6 tips for the best interior design photography | Architectural Digest India

Winford Hunter

Chicago-based interiors photographer Heather Talbert is also a proponent for stylists. “Lately there’s been a greater emphasis on hiring a stylist for shoot day, which has really elevated our interior photography work,” she says. “I’ve found it so helpful to have a fresh eye look at a completed project and suggest new layers, art, and florals.”

If hiring a stylist is not an option, bring plenty of props, says Talbert. “For a kitchen shot, you might need to try three different types of vegetables and combos before you find just the right one.”

4. Get clients on board early

Hiring the best photographer in the business won’t help your cause if your client isn’t willing to do the shoot.

“We typically talk to clients about shooting their homes before we agree to do their project or have a contract in place,” says Thornton. “It’s a requirement for us, otherwise we don’t take the project. We’ll pour thousands of hours into a project, and photography is the final accomplishment that shows all the hard work in its best light.”

While Thornton finds most of her clients are happy to oblige, she does run into occasional pushback from high-profile homeowners. “In those cases, we work through it with them to ensure they feel protected and that their privacy is maintained while we are still able to showcase our work,” she says. “We also include a section on photography and promotion in our contract. It references the need to photograph the project and how it can and will be used by our firm in promotion, as well as language that helps the client understand that we won’t exploit them by using their name or any identifying details without their written consent.”

5. Maximize shoot day

Shoot day is a true collaboration between designer and photographer. “I make it a priority to be at every single shoot—no matter how busy I am,” says Lewis. “These photos live on forever. If I spent years designing it, I want to make sure the shots are perfect. I am all about getting every single angle and close-up of quite literally everything in these homes, and it takes a long time.”

A full day is to be expected, but to maximize the number of shots you get, all of the experts we spoke to recommended prepping as much of the space as possible the day before. While some styling will have to be done on the fly, as the photographer determines shots and angles, other things like ironing bedding, steaming curtains, and general cleanup can be done in advance.

Prior preparation lets the photographer work through the home without any downtime and frees up the designer or stylist to be in the room making final adjustments and approving shots.

Talbert also suggests checking the lighting in the home in advance. “It’s crucial to understand the layout of the space and what direction each door or window is facing,” she says. “You can take images on your phone ahead of time and note the time stamp, which will help you plan out your day and maximize the natural light in each space.”

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