I am big on preproduction. I normally invest two to four hours into getting to know the project, consulting on shots and angles, and suggesting styling.

Here's an example of a preproduction report I sent did for a client recently.

I apply some of the practices of art criticism to my clients work. It helps me establish a connection to the design and the images I create have a more intimate feel because of it.

We can of course work without such thorough planning, but I prefer to put in the time to do the best job possible.

The home is typical of 1970’s era ranch homes in that it was poorly laid out and in need of major structural and aesthetic upgrade to meet contemporary expectations.

The two spaces of concern for photography are the kitchen and master bathroom.


The designer has opened the kitchen by removing a wall creating a large, well tailored space that flows into the living room and dinning room.

  • The styling is euro-modern with a wealth of warm tones in the yellow-orange range of the spectrum. 
  • The upper cabinets are frosted glass with front lit LED strips.
  • The appliances are black glass and stainless steel.
  • The hardware is long, lightweight, rectangular chrome.
  • There is a 4’ square skylight centered above the work space providing a wonderful task light.
  • Lighting is not fully installed so I cannot speak to it’s design or effectiveness, but the dining room light is ultra modern, rectangular, light weight chrome consistent with the kitchen hardware.
  • The design is entirely composed of right angles, but avoids becoming harsh thanks to the warm tones and texture of the cabinets.
  • The lines of the kitchen are long, and sleek without feeling overly sharp. 
  • The synthetic stone counter has flecks of mother of pearl throughout which adds interest to the space as well creating visual texture.
  • The appliances are all Miele. (Consider Miele competition as well, please. The designer’s design is world class. (Lighting is the only unknown element.))
  • There are three distinct spaces within the kitchen: Breakfast nook, work space and wine bar.

Styling the kitchen: minimal, saturated colors - Copper, Green, Orange, Chartreuse
Floral hydrangea - ask The designer about (purple hydrangea) Succulents (Not small)


Master Bathroom:
The design challenge in this space was daunting because of the small footprint of the space. Through the use of color and texture The designer has created an emotionally engaging and visually exciting space.

  • The styling is contemporary, in keeping with the design of the kitchen but shows a great deal of imagination in that it is a distinctly different design. 
  • Where the kitchen counter used a smooth surface with visual enhancements, the bathroom uses textured tiles for the wall. This adds an enormous amount of depth to the tight space.
  • The cabinet veneer detail is very dynamic and creates a horizontal flow that maximizes the psychological width of the space.
  • This space is all right angles as well, but the texture of the wall tile adds dimension and “dulls” the edge just enough to create a comforting emotional sanctuary.
  • The warmth and texture of the wood, and tile as well as the color of the counter provide a very well balanced contrast to the large, unbroken expanse of mirror above the vanity.
  • Lighting and shower enclosure are not yet installed so I cannot speak of how these fit into the design.

Styling for the Master Bathroom: again minimal, not light to darkish desaturated colors - cool tone leaning towards green, more saturated color bottles in shower niche with luffa. No soaps. Floral: I can’t speak to floral, or any counter accessories until I see the light fixtures. Perfume and cologne bottles on a wood tray? White Coral? Sea shell? 

Competition: Bold = Must have; Italic = Should have

  1. Living room to Bar
  2. Laundry to Nook
  3. Nook Entrance to Sink
  4. Stove to Wine
  5. Nook to Cabinet

For Marketing Collateral we need to show interesting views, beauty and airy-ness

  1. Wine bar detail - Hand Held
  2. Sink to Nook
  3. Stove to Wine
  4. Sink Detail - HH
  5. Cabinet hardware - HH

Competition: Bold = Must have; Italic = Should have

  1. Vanity from MBed
  2. Shower from Vanity
  3. Vanity to window show sink, show medicine Cabinet, show commode, Show towel warmer

Marketing Collateral: We need to focus on the psychological warmth and comfort The designer has created. 

  1. Shower fixture Wall One Point Perspective
  2. Close up tile detail, show texture
  3. Vanity Sink vignette show fixtures - HH x3
  4. Vanity to window, drawer open show sink, show medicine Cabinet, show towel warmer


As you can see very little is left to chance because great photographs don't "just happen" they're lovingly crafted and carefully composed.

AuthorDean Birinyi