If you are in any way interested in becoming a home stager or interior redesigner, there’s a good possibility that you are constantly redecorating your home and/or working on a new home improvement project.
When you have a natural talent for decorating, the urge to decorate is always there.
Whether or not you have any intention of redecorating any part of your home in the near future, I suggest you start photographing anything you don’t like right now, even if you’re only in the early staging of dreaming about starting your own home staging business. Whenever you’re in a room or a corner in your home (the basement, attic, laundry room, spare bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, home office, junk room) that makes you cringe, take a picture.
The reason I suggest taking your before shots right now (even before deciding when to redecorate) is because if you’re one of those people with a natural urge to decorate, at some point you’ll be suddenly inspired and you’ll dive right into the project only to realize later that you never photographed things before hand.
Once the transformation is complete, it’s hard to remember just how bad things were before.
Plus it’s impossible to recreate it for a “before” shot! When you’ve got a terrific “after” shot, you’ll really wish you had documented the transformation. If not for an actual home staging or interior redesign portfolio, but even for your own satisfaction. Let’s face it we all like to marvel at our own talents!
Several years ago, I had a kitchen with the ugliest wall paper border. I lived with it for an entire year. Then one day I stepped out of the shower and opened the bathroom door to let out some steam. This gave me a great view of the kitchen and that awful wallpaper. Suddenly I couldn’t take it anymore! I threw on my bathrobe, dragged a chair across the kitchen and there I was tearing off the border. There were no thoughts of stopping to take a photo, I just went at my unplanned kitchen redecorating project and an important home staging portfolio opportunity was lost!
I bet there are at least three areas of your house right now that you could transform for a small amount of money. If you’ve been recruited to help a friend or neighbor redecorate a room in their home, take your camera with you and be sure to capture the change that takes place.
There’s no need to wait until you learn home staging and start your own business to start putting together your portfolio.
This is one step to starting your business that you can be working on now. For tips on taking your before and after photos, read these past articles for some great advice:
- Part 1 – Photography Tips for Home Stagers
- Part 2 – Digital Camera Basics
- Part 3 – Home Staging Photos: Attention to detail
- Part 4 – How to find a strong story for your staging photos
For even more help putting together your home staging portfolio, check out the Staging Diva Ultimate Portfolio Guide: Winning Clients With The Perfect Home Staging Portfolio.
Home stagers, how long before you started your home staging business did you start taking your before pictures? Do you ever forget to take your before shots until after you have already finished a home staging project?
Please share by leaving a comment below.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and she developed the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love while helping others at the same time.[tags]home staging, home stager, home staging portfolio, photography tips for home stagers, learn home staging, home staging business, staging diva[/tags]
Such good advice! I always have the camera at hand for those “before” pictures. When I had the home inspector in to look at my last house before buying I was busy taking pictures as I knew I would be changing many, many things in this “fixer” of a house. You are also right Debra, the “after” shots bring a great sense of pride for the transformations, especially when you do the work yourself.
Great idea! Due to foreclosure on the previous house we were renting, we recently moved into another rental house a few months ago, We knew this would be temporary until we found a home of our to buy; but we didn’t expect it to happen so soon – a few weeks after moving in, we were shocked to be notified that this house was also in foreclosure (the landlord never informed us of this). So we didn’t even bother unpacking and have been living out of boxes, bags, and bins for the past few months. I’m going to make sure we take photos of the clutter now because once we start moving out in a few weeks, the transformation will be dramatic. We plan to stage it for portfolio photos before moving everything out. I haven’t yet started my staging business, but once we are in our new home, getting the business off the ground will be a priority. Thanks for all your awesome advice, Debra!
Natasha Liburd says
I decided to start my business this year and this very thing still gives me goose bumps! I still can’t explain why I have before pictures from over 3 years ago…before turning something I love to do into an actual business was even on my radar! This served as further confirmation for me:-) And yes, missing a “before” shot is a missed opportunity. An “after” shot shows a beautiful space, but showing a transformation from “before” to “after” is POWERFUL!
Ana Jackson says
You are so right Debra. I have redone rooms in my house and then realized I hadn’t taken a “before” picture just to compare it with the “after”. You can describe how the room looked before, but they say a picture is worth a thousand words!
Nicolet Groen says
I still enter a home (staged over 100 in the past 2 years) and after I’m finished I realise I had forgotten the before photos for a portfolio update!
Not only do your descriptions validate my decisions to become a Professional Home Stager, your story about going at the wallpaper border (who invented those dreadful things anyway?) so very much reminded me of something similar I did with my living room window and door trim. I just went down to the basement, got out my favorite trim paint color and started going to town painting.
Then I realized I hadn’t taken any before shots. Ah the missed opportunity.
These days, I have slowed my always formulating creative mind and now I deliberately take pictures before impulsively taking re-decorating or re-designing action.
It’s a challenge though. I’m such a forward thinker it’s hard to stay in the moment. I get so I just can’t stand looking at something one second longer.
If only I could get all of the rooms out into fruition that I have redone in my head I’d be a billionaire.
Nicole Interiors Home Staging
thought provoking says
I absolutely love your website.. Very nice colors & theme.
Did you create this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my own personal site and would love to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Many thanks!
Debra Gould says
Thanks, I’m glad you like it. I chose the colors myself and also the design. It’s not an off the shelf theme.
April Jones says
Hi am April am I love designing and did my own house am people always ask me who designs my house and I say I did and they didn’t believe me. I love designing but dont know how to get started in stage design.
Debra Gould says
Hi April, Thanks for commenting! You’ve come to the right place. My most successful Staging Diva students are exactly like you. They love decorating and people have been telling them for years how talented they are, but they don’t know where to begin when it comes to turning that talent into something they can earn money from.
I will totally show you how to get started, and everything you need to know to grow as a professional home stager. I encourage you to check out the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program. It’s the complete blueprint that you can follow step-by-step.