Getting your work photographed is an important part of documenting your work as well as using it to attract new work. So, getting your work photographed needs to start at the beginning of the project, not the end.
Preparing Your Clients to Have House Photographed
It’s important to set your client’s expectations from the start of the project - you must let them know what is coming. The first step is including a clause in your contract letting the clients know that photographs are an important part of your business and how and when you will be taking photos.
You can also have a conversation with your clients about their comfort level - how much of their personal information can you share (first name, last name, neighborhood, street name, exterior shots). This conversation can put your clients at ease about privacy concerns.
As the project starts to wrap, you want to re-introduce the idea of having the house photographed. The best time to photograph a home is in conjunction with your install phase. If you wait, it is harder to get the clients on board and the house may not remain in the condition you left it. So don’t wait to hire a photographer - make it part of your project completion process.
Additional Benefits to You
You can also make photographing their home an event - something to look forward to. Maybe even encourage them to schedule a house-warming party when you’re done because the house will never look better (plus this is great publicity for the designer!)
This is also an opportunity to show clients what is possible. Sometimes you do the larger, substantial pieces and the client’s have a hard time seeing the benefits of a “finished” room - with additional details and accessories. To prepare for getting your work photographed you can bring in art and accessories - which many times clients see and want to buy.
Cost of Photoshoot
Getting your work photographed is expensive. Professional photographers are a significant expense. You’ll have to spend a day or two preparing and a day or two on site - all without being paid. You’ll have to purchase flowers and likely bring in additional art and accessories to make the space look it’s best.
As much money, time, and effort photoshoots are they are 100% WORTH IT. Spending a couple thousand dollars to make your work look great is a marketing investment. It can also be the difference in tens of thousands in design fees. It’s the best way to show what we can do as interior designers and if you are shorting yourself in this department, then you are diminishing your business’s potential.
Get Your Work Photographed!
The single best way to ensure that you can photograph your work at the end of a project is to prepare clients for that from the beginning.
If they are resistant from the start, you can decide if you’d still like to proceed with the project even if you can’t get it professionally photographed. And if you do proceed, you won’t be disappointed when the photos don’t happen.
If the client is adamant about not having their home photographed professionally, I believe it’s best to let it be, even if they signed a contract agreeing to it. You should still have taken your own photos for documentation throughout the project.