Make a list of the room views and details you want to end up with in order to estimate how long it will take to shoot. (One word of caution: If you want to photograph the entire big house in magazine-quality looks, allocate more than one day.) You’ll also need to compile a wish list of items for your stylist to track down.
Recasting a 3D interior into a striking 2D image is more complicated than it seems, and the stylist’s job is to act as a translator between the two worlds.
Los Angeles stylist Emily Bowser and AD100 designer Mandy Cheng collaborate for the first time on Hamilton Actors Emmy Raver-Lampman and Daveed Diggs. Designers, Cheng says, “are focused on getting people to walk in different directions. Stylists focus on how the lenses line up through the camera lens.” As Bowser puts it, “It’s good to have an outside perspective. Because sometimes designers focus on Instead of focusing on the things that will be noticed in the picture.”
Shooting, Bowser says, will take a lot of time “throwing huge things around and moving them an inch,” for example, moving your perfectly placed sofa to the side to clear the view around the gorgeous fireplace you also installed. Likewise, stylists understand the use of props, flowers, or leaves for specific compositional purposes: tall, sculptural branches that enliven expansive cabinets or blank walls, for example. In addition to basic photography considerations, your stylist will consider not only how to make each photo a winner, but also the overall narrative of the home: What story do the photos tell together, and how does each contribute?” It’s more about conveying emotion in an image than every inch of space,” is Ten Have’s mantra.
the cost you should expect
Core billing for stylists is usually done by time. Most of the day rates charged depend on your local market, and home design firms may start at around $750 to $1,000 or more. (Work done for larger companies is usually more expensive.) This rate applies equally to the number of days to prepare for the shoot, the shoot itself, and the time it takes to return the borrowed item afterwards.
Further costs will include floral supplies ($300 to $1,000 for the entire house, depending on location) and sometimes rent for accessories that cannot be borrowed or purchased and returned in the memorandum (usually 10% to 15% of retail price) %). If a lot of travel is involved, stylists may also be charged for those hours and miles. If overnight stay is required, of course accommodation and meals.
If you want to take as many photos as possible in one day, you may want to find an assistant (usually $350-$400) who can pick up things on the perimeter, prepare flowers, and reset rooms after the photography team moves. Lidbeck Brent pointed to a second potential cost-saving method: “Go in the day before and set it up so everything is ready when the photographer arrives” the next morning.
Why you’ll be glad you’re allied with a stylist
Yes, photography is expensive. And, Katie Rosenfeld asserts, doing it right is “everything worth it” and “a great investment” — one of the best things you can do to build your reputation and grow your business.
“Just because you’re a designer, it doesn’t mean you know how to take photos,” Cheng reminds us. A talented stylist will see your work in a whole new light – and that skill is a trait, not a flaw. After all, you want your photos to attract and please people who aren’t designers themselves. As 10 Have puts it, “Photography can be expensive, but if it’s a good project you’re proud of, the imagery is there forever.” That’s the basic ROI.