Seven top tips for a successful photoshoot!

January 15, 2019

Seven top tips for a successful photoshoot!

photo credit, Carley SummersPhoto credit: Carley Summers

My book in it's entirety is due on February 5. For those of you not aware, I have a decor book coming out in early 2020 from Abrams Books. Based on my style you can likely guess what it's about!

Last week was the big photoshoot for the book. All of the photos except for one room which was at my sister's house were in my own home. This meant a ton of set changes, props galore all over the house, flowers out the ying yang and textiles pretty much anywhere and everywhere behind the camera. I just put away most of the textiles and they filled seven extra large space saver bags plus 3 plastic bins, and I still have a good amount of pillows around the house.

I learned so much I can barely describe it, but here are my top tips (in no particular order) for any large photoshoot.

1. Hire the very best photographer you can afford. I hired Carley Summers. She was phenomenal. Highly recommend.

2. Even if you are a stylist or are really good at styling (I generally feel I am), hire an extra stylist for the shoot. I hired my good friend, Sarah Ehlinger who has been styling and creative directing for nearly 20 years. I knew she would keep the shoot on schedule and push me to do better. She did. And you'll seriously pass out when you see her food styling. 

3. Hire an assistant for each day of the shoot. You need someone to do the grunt work. Move this, clean that etc etc. 

4. Create a shot list. This is imperative. The shot list is your guide to getting it done. I went through my entire manuscript and planned out what needed to be shot. I put the list in a spreadsheet with each room in a separate column so we could sort by room and chapter. By the end of the shoot we had it all. 

5. Make sure you have a staging area for all of your props. I had tables set up in the garage with all of the textiles etc out there. If I had more time, I would have organized it all by room or sorted it in some other way. It was not fun having to dig for things, but we did it.

6. Borrow and rent what you don't have. Not need to buy it all. I borrowed furniture, lanterns, pillows and more. And I rented dishes.

7. Prior to your shoot, create a Pinterest board of all of your inspiration for your photos. We referred to my board over and over for angles etc that we liked.

That's it! I'm SO excited for you to finally see the results next year! And I can't believe we have to wait so long. But I promise it will be worth it!