Trust me; every client is flattered when you ask to bring a professional photographer into their home for images of the final design. It is a compliment for the homeowner(s) to show off their new space(s); they want their home featured and grow your business through referrals.
Building a rapport and getting to know the homeowner(s) builds confidence that you respect them and their home. As a standard practice, I offer to take my shoes off when entering their home. I let them know what equipment I will bring into their home and not be overwhelmed (assume they are overwhelmed).*
Before I begin removing the homeowner(s) belonging off countertops shelves and moving furniture, I communicate my overall plan and vision for the shoot to get their buy-in. I explain that styling for interior publications is so different, and specific neutral props are used so everyone can see themselves in the space. Less is more when styling and curating the perfect vignette to evoke a particular mood or feeling is critical to gain editors’ attention!
It is best if the homeowner(s) is not present during the photoshoot. The designer may have already suggested they be off-site during the photoshoot. However, you can gently encourage the homeowner(s) to take a break and enjoy time away from the house!
When the photoshoot is complete, it is critical to replace the space(s) as the homeowner(s) initially styled. A good trick is to take photos with your cell phone to recall how each space was configured before moving everything!
As a recap, here are my steps in an easy-to-use format to win over your next homeowner(s) so they will refer you to their friends.
Tip 1: Build rapport with the homeowner(s)
Tip 2: Offer to take off your shoes when entering the home
Tip 3: They are overwhelmed; communicate what equipment you are bringing in and your overall plan for the shoot
Tip 4: Explain the difference between styling for an editorial shoot vs. how they have styled their home for living every day
Tip 5: Suggest that the homeowner(s) take a break from the house during the shoot
Tip 6: Take photos of every space with your cell phone BEFORE removing any belongings, so you know where to put them back after the shoot
I promise if you follow these six tips, you will endear yourself as a professional photographer not only to your client, the designer, but also the homeowner(s).
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* I follow CDC/COVID practices by wearing a mask at ALL times. All props used for styling have been sanitized, and I bring disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer with me to every project.