Here's some tips for creating photos for a home staging portfolio for new stagers - or freshening your established home staging website.
Because we build websites for home stagers, we are very aware that some stagers don't have a lot of photos, or photos they like for their website and home staging portfolio.
Using stock photos or "stealing" photos is not the answer!
What are new stagers to do if they haven't gotten any staging jobs and, therefore, don't have any photographs to put in their portfolio? What about an established stager who wants to focus on a new style of staging or just wants to "freshen" their website?
A while back Anthea Click's wrote a post While You Were Out I Decided To Have A Little Fun. While Anthea is an experienced home stager with lots of photos of staging jobs in her portfolio, I thought her post was a great demonstration of a way Newbie home stagers could build a portfolio. In her post she describes how she rearranged her sister-in-law's living room. She took before and after pictures which clearly demonstrated her ability to stage a room (in this case it was "staging to live", not sell). She could easily use these photos in her portfolio or on her website.
Here are some suggestions to build your portfolio of your home staging photos:
- Stage a room in your own house using furniture and accessories you have in your home
- Stage a room for a family member using their furniture and accessories or things you have in your home
- Stage a room for a friend using their furniture and accessories or things you have in your home
- Offer to stage a room for your hair dresser, dentist or your child's pre-school teacher
- Offer to stage a room for a charity, non-profit or nursing home
- Arrange a few attractive objects on a nice table top. Create some vignette photos (see below)
- Arrange a few attractive accessories on your kitchen counter. Shoot close ups of these vignettes (see below)
*These are all photos I took at my home and in my warehouse. There is no reason you cannot set up vignettes like this up in your own home*
Here are some tips for taking photos for your portfolio:
- Digital photos are free (until you print them out) Take many photos of each room and arrangement from different angles, heights, exposures, etc. I may photograph a room 20 or 30 times just to make sure I get a shot I like. Its not uncommon that I shoot 200 photos when I stage a home to ensure I get 10 or 20 photos that are fabulous.
- Your photos don't have to show the whole room. You can just capture a chair, side table & lamp if that is all you have to work with.
- Invest some time to read your camera's owners manual and learn how to use it. Learn what your camera is capable of. That investment will pay you back 1000 fold with more attractive pictures.
- Take your before and after pictures from the same angles. Take photos from multiple angles to be sure you have this covered.When shooting a home before staging, I snap a photo from each corner of the room.
- Turn on every light in the room, and every light in adjacent rooms. This makes rooms much more inviting and you're less likely to see a black hole through a door into another room.
This post is revised from a similar post I wrote on AR in 2009.