Last weekend, I had my friend and fellow blogger Savannah over to take some pretty pictures of our apartment. You might remember that she is the same friend/photog that took photos of Josh and me earlier this year. Our home tour pages have been in some serious disrepair and with the Haven Conference coming up (THIS WEEK!!) it was time to update and showcase what our apartment actually looks like… not just the sad before’s from last year!
Now the updated pages are live and I am so so proud of the way our apartment looks in the photos (partly because Savannah is incredibly talented), so I thought it’d be fun to share a few tips and tricks to get your home ready for a photo shoot of your own. Whether you’re hiring someone or doing it yourself, these tips will help you put your home in the best light.
1. Wipe down every. single. surface! The reason I wanted to have Savannah do our home photo shoot is because she has a fancy-pants camera and the girl knows how to use it. But the thing about cameras of the fancy-pants variety is that they can capture very detailed images, which means if you’ve got dusty shelves or tables, the dust will show up! So go ahead and give every surface a quick wipe down with a soft cloth, maybe pledge your wood surfaces and make sure that the cleanliness of your home is not an issue in the pictures.
2. Clear up the actual clutter AND the visual clutter. Of course you’ll do your fair share of cleaning before the camera ever clicks. Everything will be in it’s spot (or hidden in a closet), but don’t neglect the visual clutter of labels and product containers. For example, we have several board games on our book shelf. There’s nothing wrong with the way they look, but they are just busy. So I used some plain kraft paper to wrap only the lids. You can still open the box and I even added typed labels so you can clearly see what you’re grabbing for, but the clutter of the box is gone. By doing this, you can keep the focus of the photo on things that matter like design and styling, rather than distracting labels.
3. Showcase your DIY Projects! Especially if you’re a blogger!! You want to make sure that every DIY detail you’ve put into your home gets it chance to shine. Your instinct might be to go with just wide shots of rooms, but make sure to get a variety of wide and close up shots to feature the projects your proud of!
4. Get the best lighting possible. Really this is a tip for taking photos of anything. You want soft natural light that fills the room and lets colors stand out. Before you nail down a date for your photo shoot use a few days to note when the natural lighting is best in your house. For us, it’s around 4:00 – 5:00 PM. The sun isn’t glaring through windows but it’s not dusky. Unfortunately for us, it just happened to be rainy and gray on our photo shoot day, but Savannah made it work. (For real, it might be weird, but I can’t praise her enough!)
5. Vamp it up a little. Go ahead and style up your home with things that might not be there on a daily basis. Set the table, put out pretty dishes and a bowl of fruit, or drape a throw blanket over your couch. Details like this really make photos special. People appreciate the details.
6. Keep it true to you! Don’t change the fundamental characteristics of your home because you think the people of the blog-o-sphere will like something else more. Your home is still YOUR HOME no matter the occasion. The photos of it should make you pleased. For me this is making sure our books (especially Harry Potter) and Josh’s musical instruments are front and center. Those are the things we choose to put in our home because we love them.
You can see more of our new apartment photos (and from our previous apartment) on our Home Tour page. And please check out Savannah’s photography site and lifestyle blog! She is a lovely person worth knowing.