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Cheap Staging Tip #247: How to make a fruit bowl look full with limited fruit

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When I'm shooting kitchens and dining rooms I always like to have fruit in a bowl. It helps add color, life and just looks nice. More often than not there isn't enough fruit in a home to fill up a large bowl. The easiest way to fill up a large bowl is put a smaller bowl inside of it! This will help take up most of the space in the big bowl while also elevating the fruit. If you have a set of nesting bowls these work the best, but if not really any bowl will do. Simply flip the smaller bowl upside down and place it in the big bowl. The fruit needs to be piled up in the direction facing the camera. This trick only works for photos because in real life it's still a sad mostly empty bowl of fruit, but for photos it works every time! Check out the video below to see how it's set up.

 

 

New Development: The Woolworth Building

Shooting new developments requires a great photographic eye, but the photos need to ultimately sell luxury homes. Having photographed over 100 new developments in New York city over the last decade has taught me a lot about telling a story. The most recent new development story I was hired to tell was that of the iconic Woolworth Tower Residences in Manhattan. These great homes are represented by the wonderful Stan Ponte and his team at Sotheby's International Realty.  

The history is rich through out the building and the views are incredible. The challenge of bringing to the life the large living rooms and the details of finishes was a lot of fun. This project was featured in Architectural Digest and you can see more photo at the link below: 

Live in the Historic Woolworth Building for $26.4 Million

10 Tips for a great interior photography shoot

Simple tips for great interior photographs are few and far in between.  Here's my top 10 list:

1.) Clear all the clutter: Stacks of paper, trash cans, spices and oils in the kitchen, and toiletries in the bathroom should all be removed. 

2.) Make sure your windows are clean. If you have a nice view or lots of sun a dirty window isn't going to help either. 

3.) Fresh flowers and a bowl of fruit are a must. It adds life and style without breaking the bank. Try just one color; all yellow lemons or all pink lilies. 

4.) Blinds and window shades must be able to be opened, and not broken. Make sure they are all in working order.

5.) Remove all appliances from kitchen counter tops. Toasters, blenders, soda water makers, and spices should all be cleared away. Kitchens look best when they are open and clear of clutter.

6.) Make sure your bathroom has recently been cleaned from top to bottom. All the grout lines in the shower should be crisp and bright, and all glass free from spots.

7.)  Groups of family photos on window ledges and table tops should be removed. They add visual clutter to a photo. 

8.) Steam your bed sheets and pillows. You can buy an inexpensive hand steamer to remove all the wrinkles. Crips linens make for a tidy photo.

9.) Buy some colorful accent pillows. Bright single colors look best and work well on couches and beds.

10.) Remove large or heavily warn furniture. Grandpa's recliner might be comfy but it's big and bulky and distracts from the room.

 

Interior Design shoot with Joanna Jones

Interior design by Joanna Jones

It's always great to shoot with my interior design clients. Telling interior stories through photos is what I do best. The April issue of New York Cottages & Gardens has a feature story with Joanna Jones of J. Jones Design. We teamed up to shoot this space to showcase her modern designs that feel sophisticated yet comfortable. Take a look at this lovely home here: Decorator Joanna Jones Revamps a Historic Apartment in Manhattan's Storied 'Black and Whites'

Architectural shoot with Wayne Turett

Shooting with architects and helping to showcase their design is always a fun and collaborative project. The penthouse designed by Wayne Turett at 210 Lafayette Street in Manhattan is a great example of this. The story of the amazing custom staircase and the lush roof deck in Manhattan was just waiting to be told. We spent the afternoon shooting the interiors to highlight the architecture as well as the lighting design. As the afternoon turned into evening we were able to capture a great sunset as well as the amazing design. This luxury home really came to life in the magic hour right as the sun had set. Here's a few photos of this incredible home.