How to have a successful interior photography shoot

How to have a successful interior photography shoot.

I often get asked to quote for small businesses who want beautiful images. 

This is a guide to help and explain what I consider is the best way to achieve quality images.

For an ideal shoot I would expect the following roles to be involved.

Photographer - The person who lights & captures the product working with client and creative team to achieve the best possible quality images. 

Creative Director - Creative directors are the creative leads at advertising agencies or in-house for the marketing department of a company. They work with the creative team to create, plan and deliver a strategic vision for clients.

Interior Stylist - A very important part of the team who helps in realising the brief. Hire a stylist! The job of a stylist is an art in itself. These are creative people who see all of the details that other people may not see, but make a huge difference in making a good photo GREAT!

Art Director - It’s easy to confuse creative direction with art direction, but they are not the same. The difference between art direction and creative direction is in the scope of responsibilities. Art direction marries art and design to create a cohesive aesthetic and arouse a reaction from the consumer. By definition, an art director is focused solely on aesthetics, whereas a creative director will handle strategy, campaign execution, art direction, and more.

Depending on shoot there might also be.

Location Finder

Set Builder/ Decorator

Art Director



A rece is often very important, it can bring a team together, help with the overall planning of the shoot, identify problems before the shoot day which can be worked on and as a photographer learn about the lighting conditions and how best to plan the day.


To get high quality images  it does take time, it does need a team of people working together all working towards the end goal. Getting it as right in camera means less re-touching and product looking more natural. As the old saying goes “you get what you pay for.”

Even if you feel like you only have a small budget, creating a concept for a photoshoot, planning the details with your photographer, scouting locations and coming up with a feeling and mood should be at the very least of what you are trying to accomplish. Because in the end, a commercial photoshoot is an art form in itself which takes planning.

Below is a list of things you should keep in mind when considering how to plan a commercial photo shoot.

 1. Concept - Creating a concept that will help give everyone involved a general guideline for what you are trying to achieve is the first place you should start. It may or may not take long to come up with this. Invite others within your organization to a strategic brainstorming meeting to solicit feedback and browse websites and magazines for inspiration.

 2. Photographer - Find a photographer with COMMERCIAL photography experience! I’ve been a commercial photographer for over 20 years.  A successful commercial photo shoot requires expertise in planning, location scouting, visual story telling, and a clear understanding of how the images will be used within your marketing strategy. Don’t trust this area of your marketing plan to a friend or co-worker with a camera who does some photography on the side. You won’t grow your business with that type of photography and visual branding.

3. Models - If you need people in your photos, hire models! Models know how to move and create better angles in front of a camera. Hiring a professional model eliminates inexperience and shyness in front of the camera that often comes with working with “stand in” people. Your model should not be concerned on if they look good or not because they know the photographer will make them look the best for the photo necessary. This professional experience not only ensures your photos look good but save time in the photography process allowing your photographer to spend less time directing people and more time capturing images.

4. Details - Plan every detail. If you own a restaurant, do you want your food photographed and should it include napkins, fork, spoon and a drink or do you want a conceptual photo of your food? Do you own a company that makes a product and do you want to show it in use or is a simple studio photo more how you want your company to look? If it’s in use, do you need a model? What is the story of the person who would be using your product? Where are they from, do they have a family, how tall are they, what do they like, etc…?

 5. Stylist - Hire a stylist! The job of a stylist is an art in itself. These are creative people who see all of the details that other people may not see, but make a huge difference in making a good photo GREAT!

6. Take Your Time - Getting lighting, angles, styling, models, products and details all to come together for a photo that makes your business stand out takes time. Worry less about how much time it will take and how many photos you will get, and more about how great a photo you can create. You’ll find that a handful of stand-out photos have more uses than dozens of mediocore ones. Not to mention those great photos will resognate deeper with your audiences creating a lasting impression of your brand. 

 7. Have FUN - Once all of the details are in place, remember to have fun during the shoot. It makes everyone relaxed which will lead to better photos.

Share this plan with your photographer beforehand (maybe even before you hire the photographer) via email, a phone call, or even a coffee meetup. This will help your photographer plan ahead a little bit to help you achieve your creative vision, plus they can let you know some of the ideas or challenges they see with your shot list so that they can be discussed / fixed before the shoot. A good photographer will not only be able to understand what you are going for, but they will also be able to chat with you and provide great feedback and ideas about how to achieve your vision.

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