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Planning for the Photoshoot

W H A T   Y O U   C A N   E X P E C T . . .

OMG!!!!! It’s photoshoot time!! How exciting is this?!?! We are so grateful to have gotten this far with you and we do not take your generosity for granted, in allowing us to share this space with you and all of our other online friends!

As you can imagine, like every other part of our process, our photography is an art and our final creative expression of your project. Much thought and attention has been placed on this next part of the project and we just wanted to share our thoughts, so that you know what to expect! We have broken these out to the most common themes previous clients have been interested in.



While it is very common to assume that this process should only take minutes, there is so much work that goes into every single shot we produce. Prior to arriving at the project site, we start by creating a routine shot-list and sensible concepts for each snapshot we want to capture. We consider the angle of the shot in order to plan for arranging and staging the space. Much time is spent before ever setting one camera in place. 


As you can guess, quite a bit of time is spent onsite bringing this concept to life. This will include schlepping props, floral arrangements, additional décor, etc. –and this is just from the design team. The photographer must spend time selecting the best equipment to seize the shot--this will include lighting kits, flashes and stands, umbrellas, brackets, reflectors, multiple cameras, special lenses, etc. 


More often than not, some of our best shots will be taken from the most unexpected places. So, we offer our team time to explore, to try, and to discover new angles. During our time styling, we place items/décor within a vignette and try different angles, different lighting, different styling, all of the same shot. We’re checking for composition, adjusting aperture and shutter speeds. We’re testing the natural light versus artificial lighting, to see which offers the most authentic color render.  We play with the lens focus and check for reflections and glares that may unexpectedly occur. We split between vertical and horizontal shots, maximizing reinforced themes. And in the midst of this, we try to remain flexible and creative with the space to get the shot we want.


So, with all this in mind, we try to give our team the freedom to not be rushed, to get those perfect shots. Basically, plan several hours, depending on the amount of rooms we’re shooting. For entire homes, we expect a day or two. 


Once complete, we will be sure to put everything back in its place, in hopes to not untidy the home. 



The next thing on most clients’ minds will be wondering what all they need to do to prepare. And honestly, it’s quite simple–have the house cleaned and let us do our thang!


When possible, enlist the help of a professional cleaner to have the home clean and tidied in advance of the shoot. We find that this eases most clients and they’re not scrambling in the midst of work, school projects, and kids' sporting events. We are not expecting for the home to be perfect. However, putting away delicates and personal belongings is best done by the client. With this being said, our team will also help tidy and spruce up the spaces required.


If we have not already, we often request that our clients not be present during the day of the shoot. This is due to several reasons, although it’s mainly because it’s boring! Interior shoots take much longer than portraits and we find that clients tend to get anxious around our crew, assuming more will be done in a shorter timespan. Additionally, clients are often concerned about aspects of the room that may or may not photograph as well on camera as it may feel in person. Moreover, we require the freedom to move and remove accessories, or sentimental items like family belongings, without offending. And we have found that inadvertent miscommunication surrounding the photoshoot can also leave a negative impression with the client.



We often hear, “Are we going to get access to the photos?!” Of course! All clients will have access to the photos. While these will remain the property of DDLLC and the photographer, we will be sure to share what we create. 


For clarification, our photos will only be of aspects of the design in which we participated. We do not shoot spaces where we have not made selections and/or provided furniture. Clients have unwittingly assumed that we would be shooting every inch of the home, expecting to see something similar to real estate imagery. However, our goal is not to take a ton of images quickly, but rather to find the "hero" moments of the design and then build the shot. It is common practice to expect 1-3 great shots per room, some of which may be vignettes and details, rather than the entire space. If we are able to get more, that's great. 


Another thing to note is that our shoots do not always reflect the way the home is being used. Because photography often communicates a singular message per shot, we often move furniture, lighting, and accessories, in order to enhance our imagery concept. Moreover, we may reuse items from different rooms, in order to create a sense of consistency and cohesion through our photography.


With that being said, any requests for additional photography in the home will require alternative arrangements between the client and photographer to best understand objectives. These added images will be managed and invoiced separately by the stylist/photographer. 



After our photoshoot, the next step in this process is the post-production editing. This is when our team will remove any and all distractions from the photos. It is standard practice to lightly photoshop each image. These improvements may come in the form of altering the color-rendering to get the most balanced image, and removing cords, outlets, and recessed lighting, in order to not distract from the workmanship. We routinely enhance colors, patterns, adjust exposure, light intensity, etc. 


While we only offer interior photography for our spaces, one of the other questions we are often asked is, “do you know someone who can do our family portraits?” And yes, yes we do! Our photographer is Markus Wilborn, of MW Concepts, and he also specializes in portraits. All of my professional images are done by him! He’s amazing. Feel free to reach out directly. Additionally, one of our previous clients is also an amazing photographer, Tara Beth Ogden. Be sure to reach out to her as well!



And one final thing to note is that for all shoots, we engage in live floral arrangements and greenery, although faux plants and trees were intentionally adopted for the project. Live plants offer the flexibility of seasonal imagery (singularly for the photoshoot), while the ‘ever-green’ counterparts occupy the space in a more holistic and integrated fashion.


We mention this because we often have tons of fresh flowers/greenery left over after the photoshoot. We happily donate them to the client to enjoy or we have them removed and the space returned to normal, if preferred. There will be no cost to keeping these arrangements. Décor and additional accessories will be managed differently.


With all this being said, you may still have questions on what to expect–and that is okay. Just call, text, or write! We’re happy to help make this process as seamless as the rest. 


And if you don’t remember anything we just shared, just remember that this will probably take longer than you’d expect! While we are experienced in photographing nearly every space, we have found no shortcuts to shortening our time in the home to capture these delicate moments. But, we feel confident that we will do your design justice!


Lastly, we thank you so much for allowing us to photograph your home!! This is one of the most important investments we make in our business. It is the most powerful way to attract other incredible clients like yourself!


We will see you soon!!

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