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Publication Date: 2017-03-13

Behind the Design

5 Expert Tips on Styling and Photographing Your Space

Your home is your sanctuary, and we can all agree that the condition it’s in before you run out the door can drastically set the tone for your work week. But to Alyssa Rosenheck, the home is her work. As a leading interiors and architectural photographer and stylist—you can find her work in Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Domino, and Luxe Interiors + Design, among others—Rosenheck has seen the insides of hundreds of homes. She observes the home in all its parts, analyzing how her clients have executed their vision.

To translate the designer’s ideas behind the lens, Rosenheck sees each part as an opportunity to layer in elements of creative fantasy and introduce a feeling of substance. Whether you’re a design enthusiast looking to bring new life to your space or have a pending home shoot, Rosenheck’s tips for styling a home are sure to shed some light on life behind the lens.

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1. Bring the inside outdoors 

“The winter months are nearly behind us, and what better way to start celebrating the transition of seasons than by redressing your outdoor spaces to feel like an extension of your home? On photoshoots, outdoor spaces are just as important to highlight as the indoors, and in some homes the outdoors are obviously where most of the action takes place. I love making these spaces come to life by pulling elements you would have in your coziest of living rooms and introducing them to the open air. Add some textured throws and perennial fabric pillows along with some entertaining elements—a serving tray with an ice bucket, a pitcher of water, and a snack bowl—to greet your guests.” 

Design by: Amanda Barnes Interiors

2. Turn the lights out

“I find it necessary for an image to be the most accurate representation of a room as possible, to yield what the natural eye sees. It’s camera vs. eye, and cameras are not created equal when it comes to the vast, dynamic range of our natural eye. I am known for my bright and light images, so it always surprises clients when we’re doing our walk through the house and I’m methodically flipping off all the light switches. Is it counter intuitive? Yes. But it yields the most natural look of the color of a room and all the things within it.”

Design by: Jason Arnold Interiors 

3. Introduce proof of life

“When styling for shoots, I add an element of practical fantasy to each space, but it’s important to keep it as natural and minimally invasive as possible. I call this proof of life. Use it as an opportunity to highlight the history of the home or honor the character of the client. Some of my favorite tools for introducing proof of life are an open book on a desk, fresh florals on a kitchen counter, branches to add textural layers to a bedroom, a simple necklace coming out of a jewelry dish to showcase depth, or fruit falling from a bowl as an element of interest.” 

Design by: Austin Bean Design Studio

4. Play hide and seek

“This is one of my favorite little tips to share. Let me start by saying, TVs are not sexy and I personally do not shoot them. Before arriving on location, I always request that there’s a supply of canvas art. You should have a collection of various shapes and sizes that can adequately cover electronic eye sores. This will turn a family-friendly living room into an elevated version of itself in seconds.” 

Design by: Sean Anderson Design

5. It’s all about composition

“I find composition to be much more important than the camera you have in your hand. It enables the space’s story to be told through object arrangement and placement. I can communicate a particular point of interest through my focal point or can introduce a moment of relief by emphasizing negative space. There are numerous theories behind composition, but at a very basic level, your goal should always be to achieve straight lines and balanced layers.” 

Design by: Jason Arnold Interiors 

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