Beginners Guide

Real Estate Photography Staging Techniques For Small Spaces

Real Estate Photography Staging Techniques for Small Spaces

Staging is one of the best ways to ensure that your real estate photos come out looking great. This is especially true in small spaces where things can become cramped and feel even smaller if staging isn’t done properly.

In this article I’ll share some real estate photography staging techniques for small spaces and discuss some best practices.

Table of Contents

Adopt a 'Less is More' Mentality

If you’ve read my articles on staging before, you’ll know that I’m a major proponent of the ‘less is more’ approach.

See the articles Staging Checklist to Give Realtors, How to Photograph a Staged Home, or Easy Guide to Staging the Exterior of a Home for reference.

I believe it’s even more important to follow this less is more philosophy when it comes to small spaces.

Overcrowding a small room with too much furniture or decor can make it feel cramped, smaller than it already is, and completely hide the room itself.

Instead, select a few key pieces or features in the room that serve a functional purpose while also enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the room.

For example, a single plant that accents the window well and shows off the architectural features will work better in a smaller space than lots of plants. Using several plants could look great in a large room with lots of windows, but that’s not the case in small spaces.

The same can be said for all surfaces of the home. This means counter tops, tables, dressers, etc. The less you show in photos, the larger and more spacious the room will look.

Decluttering the Spaces First

Before adding any staging elements, it’s essential to thoroughly declutter the space. Removing unnecessary items and personal belongings creates a clean canvas for staging.

In small spaces, every square inch counts, so decluttering can significantly impact the room’s appearance, making it feel larger and more open.

This step also allows potential buyers to more easily envision themselves in the space, which is a key objective of real estate photography.

While this is an essential step in every home and before every real estate shoot, even the smallest amount of clutter will be magnified in small spaces.

Sometimes staging isn’t about just adding things to the space, but taking things away and letting the room itself be the main feature.

Furniture Placement and Scale

Furniture placement is crucial in staging small spaces. This is not always something that you’ll have control over, but do your best to use the furniture to your advantage.

Arrange furniture to maximize the flow and functionality of the room. Avoid blocking windows or doorways, and consider using furniture that can double as storage to reduce clutter.

Pay attention to the scale of the furniture and how it looks in camera. Oversized pieces can overwhelm a small room, so opt for smaller-scale items that fit the space more appropriately.

Again, this could completely depend on what type of furniture the homeowner has and might be out of your control. However, assuming you have the time and desire, you can always remove large pieces of furniture from the scene all together.

While moving furniture certainly doesn’t sound fun, I’m sure we’ve all done it at least a few times on a job. Sometimes even moving a couch just a few feet can completely change a photo.

Find a Focal Point for the Image

Every well staged room should have a focal point that draws the viewer’s eye and defines the space.

In a small bedroom, this might be a beautifully made bed with a striking headboard. In a living room, a fireplace or an art piece could serve as the focal point.

Staging should enhance the focal point, directing attention to it in a way that elevates the overall appeal of the room in photographs.

This idea goes hand-in-hand with the other points I’ve already touched on in this article. For example, if we’re talking about a living room, the focal point might be the central fireplace.

Your first step is to make sure the fireplace is decluttered and generally looking good. The next step might be to rearrange the furniture or decor around the fireplace to better draw the viewers eye or make the details of the fireplace more noticeable.

Look for the defining feature in each room, then plan your staging around it. This will work perfectly for smaller spaces since it gives your image a point to focus your staging around.

Additional Resources

If you’re just getting started in real estate photography, check out our Beginners Guide. It’s full of helpful articles and tips that will guide you in the right direction as you begin your real estate photography journey.

You can check out our Gear section as well to see reviews and recommendations on the latest real estate photography gear.

If you’re more interested in other resources that can help your real estate photography business, check out our Business Resources page.

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About author
Matthew Digati is a professional Real Estate and Architectural Photographer. Matthew has worked as a Real Estate and Architectural Photographer since 2015 and has photographed properties and projects all over the United States.
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