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How to Prepare a Room for Photos
Photography Ideas

How to prepare a room for photos
Do you think your house is a hot mess to really photograph in?? I know I always thought that! I would look at other people’s photos of these beautiful shots and think, I have too much crap in my house to take those pictures. I’m not just talking about clutter (which I have too) but just decor type stuff. I LOVE my walls to be covered in photos (makes it feel like home when you move every few years).

After seeing a beautiful session by Stephanie Belton Photography where she photographed her friend Claire of Claire Lane Photography at her home in their bedroom. I love the comfort and feel of those images so I was inspired and determined to capture some in my bedroom.

However, my bedroom isn’t photo ready! We have a huge red stripped head board, candles hanging on the wall, a sign above our bed with the quote “I like me best when I’m with you.” I love it for everyday living but not for photos. I decided to make it photo ready though!

What to do:

I took down the headboard, candles, sign, removed the lamps and alarm clock off the side tables. Cleared as much junk out of the way. I also flipped my comforter over since it’s brown but the under side is a creamy white. Holy cow! I now have a place to take decent photos. Not to mention the light in my bedroom in the afternoon is AMAZING!!

Here are a few pictures I took of myself, because I just completely cleared out my room and the kids were napping. I wasn’t wasting my hard work :O)


Pullback


As you can see, I was trying to use a reflector as well, which I used my headboard to prop it up.

The next day, I sweet talked the girls into a mini photo shoot in my room. I will treasure these pictures for years to come because they really capture their relationships without all the crazy distractions that my house has.


I have yet to put the headboard back up because I still have more photo ideas I want to try out.

A challenge for you:

I challenge you to look at a room you have always wanted to photograph in. Take 15 minutes to clear it out and get it ready. You will be so happy you did!!

What room would you like to shoot in?

the unexpected everday posts

52 Comments
  • March 13, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Wow- fantastic images! Your girls are adorable- and I really like those beautiful photos of you- especially with your baby bump! Cool how you got rid of the distractions- it has got me thinking about my grandchildren arriving in a few weeks. Hmmmm. . .

  • Cindy
    March 13, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Love this idea! I can’t take off my headboard, but you have me brainstorming other ideas. :)

  • Mindi
    March 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Thanks for the inspiration! Thinking about what room to do. Just this weekend I discovered that the light in my son’s room is perfect toward the mid afternoon. Love the pics of your girls. Just precious!

  • Connie
    March 13, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Loved the idea! Nice photo’s.

  • March 13, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    I have just recently done a maternity session in my living room which I have repainted just so I can do pictures in it! It has hard wood flooring already! I have also taken all excess toys and clutter from the room so that the morning of the session I only have to pick up any stragglers, move my couches around, and set up my stuff! Literally takes an hour to do it all! And that’s bc I usually have a 2 yr old “helping” by making more messes. :-) I’m loving it, and want to do more!! I also have goals to setup spots around our yard for pictures too since I live in the country!

  • March 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Courtney, you are GORGEOUS my friend! I love that second shot of you. Your kids are absolutely adorable and their personalities definitely shine in those photos. I’ve been wanting to do this in my room but we’ve been prepping to paint for forever! Our room is blue and not a pretty blue (like Adalyn’s). Trying to decide if I should go tan or grey to prevent color cast. Yes, I am painting for photography purposes. lol Karl thinks I’m nuts. hehe But Adalyn now has an amazing room to photograph in. I just need to get in there and do it. Thank you for the inspiration as always. :)

    • Courtney
      March 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      You are sweet!! Listen, I know all about crazy wall colors! I have sea foam green in my living room. What was I thinking??? I can’t wait to move and paint all my rooms a nice neutral color for photos! Can’t wait to see some of your pics!

  • March 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Great advise. I’m going to put some of these in practice asap. I actually have the opposite problem. I feel like my bedroom is too sparse and it needs to be cozied up a little but the lighting in there is awesome.

    • Courtney
      March 17, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      I wish I had your problem! Can I just move in with you? :)

  • March 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Great photos!! Thanks for the tips! I will have to try this.

  • March 13, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    So excited! Thanks for the tips! I think I might try moving some things around in my kitchen!

  • Danielle
    March 13, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    I actually just sort of did this on Monday! My oldest daughters have EXCELLENT light in their room and it’s painted a light, warm pink and they have cream colored curtains…so the light is all creamy and soft in there :) I took some pictures of my youngest playing in there (avoiding the gigantic mess of course) and I was really happy with some of them!

  • Christina Jack
    March 13, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Love the pics. I love forward to the day that i’ll be able to take beautiful pics like this of my 3.5 yo boisterous boy and my 1 yo girl. Currently, all i’m getting is Sienna going up to him with a big smile and Caleb pushing her or hurting her in some way (not a good day today either!). Anyway, i’m praying that he’ll love and appreciate her as he matures and that i’ll be able to capture it!

  • March 13, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    These are beautiful! You look fabulous and the pictures of your girls are so incredibly sweet! Thanks for the inside tips!

  • Pam
    March 13, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    You inspire me to try some different rooms in the house it seems like I keep going back to the same spot always! Love the first pic very pretty.

  • Siomara M.
    March 13, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    What an awesome idea!!!! I have a fluffy white comforter and the perfect couch and cleared out wall to use to take photos. Thanks so much for the idea. I can’t wait to try it out! :)

  • March 13, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    It’s so interesting that you posted this, because I have thought many times. How the heck does she have so much empty wall space. Unfortunately, I don’t have an area in my bedroom where I could move things on my own, but when I redo the guest room for the baby I am going to try to make a space that can be easily cleared.

  • March 14, 2012 at 4:31 AM

    I discovered your website through the SITS girls and I am so glad I did! I really like your post about positioning in thirds and clearing out your space before you take the photographs. Great ideas!

    • Courtney
      March 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      Welcome!! I’m so glad you are finding some useful information!! Yay!

  • March 14, 2012 at 6:52 AM

    Great photos! Your girls are adorable!! I’ve got to try this. Thanks for the tip!

  • March 14, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Hey Courtney! What beautiful children and gorgeous photos! I hope it isn’t completely true what was said about judging my blog for its photos, because I am definitely a lousy photographer! LOL! Even when we go on vacations, I have my hubby takes Most of the photos and then I put them on my computer! LOL! I’m definitely going to bookmark your post so I can revisit it until I get the hang of photography! LOL! God Bless you,

    PJ

    • Courtney
      March 17, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      Don’t rely on your hubby! You can do it!!! I promise!!! I’m sure you are not a lousy photographer! Maybe you just need a few more tricks up your sleeve!

  • March 15, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Oh, how absolutely lovely! I will have to try this one day. Thanks for the tutorial and pull backs!

  • March 16, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Love these! Makes me re-evaluate our master bedroom. I was about to hang a curtain rod behind our powder blue head board to add more color up the wall. And after seeing these it makes think it will be a great idea because I can drape fabrics of all kinds and practice on my kiddos. Thanks for being a springboard for great ideas.

  • March 16, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Adorable! Will have to try this ourselves, since our headboard is a glaring hot pink, lol. Gorgeous pictures!!

    • Courtney
      March 19, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      Hot pink! I love it but true, it may not be ideal for photos!

  • March 17, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Wow, those are awesome photos! I also always have trouble finding a room to take pictures in, but you’ve made me start thinking a little bit. However, how do you get self-portraits to be in focus? I tried taking a bunch the other day and whenever I put my camera on a timer, it seemed to forget how to focus. Maybe I need to play with it more. :)

    • Courtney
      March 19, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      Using the timer is a challenge for finding focus! Maybe you could put a prop in the photo for your camera to focus on so it locks focus and you can step in and hopefully be in focus. It takes a LONG time and lots of practice to get the focus down. I used to have to take about 100 pictures to get one or two in focus. I move myself around just a little in hopes that the camera can find me. I also use a remote or interval timer (not sure if your camera has the option). Those both help because the camera searches for focus before taking a picture! You can do it! Don’t give up!

  • March 17, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    I love this post! I’m always comparing my house to pictures that I see – especially houses that are not in India! However, I recently cleared out our bedroom and took some pretty decent photos of a friend in there :)

    • Courtney
      March 17, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      That is fantastic! I have learned not to compare my house to those in photos because as you can see, one can easily make the room very different in just a few minutes! So glad to hear you got some great shots of your friend!

      • March 17, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        Thats true :) I will try hard not to compare from now on, and do my best working with what is available to me :)

  • March 23, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    I love these. So cute.

  • Emily M.
    July 4, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Courtney- I reread this post and thought about rooms I’d like to take photos in. I will tell you ONE thing. Our next house will NOT have red carpet in it! Never again! lol

  • Patricia
    July 15, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Hello, what photo editing software do you use?

  • Sarah P
    February 20, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Wow. I’m so inspired!!

    • Courtney
      February 25, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      Love hearing that! Thanks!

  • Michelle
    February 20, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    love their toes in the last shot. i look around my house and have trouble seeing which room would be the easiest to make photo ready. but i guess, even just a section of my living room would be nice. i like the green walls. thanks for your entry.

    • Courtney
      February 25, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      Yes, all you need to do is find a corner with great light :)

  • Jen
    February 20, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    These photos are terrific. I have a couple of rooms that I want to take photos in but I don’t know how to make the lighting work. That’s my biggest challenge.

    • Courtney
      February 25, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      Play around with different options in that room and I’m sure you will find something that works for you :)

  • DK Brittain
    January 8, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    What if you have colored walls….a greenish color….would this still work?

    • January 10, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      It will be a challenge because the greenish color will leave a color cast on the skin but if you use natural light and get close to the window that should help.

  • Reva
    January 8, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    love this! I have also flipped my covers, it works wonders. What size reflector did you use for this? It’s the next thing to buy on my list and I’m only buying one size for now!

    • January 10, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      I have a larger size I got years ago. But honestly, I have only used it a handful of times. :)

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  • Denise
    June 4, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    Where did the subjects sit and where was the photographer positioned while taking these pictures?!

    • June 5, 2014 at 5:22 PM

      The girls and the ones of me were sitting on the upper/middle left hand side. When I was taking the photos I was standing where you see the pull back in the same post but I got in closer and down lower.

  • Steph
    June 5, 2014 at 6:44 AM

    What lens were you using?

    • June 5, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      I believe these were taken with my 50mm 1.4 on my Nikon D700.

  • Silvina
    June 4, 2015 at 11:02 PM

    great shots! great ideas! Sometimes I take pictures in the kitchen, near the window with the fridge as a white background :)
    I’ll think of more places… need to put some things in order first :-/

    Do you have an article of the use of reflectors? When? Why? How?
    Thank you in advance,

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