How to Photograph Your Projects to Get More Business

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Advice for new decorators and designers sounds like this:

“Pay a professional photographer to take photos of one great project, or even one room decorated well, and show that on your website.”

And before you tell me that you barely made any money on the job so you can’t afford to pay to have it photographed, that’s not how you should calculate whether or not to spend the money to hire a professional photographer. It’s about the business you’ll attract because your photos are so pretty. See the difference in before’s and after’s here.

It’s way better to have one professional photo than 10 projects photographed by you or someone who is NOT a professional.

According to Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz statistics, the rooms that get clicked on the most are the ones with images that show the widest view. So start with a picture showing the widest view and then have some vignette pictures.

If you’re wondering what those photographs should look like, here’s a glimpse of the HGTV show house.

I have never seen photographs with close-up shots that are taken quite so beautifully and add to the show house portfolio of 98 images.

window boxes

purple kaleEven a pretty picture with a close-up shot of purple kale can be used many ways on your website. Group it together with other photos, for example.

artistic great room

How to Photograph your Projects to Get More Business | Maria Killam

Such a fun picture of a chair leg, of all things!

How to Photograph your Projects to Get More Business | Maria Killam

Notice there is very little gray in this house, yet it’s completely on trend.

How to Photograph your Projects to Get More Business | Maria Killam

How to Photograph your Projects to Get More Business | Maria Killam

Notice all the different whites in this room. In this sitting area everything is cream except the two accent pillows on the parsons chairs.

How to Photograph your Projects to Get More Business | Maria Killam

 

How to Photograph your Projects to Get More Business | Maria Killam

Natural elements look so great with blue because they have a yellow/orange undertone, which is the complement to blue!

How to Photograph your Projects to Get More Business | Maria Killam

Sand in a hurricane glass vessel with a candle always looks good! Fill it with small shells in the summer and silver balls in the winter.

How to Photograph your Projects to Get More Business | Maria Killam

Here’s a very creative photo of the bathroom taken from inside the shower.

How to Photograph your Projects to Get More Business | Maria Killam

Instead of yet another laundry room photo, here’s a shot of the floor, door style and baseboards,

How to Photograph your Projects to Get More Business | Maria Killam

along with some clothespins that I need for my laundry room.

How to Photograph your Projects to Get More Business | Maria Killam

A glimpse into the outdoor dining area.

How to Photograph your Projects to Get More Business | Maria Killam

White cushions that live outside, even if they are an outdoor fabric, collect a fine layer of black grime. Ever wiped a table that’s been sitting outside? Your paper towel will be black!

They look pretty for a show house but that’s about it.

How to Photograph your Projects to Get More Business | Maria Killam

See all 98 photos here.

Which photo is your favourite?

Related posts:

Styling for Photos Shoots

How to Style a Kitchen for a Photo Shoot

Photo Shoot in Morgan Creek

Indigo & Turquoise Summer House in the Fraser Valley: Before & After

If you would like to transform the way you see colour, become a True Colour Expert.

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  1. Great advice, Maria! Hubby and I moved to a condo 6 months ago. I have been feverishly decorating it since. Just last week I hired a professional who does magazine work to take photos of my home that I’ll use on my (tired) website. It can’t help but bring me more biz. Woohoo!!!
    I’ll be at the Design Bloggers Conf. in Atlanta in a few weeks. Will I see you there? Hope so!

  2. Hi Maria,
    Would you have preferred the 2 pillows on the Parson chairs be cream? I don’t care for pillows with a cream background on my white sofa or white bedding. Or even in the same room.

  3. Maria , your are so right on.
    We have a realtor in town who has a professional come and take pictures of the homes he list.
    What a difference it makes ! Money well spent!

  4. Some great examples of good interiors images, Maria. Unless you shoot interiors all the time, it’s not such a straightforward genre to shoot as one might think. It’s the creative thinking of the photographer, like taking a shot of a chair leg with shallow depth of field, that has an appealing effect to viewers that counts.
    Great post!

  5. Hi Maria,
    I have been following your blog for about a year now. Just love your take on things and look forward to seeing you in my inbox. I have just RSVP ‘d to the Chilliwack decorating store that you will be speaking at on Feb. 25th. My husband and I will be building a home this summer in West Mission. We are building a home in the woods with waterfront to the Stave River! Could be a great project for you to be involved in as the whole thing will be quite unique and timley for anyone who is thinking of downsizing from the McMansion into a green, sustainable, 1800 sq. ft. affordable 2 bed/ 2 bath home. I was thinking of pitching it as a great editorial piece for Sunset Magazine. Both my husband Rick and myself are longtime realtors in the valley. I have staged and photographed a few homes in the past 21 years. This Christmas I took your advice and bought a really good camara ( amazing how good the phone pics were too!) and I am freshly motivated now with my new toy. Thanks for your frank and confident advice. I like to think that is my style as well. We look forward to meeting you in person.
    Best,
    Brenda

  6. Love the glass cupola and weather-vane!
    I also love the stain on the wide hardwood boards. Maria, is this what you would call a medium stain value? I think you had said in one of your posts some years ago that his is the most versatile wood floor colour to work with?

  7. You ‘re Absolutely right! A professional photographer is worth the investment. Even if you find a creative thinking one, a designer should always be present at the photo shoot; the designer can note on a plan the shots that the photographer should be taking and the details to zoom in… After all, the designer intended everything to be at a designated place, so they know best what to capture and a creative photographer can frame the work beautifully.

  8. I couldn’t agree with this more – but it applies to any business you do! There are many makeup artists out there that have shoddy iPhone photos of their work, or Dental offices with crappy photos of their offices on their websites! It’s really true for whatever form that you are marketing yourself – Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook too. I have recently started a small online Stock Photography Shop relating to Beauty. Maybe I should do some still lifes relating to Interior Design?
    Would love anyone’s input! And yours too of course Maria! https://beautigurlz-stock-shop.myshopify.com

  9. Professional photos do make all the difference in drawing people in! As a Vancouver realtor, I always have my professional photographer shoot the photos. And I am hands on in directing him to my vision.

    I, too, have signed up for your talk in Chilliwack next Wednesday. I already have the e-book, but it will be wonderful to get a hands on lesson from you Maria!

    ps. I’m looking forward to meeting you too Brenda.