Using a Professional Photographer
We’ve recently shot our latest project with a super talented interiors photographer Anna Stathaki. One of the most satisfying parts of finishing a project is getting it professionally photographed and sending out the glossy snaps to the press and public. The lovely comments start rolling in and you forget about all the dust and hours you spent arguing with building control.
Doing a professional photoshoot can be a long and arduous task, and pre planning is key. Photographers aren’t cheap, so you’ll want to have a very good idea of what shots you can get yourself (if you’re any good – be honest!) and which ones only a very skilled snapper can capture. Our Knightsbridge project was full of mirrors and reflective surfaces, so we made the most of Anna’s expert lenses and photoshopping skills to remove the image of the camera from all the images. There are couple of things to remember when booking a photo day:
- Pre plan the photos you want. Ideally go over with a camera and see what’s possible and what isn’t. Also make a note of which views you want captured, as it would be a pain to get the photos back a week later and realise you forgot to get one of the study… Also note that some of the best views of rooms come from places you can’t normally access. We’ve got some great images of kitchens that had to be taken from within an open fridge, and nearly all bedroom and bathroom shots involve the photographer climbing into the wardrobe/bath.
- Pre style. Never do it on the day, you’ll be too busy. We’re big fans of fake flowers, as the wire structure means you can contract the bouquets how you want them, they won’t wilt in the heat, and they can be dismantled, rearranged and used on other shoots. Less is always more when dressing a room, people are usually looking at the picture and trying to imagine how they would live in the space (or working out why they wouldn’t). Also, don’t go for over styled shots, they look too staged (a steaming coffee cup on a counter, 1 bottle of water in a fridge or the cupboard – you get their idea). Also make sure the cleaners have been in and the rooms are spotless – dust and finger smudges will show more in photos). Bed linen should always be ironed.
- Bring someone for heavy lifting. When doing a photo shoot we often end up moving large pieces of furniture out of the way so the photographer can get a good shot from that vantage point. For example, a walk-in wardrobe next to a bed is probably going to be best shot by moving the bed, standing in the middle of the room, taking the photo head on and then cropping it later.
- Always be aware of reflective surfaces. Anything glossy will reflect your images, it doesn’t just have to be a mirror. It’s so easy to forget, and then you get home and find your colleges foot is reflected in the TV cabinet, or the builder eating lunch is visible in a reflection in the marble kitchen worktop. We spent most of the day hiding behind sofas to avoid being captured.
- Be patient – once the photos are all taken, the photographer will need to edit and enhance them. This can take up to 3 weeks for a busy, in-demand photographer (although lovely Anna did it over the weekend for us). Also, the photographer will only send a selection of the best images, don’t expect to get their roll of 200 shots. For a full day’s work you’re probably looking at about 20 photos.