Photo shoot: A special project & the Truth Behind Photoshoots

One of my favorite aspects of decorating houses is photographing them.  Something about taking photos makes the project feel fully realized.  Bringing flowers in and primping a house for photos so that it looks its best = so much fun... and a TON of work.

 {Living Room Pic}

During photo shoots, things often get rearranged and I often bring in flowers, plants, furnishings and props.  It's a bit like an install day except the client is the camera and anyone who will see the photos (like you all and any potential clients! ;)  I have some clients' whose homes I fully accessorize and style on installation day so on photoshoot days, we come in a pretty much just shoot (with flowers) and I have other homes where we're really making some changes.  (When Better Homes & Gardens photographed my house, they hid light fixtures, took out rugs, brought in rugs, lots of accessories and even furniture!!  I remember being shocked but I've adopted a similar method in certain projects of mine so that I can show my work in its best light.  I realized that magazines have a "look" that they can bring to any home they photograph, just as I have  "look" that I can bring to any home I have photographed and that if I want to bring in the type of clients who love my style, I need to show my style.)  

{The foyer chandy!!}

Having photos of your work taken is a big investment and so I make sure when I do it that I am photographing my clients' homes as I envision them.  My job is about about designing homes for my clients to love, not about designing homes that embody my personal style.  So...  often when I photograph projects, I'll put a little bit more "me" in the styling of the rooms so that potential clients can really  a feel for how I design rooms when I am the final decision maker. 

I would say my clients' styles are -for the most part- very different, but their projects all have a similar look that comes from me.   As I've been in business longer, I have more and more clients coming to me for my "look."  

{Taking pics!!}

I think this comes in part from seeing photographs of my finished work and trusting that they'll love what I can do for them. I have clients who have me fully accessorize their homes by playing with all of their existing accessories & artwork and adding in some new ones, and I have clients who - once the furnishings are in place- take their time and accessorize over time.  Both methods can yield beautiful results and I'll often  help clients with "tweaking" to get it all right.

{living room cocktail tables} 

The project we shot yesterday (and that I'm going to in less than an hour!!) is a really special one to me.  I've been working with my client for over three years now and I love her & her family.  She has been with me during my major learning curve years (haha maybe they all have!! ;) ;) and is still here now!! She's influenced the way I run my business and we've learned a lot together.  She has amazing taste, is super-involved in the design process and has a true passion for design and homes.

{the bedroom ottoman}

I can't even really describe how good it felt yesterday to take photos of this project that I've eat, slept and breathed for so long.  I am so incredibly thankful to my client who's taught me so much and who has trusted me over the years to help her create something so pretty.  (And honestly, it would have been beautiful with or without me, so I'm thankful I got to come along.)  Working with my client on her home for so long was really one of the most influential projects I've taken on, and my client's always going to be in my heart.  

wow.. Did you know you could get so emotional about a decorating project??! hahah  My husband will make fun of me later. ;)

I'm off for another day of shooting, so fingers crossed the clouds go away sometime!!

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.


Holly said...

Of course you can be emotional about your projects - you are serving a major role in the feeling and the emotions that your client feels each and every day they come into their home and live in their home - and that's a huge compliment to you. I like reading about the way projects evolve and the relationships that form over time with clients. Good luck with the rest of the shoot.

Tiffany Leigh Interior Design said...

Lauren I think it's absolutely beautiful that you connect with your clients on such a level, it says something about you as a designer! Also, great points about the photos. I had never really considered that in a photo, you can make a project more 'you' to attract the right clientel, simply with temporary styling. I will be using this in the future without a doubt!

BaileyWife said...

This is EXACTLY why I wished you lived in the Midwest with me! You are amazing!!~Kim

Mary Ann at classic•casual•home said...

Taking the photos must feel like a great sense of accomplishment. Love the light fixture!

Amber King said...

Great post, I love the behind the scenes, I cant wait to see the photos! I LOVE that light fixture, it is so unique.

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pve design said...

I love that chandie! Thanks for sharing all your emotions...I can feel them from each and every post.

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Lauren- I love your approach to photography - it captures a fleeting glimpse of a room and a fabulous photograph captures emotion as well.

I remember the BH&G shoot details you shared of your older house and so enjoy all the behind-the-scenes -stuff that goes into the magic of an effortless photograph. Can't wait to see the new pics! The chandy on that beautifully coffered ceiling is fantastic!

Loretta said...

It's only natural to be a little emotional about our projects - we put so much of ourselves into them, working so closely with our clients and creating a home with lasting style for them - so much time, energy - not just on working hours but off-hours, because you can't turn creativity off. Love your work as always - Cris

Rebecca Gibbs @ gibbgabb said...

Cannot wait to see how they turn out, Lauren! I loved seeing all your teaser pics on Instagram today! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the process behind the shoot. Very informative and inspiring! I work at Beth Haley Design in Nashville TN and we definitely have a distinctive look, but I've never thought about amping up your own personal style in a photo shoot. I mean it totally makes sense...thanks for sharing! :) -Rebecca

Lynford Rozario said...

Thanks for sharing your emotions...:)
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manika jain said...

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