How to Get Your Home Photoshoot Ready in 5 Easy Steps

Rattan lamp and side table with vintage art.

Lauren Zillinger for Laura Metzler Photography

Whether you’re preparing to shoot your space with a DSLR, snap some iPhone photos for Instagram, or just want to have your home looking spick and span prior to entertaining, we’re here to help. There are a few key tactics to keep in mind to ensure that your apartment will truly shine in photos, no matter the occasion.

Read on for five easy steps that will ensure you capture the perfect photo—and you can thank us later when your phone is blowing up with likes and comments.

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Do a Deep Clean

Devoting a weekend afternoon to wiping down and dusting every nook and cranny of your place will have it looking nice and sparkling. Ensure that your coffee table is crumb-free, your mirrors are absent of any streaks, and your bookshelves aren’t full of dust bunnies.

This process will ensure that your space shines in any photos, but take it from me: the results will also do wonders for your mental health. And if you can make this practice a regular part of your routine, even better: entertaining on the fly will feel significantly less stressful. 

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Corral Your Clutter

Some may prefer that their space has a more lived-in look while others like for their photos to seem as professionally staged as possible. No matter your preference, you’ll want to do a quick sweep through your home and tuck away any clutter that isn’t serving a purpose.

Place unopened mail in a desk drawer, clear excess trinkets off your nightstand, and hide any unsightly bottles or food containers in the kitchen. Even if you rely on such items on a day-to-day basis, they’ll detract from the well-curated look you’re aiming to convey and can be dealt with at a later time.

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Say Hello to Fresh Flowers

Bouquet of greenery on coffee table.

Lauren Zillinger for Laura Metzler Photography

The day prior to a shoot, I always make it a ritual to visit Trader Joe’s and purchase several of their affordable bouquets and stems. No, I don’t keep fresh flowers on display in my apartment every single day—I wish I could—but they truly do wonders in adding pep and sophistication to a space.

Eucalyptus is one of my go-tos and truly looks lovely in every room of the house. I also enjoy stocking up on olive branches when they’re in season, and I love grabbing roses or daffodils in hues that best match my space.

Finding a store’s premade arrangements to be a bit too vibrant for your aesthetic? Instead, buy a variety of flowers, stems, and fillers and combine them to best fit your needs upon returning home.

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Camouflage Cords

Sure, even the pros sometimes feature a stray cord or two in their photos, but if you can, unplug and relocate anything that isn’t crucial for the shot—for example, your laptop charger, your coffee maker, or any other appliance.

When shooting my entry table, I’ll often unplug my table lamp, as most pros will prefer to take photos in natural lighting anyway and tuck the cord behind it so that it isn’t visible in the frame. Of course, there is always Photoshop, but being mindful ahead of time will save you time and money in the long run. 

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Style, Style, Style

Styled coffee bar with books and tea biscuits.

Lauren Zillinger for Laura Metzler Photography

I saved what I personally find to be the best tip for last—and that is styling. While I like for my space to reflect my actual habits as much as possible, sometimes faking a set up just a bit will make for a stronger photo. In the picture above, for example, I took a few favorite mugs out of my cupboard and opted to incorporate them into my coffee bar scheme. I also set out some embroidered cocktail napkins and even a few biscuits to finish off the look.

These items help to better tell a story and illustrated exactly what I was hoping to accomplish in this nook of my home—not to mention, they look pretty darn cute on the ‘gram.