What Are the Best Tips for Styling and Prepping for an Interior Design Photoshoot?

Tori Sikkema, Interior | Architectural Photographer, NY, NJ, PA, CT, and beyond

Designer: Jackie Currie-Taylor

If you’re an interior and architectural designer, you know that styling and professionally photographing your work is as important as the actual design process. Beautiful photos help attract new clients, showcase your portfolio, and even land you features in interior and architectural design publications. But achieving the perfect shots requires a bit of preparation and planning. Here are some tips for styling and prepping for an interior design photoshoot.

Scout the Location

Before the shoot day, it’s important to scout the location with your photographer and stylist and note any potential challenges or opportunities. Create a list of props such as fresh flowers, vases, books, pillows, and other decor items to enhance the space and bring your design vision to life. 

Create a Shot List 

Work with your interior design photographer on creating a list of the angles, details, and spaces you want to capture during the photoshoot. The shot list will help you stay organized and get all the critical shots. You can also use this list to plan your styling and props for each photo. 


Once you have your shot list, it’s time to start prepping and shopping for additional props or accessories. Consider what types of items will enhance the space and bring it to life, but also keep in mind that less is more when it comes to styling. You don’t want to overcrowd the area or distract from the design.

Shop the Flower Market

Fresh is always best! If you plan on incorporating fresh flowers into your shots, visit the flower market early on the day of the shoot. This will give you the best selection and ensure your flowers look freshest for the photos. Having a floral designer on site is helpful to tweak and design on the spot.

Haul and Schlep

On the day of the shoot, it’s time to start hauling and schlepping all your props and accessories to the location. Ensure you have everything you need and that it’s all organized and ready to go.

Refine the Placement of Props

During the shoot, the stylist and/or assistant should constantly move things around to ensure the space feels balanced and the composition is pleasing to the eye. Remember that negative space is vital to keep the space calm and inviting, but you also want to ensure there are organic signs of life, such as greenery.

Style with Purpose

When styling for the shoot, remember the different ways you can approach it. You can go for a clean and less staged look or a more lived-in feel with items like an open book or a cup of coffee. But be careful not to over-style; you want the space to feel inviting and not overly staged.

Have a Focal Point

Each shot should have a clear focal point that you’re trying to highlight. Whether it’s a piece of furniture, a particular design element, or a stunning view outside, ensure you’re styling to enhance that focal point and draw the viewer’s eye into the space.

Work as a Team

Lastly, working as a team with your interior/architectural photographer, stylist, and floral designer is essential to ensure you’re telling the visual story of your design aesthetic to attract your dream clients. If your goal is PR and publishing opportunities, Your interior/architectural photographer also has the expertise to shoot editorially to enhance those opportunities.

To Recap

To achieve stunning interior design photography, careful planning and preparation are key. Scout the location, make a shot list, and prep and shop for the right props and accessories. Style the space with purpose and include organic elements like fresh flowers. Move things around on the day of the shoot until you achieve the perfect balance and composition. And remember to create a space that invites your audience in and makes them feel at home.

I’m an Architectural Digest-published interior design photographer and Universal Ambassador. I work with many interior design firms telling their visual story and helping them get published.

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