what to consider when styling a room for a photo shoot

You might just think that styling a room to be ready to shoot just means adding some fresh flowers here and there, piling the books neatly on the coffee table and plumping up the sofa cushions.

But there is SO much more to consider than that. For one thing, the camera picks up on a variety of sins the naked eye can sometimes miss. That smudge on the glass vase? That dark bit of fluff on the pale carpet from the sofa throw? These things need to be seen to.. and that’s part of what a stylist does too (who said it was glamorous?!)

So that’s no.1 on the ‘what to consider’ list. Clean clean clean! No.2? De-clutter. Sometimes you can walk into a room and it looks great as it is. But through a lens. There’s too much on the mantle-piece and you can’t actually see what each item is. It doesn’t add to the room, it’s just a distraction. You want everything in there to look beautiful and be the focus – don’t shoot through the clutter.

As much as I said there is MORE to styling than adding flowers and books, this is actually very important. You want to have certain props that you will always use, and these are some of them. ANY room looks great with the addition of flowers and books (in the right places of course) – so this is a simple way to add to the look without adding clutter or taking away any focus from key pieces of furniture or room details. No. 3.

Break up big spaces. No. 4. What does this mean? Well.. it seems rather obvious when you say it but, big king sized beds or large sofas can look bland and boring if their size isn’t split up into sections. Pillows and cushions at the head of the bed, and a throw or runner at the bottom to add interest and break up vast, plain areas. Likewise with sofas – add texture with throws and cushions and place them so that they ‘break up big spaces’. You wouldn’t leave a large floor space without placing a rug or coffee table in the middle of it, so don’t do it with a bed. Big spaces cry out to be used. It’s an opportunity to add interest.

And finally, when you’re looking so closely to find things to clean and spaces to de-clutter, don’t actually forget to look at how things are displayed. Are there wires hanging out of anywhere? Are the books on the bookshelf actually aligned? Are the pictures on the wall straight? Attention to detail. No.5.

These tips are probably five of the most important ones – are there any surprises amongst them?

I am actually going to do another series of posts (and no, I haven’t forgotten about ‘the illusion challenge’ – it’s still continuing!) on styling room by room, implementing these tips in each space with a before and after styling picture. Watch this space for that.. It’s coming soon..



The photo above is an example of how NOT to do it. Back in my interning days I took photos of the workshop I was in..

Notice the smudge on the glass and the (not so) delightful background of light switches? I obviously didn’t at the time…



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