Any well experienced photographer will agree that there’s much more to photography than just pressing a button on a camera.

One thing that all BVI photographers do prior to even picking up their camera is an initial walkthrough of the location that they are about to photograph. Below are 5 reasons why at BVI the walkthrough is important to our photographers and you, our client.

1. Familiarize with the Location / Space

On almost every photo shoot, it is the first time that our photographers are walking into the space that they are about to photograph. By taking the time to walk around, we can begin to familiarize our surroundings and prepare a mental checklist of things that stand out such as available light, objects in a room, people occupying the space, weather, colors, etc. Some houses are dynamic and complex , which require a bit more time to get to know than others. For example, I recall some shots that took me the whole shoot to meditate on, while I made the others in the meantime.

2. Conversation with Our Clients

In the best case scenario, we are able to walk through the space with our clients. We like to think of how our photographs can tell a story, and there’s a number of ways a story can be told. This is a great opportunity to discuss what’s important to our clients, and any concerns that they may have. We also look towards our clients for any interesting information about a space that may be inspiring or useful in any way. We are open to the creative collaboration between photographer and client in order to create a meaningful product.

3. Roughly Verify Shots

BVI photographers understand that a space can be photographed in a number of ways. The walk through is a great opportunity to examine the space from multiple angles and consider all options prior to narrowing it down to just a few. The angle of the shot also informs how a space will work with available and artificial light. By narrowing a room down to a specific angle, our photographers can begin brainstorming about how to light each space and compose each shot.

4. Time Management

Once the number of photos has been discussed, it’s much easier to create a timeframe to work around. On most days, our photographers have multiple shoots scheduled in one day, and need to set a specific pace to work under. In order to stay one track, the walk through helps with mentally preparing how long each shot will take to make. Some shots take longer to make than other due to the complexity of how we light a space with off camera flash. Natural light is also a concern when it comes to time management – some spaces will need to be photographed at specific times in order to work with the light, rather than against it. For example, we would want to photograph the front exterior when the sun is shining on towards the house, rather then from behind it towards the camera.

5. Moving Objects

Even though our photographs have a creative eye, we are not interior decorators – and expect most preparation to be done prior to the photo shoot. More importantly, even though we would like to be helpful, we are not there to move objects (especially large objects) within a space due to liability reasons. By walking through a space with our clients, we are able to discuss and plan any moving that needs to take place, while we are photographing any other areas.