Photoshoot Preparation

Neil has put together a handy guide on preparing your property to get the most out of a photoshoot. Discover what should tidy away and remove in Part 1 of his ‘Photoshoot Preparation’ article.

The main reason for hospitality businesses to have a photoshoot is, obviously, promotional marketing. As well as showing the property to potential customers, you are also trying to sell a lifestyle.

I often see websites with photos that fulfil the former perfectly. They show the rooms as best they can but the images are, ultimately, a bit bland. Properties will not have been fully prepped beforehand; add to that bad lighting and wonky angles and the photos are not exactly going to make the property look inviting.

There are a few important things to consider before you pick up a camera or book a professional photographer:

Make sure the property is clean and tidy

During my time as an interiors photographer, I have been constantly surprised by the state of some properties when I arrive.

More often than you’d think, the owner won’t have tidied up at all, meaning that I have to clean and clear things away before I can start. This, of course, affects how many photos I can take.

General things to look out for throughout the property are:

  • Light bulbs. Replace any bulbs that are not working. An easy way to add a bit of sparkle to your photographs is to turn the lights on. If some bulbs are not working, it can make the place look scrappy and uncared for.
  • Open all the blinds and curtains. You want as much light flooding in as possible. Be aware, however, that crooked blinds never look good and curtains need to hang nicely.
  • Electric cables. Big knots of electrical cables and leads under any tables or by the TV may not be noticeable to you because you’re used to them, but they really stand out in photographs and make the place look scruffy.
  • Pets. Loveable as they are, not everyone wants to – or can – spend time with Tiddles or Spot. Tidy away pet toys and food bowls.

Kitchens

Kitchen : BEFORE

You might have cleaned, but you also need to tidy away the cleaning products. No one wants to be reminded of washing up and house work when they are looking to book a relaxing holiday.

  • Move the sponges, cloths and washing up liquid out of sight.
  • Put tea towels and oven gloves away in a drawer.
  • Clear unneeded clutter from the counters: this includes baskets with sachets of tea and coffee.
  • Remove general clutter such as fridge magnets.
  • Sweep and clean the floor.
Kitchen : AFTER

Bedrooms

Bedroom : BEFORE

As well as the basics of making sure the bedroom is clean and tidy, there are a few things that I recommend excluding.

  • Kettles and drinks stations should generally be removed.
  • Again, clear up electrical cables, especially under bedside tables.
  • Check that the bedside lamps are working.
  • Remove bathrobes from the back of doors.
  • Remove Cuddly toys!
Bedroom : AFTER

Bathrooms

Bathroom : BEFORE

There are a few important rules when preparing a bathroom. They can be a big selling point but a dirty or messy bathroom is a big turn off.

  • Hide away shower products: they never look good, especially if they are half empty.
  • Cleaning products should be put away in a cupboard. A bottle of toilet cleaner or a toilet brush on the floor next to the loo is not attractive.
  • Towels, as a general rule, shouldn’t be put out.
  • Toilet roll should either be new and unused or not there at all.
  • Give the mirror a good clean. Smears really show up in photos.
  • Most importantly, toilet seats should always be down for obvious reasons.
Bathroom : AFTER

Exterior

The outside of your property may not always be the easiest to clean up, but just a bit of tidying and creative hiding is what is needed here.

  • Move any vehicles you can away from the building and off the drive. Prospective guests want to see a photo of the property, not your car.
  • General garden mess. Put away kids toys, bags of garden waste, garden tools.
  • Tidy up and wipe down any garden furniture.
  • Hide the bins. Nothing brings down an exterior photo like a bin. It’s not something people need to be reminded of.
  • Sweep the patio.
Kitchen : BEFORE
Kitchen : AFTER

Summary

Now what needs to be removed when preparing for a photoshoot. I’ve described some common oversights and highlighted the items that you don’t want to include in your marketing photos.

Next issue, I will look at what you can add to make your setting look more professional and how you can create atmosphere for an upcoming photoshoot.