Interior Design Photos
Thank you to all of you who submitted interior design photos that we will be using in our marketing materials and blog posts. We’ll give you and your photographer credit where it fits. In a few cases, like videos, there isn’t a good way to credit you. We appreciate your understanding.
I know some of you just started your interior design business, so I’m writing this article to help you plan for building your business.
When I started my mostly residential interior design business many years back, I did work for my friends and for our own homes.
We’ve remodeled three houses, and as I started the projects, my husband and I photographed the “Befores.” We also invited our friends and neighbors to the “Before” party so they could see the project prior to the demolition.
Afterward, we invited the same people to the “After” party. It was fun to hear the reactions to the results, and that turned into business for me because neighbors could see what I did.
If you’re new to the business, or even if you’re seasoned, suggest this to your client and this will help you leverage your marketing at no cost.
There is no need to hire a professional to shoot the befores…just a digital photo with your own camera is great. When you’re finished, do budget for a professional photographer to shoot the project. If it doesn’t fit in your budget, you can contact local magazines or newspapers about the finished project. Budgets are so tight for many publications that it is rare that they will pay for the freelancer. However, if you get lucky, you could purchase copies of the interior design photos from the freelancer for a reduced price.
I budgeted for photos every two years, and it cost about $2,500 per day of shooting plus styling supplies like flowers and accessories. If you’re shooting in multiple locations, it might be good to do three days in a row. When I booked my photographer for three days at one time, he would give me a discounted price.
It takes about 1 1/2 – 2 hours to set up a shot with lighting and styling. During the first part of the shoot, your photographer will shoot a couple of test shots to check the arrangement of furniture and accessories. After everything meets your approval, he takes the final “bracketed” photos while you’re starting to style the next shot.
I recommend having an assistant on hand. You may need a few extra supplies that you didn’t consider prior to the day, so having someone that can run errands is helpful.
Also, be sure to bring snacks and drinks for the day for you and the crew because you won’t have time to stop for lunch. The day starts early, and if you’re doing twilight shots, you might have a 12 – 14 hour day.
And…wear comfortable shoes and clothes. No high heels. You’ll be standing all day.
Be sure to bring extra supplies like matches for lighting candles, tape, scissors, vases, flowers, nippers to trim the flowers, coffee table books, or any other miscellaneous accessories you might need. I often brought accessories from my own home to supplement the client’s items.
Let your client know how long you’ll be in the home. Their pets and children should be kept away for the day.
A good architectural photographer uses extra lights and knows how to style each vignette. If you haven’t done this before, it is good to “walk” the project with him or her prior to the day of the shoot so you know what to expect and what to bring. The photos you see in the magazines require moving furniture in unique ways to look good for each shot. You’ll see what I mean when you do this on your own shoot.
When the day is over, be sure to leave the flowers for your clients with a small gift, and then follow-up with a thank you note and copies of the photos for them to enjoy. It’s a small price to pay.
You can also create a photo book that they can have on their coffee table with your information inside. You never know when their friends might call.