How to independently prepare a budget apartment for interior photography?


So, it is obvious that in order to create high-quality advertising photos, an apartment needs to be prepared. But there is not always a budget for a decorator. Today we will focus on budget apartments, which make up the overwhelming part of the real estate market.

Professional photographs of the interior of a house near Moscow in a presentation of real estate for sale made by interior photographer Kirill Toll

Note. The first illustrations to the text were photographs of the interior of the house, which were taken as part of the pre-sale preparation. At the same time, there is practically no special decoration, with the exception of rare frames. 

So, at the beginning of the article, I will try to set the main direction of creative thought, and only then, I will present a specific set of accessories available in any major city for modest money or even free.

The methodologies that I want to share apply to the premium segment as well, with the only difference that with a larger budget you can afford more expensive items and services of a decorating specialist.

To avoid unnecessary actions on the way to the goal, it is important for us to formulate it accurately . And our goal is:

To create a feeling of comfort from our premises using a minimum of actions and accessories. Having set a goal, let’s divide it into simple components.

About photography of simple houses for sale with an example1) Checking lighting devices for serviceability and uniformity of bulbs. All bulbs must shine with the same intensity and color temperature, all shades must be in place or turned to the camera with their best sides. 

2) The main technical part of preparing for interior photography is to clean as many items as possible: from wires, tees, extension cords and ironing boards to photo frames, magazine bales, etc. Why is this?
We want to achieve visual comfort. We will eliminate all redundant interior details that interfere with our task, leaving only the base – furniture, which, if necessary, should also be redistributed or adjusted the arrangement already during the photo session.

Flower lover's house and apartmentIt is advisable to remove from bookshelves those books, the spines of which are sharply out of the general row of books. 
Let’s pay attention to details that distract from the interior itself: pillows, pillows, flower pots and vases, figurines and figurines, icons, six-seven-branched candelabra and similar things that convey what will be superfluous for a potential buyer.


3) Leaving the base from the living apartment, you need to analyze the space and see the places that are worth filling or focusing on.
In the process of any space filling, be sure to check the color scheme of the room. What does it mean? It is advisable to avoid objects that, in color or brightness, are completely out of the space of the room.

Photographing 2 simple kopeck pieces in Moscow, as an exampleWhen outlining places for accents, keep in mind that there should not be many accents, and each accent plays a clear role. If we forget about the above, then we run the risk of introducing into the interior that anarchy, which we diligently got rid of during the cleaning process. We don’t need overloaded photos.

What to look for when placing accents?

Good places are large surfaces: writing, dining or kitchen tables, bookcases or bookshelves, window sills, sofas or beds and, of course, a large empty wall or empty corner of a room.

What objects are convenient for creating accents or other types of filling?

In addition to the items that were removed during the first part of the work, we have a lot of cheap goods from IKEA, FIXPRICE.
How are these stores good for our purpose? They provide a very cheap list of items that are “markers” of civilized life for many Russians.

INTERIORS OF TWO SIMPLE ONE-ROOM APARTMENTSImportant note. Goods purchased in stores can be returned if their packaging and functionality are not damaged. You just take them for a while, and leave them, only if you wish.

However, if you feel sorry for the time to visit the shops, then there is another opportunity: walk through your friends and neighbors. They will gladly lend you one of the desired accessories for a few days.

What to do before visiting the store for decor?

Before visiting the store, it is worth making an EXACT LOCATION LIST to fill out. Otherwise, you are doomed to acquire things that are completely unnecessary.

Example of a list of locations

Your list should be something like this:
– On the kitchen table – with fruits (light or dark) mb. in a vase or flowers (flower) in a vase (selection of matching colors).
– In the room on the sofa – put a forgotten magazine (book), blanket (color), pillow or pillows.
– Wall without filling – hours or…. Note. Some lightweight items can be attached to double-sided tape.
– – Corner of the room without filling – floor vase with dead wood or flowers.

Photographing a cottage for saleSelling an apartment is a serious matter and requires respect for the very process that takes place somewhere in the Buyer very slowly.

Without a doubt, almost all Buyers know that they have to renovate an apartment for themselves. But it is always more pleasant for any person to buy a house with a good history.

Let’s talk about those items that can be used for decoration

If you are not an experienced artist, then it is better to choose bright and light flowers and fruits. Green apples or thick stems of a bouquet rarely match the color of the interior, but a vase can hide thick stems, and apples are both yellow and light red.

For bowls for fruit or vases for flowers, the easiest way is to choose transparent glass or white.

The good news: Artificial fruits and flowers often look pretty decent from a distance.

About the “first photo”

Many marketers believe that the first entry photo of an object, its cover, is very important. Their opinion is that if, among the enumeration of a vast number of offers, the Client has held his gaze for 2-3 extra seconds – this is already a big step towards success, towards personal interest in the object. Some very real and funny moves are possible for this.

As raisins are added to a roll in the form of a “chip”, so I recommend you as some opportunity to put something moderately unexpected on the first photo. Positive, of course. 

Finding a way to catch the viewer’s attention can be trivial – flowers and fruits, but other objects are also possible, for example, a balloon on the ceiling, chess on a coffee table, a bright gift box with bows, etc. The specific decision and its acceptability are yours, while for me is the ability to make a beautiful shot and give you a creative impulse to search for objects.

Specific items for decoration. Inexpensive.

Here are some useful items from the stores mentioned above. Take them not for granted, but for the sake of starting your fantasy.


items for interior photography


flowers for interior photography of an apartment

Toys, gifts, kitchen utensils, etc.vases for interior photography of an apartment

Afterword with raisins

Once again, I will return to the space of an empty wall, if you have one. I have already recommended wall clocks and canvases by the masters. But an inner voice asked for specifics on the topic. And I cannot be silent, I give out a simple and cheap move worthy of attention.
For a ridiculous amount of 200-600 rubles, you can purchase a publication of 12 paintings by great artists on excellent paper in the size of A2 or A3. This edition is called … a calendar.
All you have to do is trim the edges, insert into a mat or frame, or stick on a flat white base – voila! You have a gallery of wonderful paintings at home. Here are examples of publications from biblioglobus.

accessories for an interior photo shoot

The most recent afterword

It is good if the Buyer is interested in your apartment. Better if you come. But this is not yet the goal. The buyer will visit many more objects, see and forget a lot. It is possible that his head is spinning from these rooms, furniture and wallpaper. And here for you there is one more task – so that he remembers your object. 

In the premium segment of real estate, the wisest of realtors present a booklet to the interested person at the end of the visit. It is believed that such a move increases the chance that the object will not be forgotten by an overloaded client.

In the budget segment, I would recommend just printing 1-3 photos in 10 x 15 cm format with a white frame for neatness and presenting it with your autograph to the visitor. 

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