Over the years I have been fortunate to have personally experienced working with some amazing home brands and art directing an interiors photoshoot remains a great passion of mine.

What makes this job more dynamic is working with a team of talented people and the latest technologies. Photographer Murray Brown, and stylist Hannah Cork are just two of the great people who have made my job a dream.

It’s so important to get that ‘look and feel’ of the photography absolutely right, so the end result not only captures the essence of the brand but also provides workable assets for use across a variety of formats – right the way through from press, out-of-home and instore to web, digital and social.

But the key to success has to be about creating trends, reflecting lifestyle needs and inspiring curiosity in the shopper. New photography has the power to inspire to the point a product or service becomes a ‘must have’.

Here’s a peek into my world, with some of the processes that I live to:


#1 Having a vision

To bring your thoughts and ideas to life it’s important to firstly understand what is required and where the photography will be seen. I then tend to look at the whole big picture, scamp it out and create moodboards.

I personally get inspired by looking at trends on Pinterest and in magazines. At this point also start thinking about getting the right team together (art director, stylist and photographer) so you can be inspired together.

#2 Buy-in

It’s so important to take your client or whole team on board, to share early ideas and avoid any surprises. We discuss every detail, down to the hair and make-up and every accessory. Share visuals — from sketches to inspiration photos.

Regardless of what type of shoot it is, for example models may be involved, make sure all scenarios are thought through and a description is ready to brief. Consider your shot list and timings. Ensure to get signed-off initial drawings, moodboards, scenarios, a description of the look and feel and lighting requirements.

#3 Briefing the right team

This is the fun part, but important to get right. It makes such a difference getting the right people, freeing you up to concentrate on the bigger picture.

I’ve been on shoots with talented photographers who haven’t always been right for that particular project. I only use photographers who listen to me; they need to be behind you 100%.

Because there’s only one vision, choose the right stylist – either they should be creating the trends or bringing yours to life. If you are shooting models make sure you have a wardrobe stylist who is briefed on the models and what you have in mind for their look. Consider a hair and make-up artist – I always put a brief together showing hair and what type of make-up they should be wearing.

At this point in the process it is so important to plan, plan and plan, ensuring everyone’s briefed. Make sure that you approve the set build, the styling and props before shoot day – you are guaranteed it will go better.

#4 Shoot day

Things sometimes don’t work out as planned – that’s life! Recently we had models that didn’t look like their card, so getting them to send you a selfie or doing a casting can be invaluable. Planning and preparation help to ensure a smooth process, so make sure you have a pack with everything in it such as a shot list, all briefs and scenarios.

Checking the angle of the roomset from the offset is vital. I usually have in mind all of the angles required and formats as well as lighting. Generally for home goods and furniture I aim to capture natural light as it makes you feel like you are shooting in a home and not in a studio. I usually get the photographer to do a test prior to shoot day to avoid surprises, check any models and make sure hair and make-up is right. I typically see this as a team process, so get all of the important people involved so everyone’s happy.

Make sure to make the most of your shoot day, so consider any cameos, trend images and those incidental images that may just make great content for blogs and social media.

#5 Selection

A big job especially takes time to get the look and feel you want to achieve. When selecting photographs look at everything from lighting to models faces and postures. At this point you can brief any retouches – scratches/unwanted creases to create a perfect picture. Remember to double check that the product is matched as well as possible in terms of colour. Finally, save everything in all of the formats you need. Job done!

Dorina D’Ambrosio is Creative Director at The Behaviours Agency

The visuals in this blog are from a recent shoot with Sharps. See more examples of our work