Having your home photographed and published in a magazine is very exciting – a satisfying way to celebrate all your hard work renovating and decorating your home. There are approximately 20 different home interest magazines on the market so there’s great demand for homes features every month.
What I do is simple – working on an independent freelance basis I match up your home with the most suitable home interest magazine, working with a photographer who can take really good reconnaissance (recce) pictures that will catch the Editor’s eye and give you a better chance of having your home picked for publication.
It all starts when you send me an email to make an enquiry. I will get back to you as soon as I can, asking for high res jpegs for assessment. You can send them via We Transfer, Dropbox or other web server. I will need to see all the major rooms to get an over all picture of what your home looks like. Any ‘before’ shots are not required at this stage.
The major rooms (if you have them): sitting room, kitchen, hallway, dining room, conservatory, master bedroom, guest and children’s bedrooms, main bathroom, en suite bathroom.
I will look at your photos for an initial assessment, and if you agree, forward them to my photographer colleague for a second opinion.
The recce shoot
If the photographer thinks your home has sufficient potential, he’ll contact you to arrange a mutually convenient day and time for a recce shoot. He will need your daytime mobile telephone number and the house location in order to work out how to fit your recce shoot into his existing schedule.
The recce shoot is an initial photo session conducted before the feature has been placed with a magazine. The photographer will arrive early in the morning (approx 8am in summer) to make the most of the available light, and may leave fairly late, depending on how smoothly the shoot goes. He will explore all the available camera angles, and carry out some basic ‘styling’ to make the most of those angles. It’s best if your home is clean and tidy for the shoot, but not so tidy as to lack any personality! The photographer will take around 10-20 different pictures, including room shots and details.
What happens next?
The photographer will send off his best 10-15 recce photos to the magazine we feel is most likely to feature your home. If they decline, we will consider a second and third option until the feature is picked up by a magazine. To avoid disappointment, we only take on those homes that we feel have a reasonably good chance of being selected for publication.
Once the feature is placed
We will contact you to confirm that the house has been accepted by a magazine and confirm which one, and hopefully which issue it’s to appear in. We will arrange with you another photo shoot – the official shoot – at a day and time that is mutually convenient for you and the photographer. I may be able to attend to assist with styling and flowers etc, and to take some notes. Often though, I conduct my interview by telephone – an informal chat that can take as long as 45 minutes, and sometimes in two sessions as the magazines require a great deal of detail in the captions.
The official photo shoot
Again, this could be a long day, starting as early as possible in the morning. Styling might be more thoughtful and deliberate than before, and the magazine may send their own stylist to assist. It will be helpful if you have a small selection of accessories to hand (throws, cushions, vases) in case they’re needed.
Most magazines will require a portrait of you in one of the downstairs living rooms (eg kitchen or sitting room) and the photographer will be able to advise you as to what to wear. He may also like to include a pet in the pictures.
After the shoot, once the photographer has processed the digital pictures and sent me an edited set, I will contact you in order to arrange a mutually convenient interview day and time.
The homes magazines like to reveal the story behind each home they feature – chiefly, the transformation from how it was when you moved in, to how it is today. Typical questions I will ask include:
- What was the house like when you moved in?
- How have you changed the house since you moved in?
- How would you describe your decorating style?
The captions tend to be very detailed, with most of the magazines requiring information about where you bought key items and (roughly) how much they cost at the time.
Once the feature has been written up I will send you a copy of it to approve and amend as required. Then I will submit the feature and the photographer will submit his photographs, to the commissioning editor at the magazine. Please note that magazine subs reserve the right to alter the story, but are unlikely to change facts.
The rest is simply a waiting game. We tend to know in advance which issue the feature is going in, so there’s no risk of missing it. Either the photographer or I will alert you to the feature being in print.