What exactly do we mean when we refer to ‘staging the shot’? There are probably as many definitions as there are folk prepared to offer a definition.
But to us, it means creating a shot that looks its very best. Seldom does a scene look at its very best at first take. It may be because furniture is squeezed closely together, or refuse bins are visible in a garden shot or a warming fire is not lit, or the room looks cold and uninviting because the light are off. When photographing the internals of a building the absolute classic for us it the toilet set left up. Honestly. This looks dreadful and really does not show the bathroom off in its best light.
Before a shoot, it always pays to have a look at the area and visualise it as a shot from Mayfair, Woman and Home, or other magazines whose mission is to show off somewhere in its very best light. Loo seats upright really do not cut it.
So, lets take a look. Are the furniture items placed so close to each other as to not allow passage past, through or around them? Are the lights off? Is the fire not lit? Are there dirty mugs or cups on the draining board? Are doors closed (a bit uninviting!). Is there anything in the camera’s frame that just doesn’t really belong, or look right in the photograph you are seeking to show?
There is? So, lights on, curtains open, doors open or ajar, loo seats down, fire lit, furniture re-arranged, maybe some books, magazines or newspapers on an adjacent table, and bingo. The room looks instantly welcoming, as YOU would like it to look. Trust us, it’s the little things in photography that make all the difference.
It’s what we do!