How to Prepare a Room for Photos

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)


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?

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  1. 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. . .
    Melinda recently posted..Day 72- Cool, man . . .

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

  3. 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!
    Mindi recently posted..Pretty in Pink: Kai Cable Sweater

  4. Loved the idea! Nice photo’s.

  5. 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!
    Juanita recently posted..Decisions…decisions…

  6. 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. :)
    Melissa recently posted..Be Jealous Ladies…

    • 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!

  7. 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.

  8. Great photos!! Thanks for the tips! I will have to try this.
    Heather recently posted..One Thousand Gifts

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

  10. 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!

  11. avatar Christina Jack :

    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!

  12. These are beautiful! You look fabulous and the pictures of your girls are so incredibly sweet! Thanks for the inside tips!
    Carrie recently posted..56 through 71/365+1

  13. 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.

  14. 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! :)

  15. 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.
    Amber recently posted..Joyful Moments of Motherhood + a photo treat

  16. 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!
    Michelle recently posted..Things Heard While Getting the Boys Ready For Bed

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

  18. 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,

    Patti (PJ) recently posted.."RENEWING YOUR MIND – A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE"

    • 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!

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

  20. 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.

  21. Adorable! Will have to try this ourselves, since our headboard is a glaring hot pink, lol. Gorgeous pictures!!
    Sophie recently posted..All Services

  22. 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. :)
    Bonnie Way recently posted..Vacation Dreaming…

    • 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!

  23. 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 :)

    • 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!

  24. I love these. So cute.
    Sarah recently posted..Angry Birds Buddha Bunz Wool Dryer Balls

  25. 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

  26. Hello, what photo editing software do you use?

  27. Wow. I’m so inspired!!

  28. 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.

  29. 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.
    Jen recently posted..Writing Made Easy And Other Lies

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

  31. 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!

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

    • 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.

  33. What lens were you using?


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