Shoot My House


Top tips for preparing your location for stills photography

Get ready for your first stills photography shoot.

stills photography location in Cape Town

The first time a stills photography shoot confirms your home or property can be a little daunting. What should you expect? What do they expect?

Using private properties for stills photography is big business both in South Africa and world wide.

Here are the TOP 5 Tips that we at Shoot My House have for getting ready for your first stills photo shoot.

  1. Probably the most important thing is to offer a clean and tidy “canvas” for the photography team. That means taking a good long look at what is in your space – and particularly the areas that the team are interested in and making sure that it is not cluttered with paperwork and odds and ends that can pile up when we are not consciously aware. As painful as this can be at the time you will most likely be rather grateful afterwards that you were forced to bring order to what had possibly become a little disorganised and messy (hello!!! my home!!!)
  2. Pack away your precious items. Although theft is just not an issue and we have had one incident in the 10 years we, Shoot my House, have been in business (and still suspect that infact the item was misplaced by the owners) – it is just prudent to put precious, sentimental, very valuable items safely away. What can happen on a shoot is that teams need to move things around in order to frame the shot they are looking for and in the process place objects from the home in unfamiliar places. After the shoot they are supposed to replace all these items but sometimes in the rush things are forgotten.
  3. Provide a portion of your kitchen for use by the photo shoot team. unlike Film shoots where everything is provided, photo shoots rely to some extent on the location they are shooting at to provide them with a space to set out their lunch, an area to plug a kettle in to make coffee and tea and they may even request a portion of your fridge in which to store product or some items like milk. We always insist that they request fridge space before the day of the shoot. Alternatively if you have an exterior area with access to water and some prep area with a table and an electrical point you can also set that up as an alternative to the team utilising your kitchen. The photoshoot teams are required to bring their own cutlery and crockery, kettles etc so they should not request the use of yours.
  4. Provide toilet facilities for the photoshoot team. Because a stills photography team is small and compact they do not have the vehicles or personnel required to tow around mobile toilets like film shoot crews do. Therefore photo shoot locations provide the team with a guest loo that they can use on the shoot day. Make sure that your loo is stocked with toilet paper. You may want to put away your Jo Malone  (or the like) hand products and diffusers and offer a simple bar of soap and provide a hand towel that is not your best. You don’t want a model to wash her face and then unthinkingly wipe it full of makeup on your beautiful best new fluffy white towels.
  5. Remember that this is supposed to be fun. The personnel of the stills shoot are in fact your clients as they are paying you for the use of your space. In short be welcoming, be friendly and enjoy both the experience of a glamorous and mystified industry and of course enjoy the fees that these pretty low key shoots brings in!!

The perfect location for stills photography