time in for years to come. Leoma frequently styles photo shoots for brands and homes for magazine shoots. Style the Clutter always has perfect interiors pictures with high visibility on Instagram to share with her growing folllowing
‘A good picture always needs a focal point, but its also what is around it the really counts. Using accessories such as rugs, sheepskins, candles and plants softens a the scene drawing you in to the picture and making you feel at home. Floors are usually pretty plain, its nice to fill them up with pattern/texture through rugs and sheepskins, pets are also always a good and fun way to fill a dead space on the floor. Walls again look sparse, ensure they have pictures, a mirror or wall hanging to draw the eye and add interest. A tray on a coffee table candle, eucalyptus in a bud vase with a little pile of books to the side adds character and interest. In summary the space being photographed needs personality to give the viewer a sense of dipping into the lifestyle within the setting.
With many years experience, in the bespoke kitchen, interiors and property market Alex Crabtree is an expert at styling kitchens for shoots. You can also get a taste for Alex’s love of styling on instagram where she’s built up a loyal following who love her daily dose of unique style as she posts photographs of beautifully styled eclectic maximalist home. Here Alex kindly shares her 12 tips for perfect interiors pictures alongside these images she styled for Brayer Kitchens
Working with Magazines
- For kitchen styling — one of the most important things to remember is that magazines don’t like any lights on or strange wide angle shots!
- The magazines change what they like fairly often. One needs to keep up with their styles and also if an editor changes of course they have a different view too.
- Also the magazines generally don’t like shots over-propped. Although equally it musn’t look too sparse either, as it looks like no one lives there.
- Try to use clients china etc if possible. However if it doesn’t fit with what a magazine would want to feature, I use my own.
- I start by stripping out all the personal items from the kitchen such as family photos and paper work, children’s toys etc! Also if there are too many piles of old recipe books too.
- When I am styling a kitchen I take two large wheeled boxes of ‘props’ from my store! Such as plates, China , etc.
- Always buy fruit, vegetables and flowers to style the kitchen.
- I walk around the kitchen at the beginning of the shoot. This way I see what I need to focus and work with my photographer to see the best angles.
- I virtually always use bowls of one colour of fruit e.g. green apples or lemons and then boards of mixed vegetables! Again, I try and stick to one palette of colours! Usually green and white and with the flowers too.
- It takes a little while to sort which is the best position for all the props and to make sure that they aren’t blocking the tap, oven etc and don’t conflict with each other in the shots making it look too busy.
- I try not to move items around too much for each shot as there needs to be consistency of props position.
- Also a very good working relationship with a photographer is paramount. I have worked with mine for several years and we both understand how each other works and what the clients and magazines need.
So there you have it the My Deco Marketing guide to creating perfect interiors pictures. Do you have any good tips to share on how to get perfect pictures? I’d love to hear them so please leave a comment below.