Location shots are always a new and interesting project. You usually don't know what you will find (good and bad) until you are there for the job.
I have done several location shots for businesses as well as homes for the Coulee Region Women's Magazine.
I really like this page layout because the designer, Lisa Houghton (Rochester, MN) http://www.lisahoughtondesign.com, incorporated so many parts of the home.
You should consider a few things when preparing your location for a photo shoot.
1. Clean it up! One of the first things I do on location is start putting things away and sometimes even DUST. I am not a neat freak by any means, but this has to be done to achieve a clean beautiful image. Most of us work and live with mail, newspapers, and folders laying around, but not for photo day.
This goes for inside and out. Get rid of the yellow hose and the temporary banners around the location. It makes a huge difference. A manicured yard is a big PLUS too.
2. Staging. I know it sounds scary, but once we remove all the stuff you use, we need to put some pretty stuff back. Flowers, bowls, books.... Everything in the photos above was intentional as far as leaving out and putting in.
3. Move furniture around. We tend to line the walls with furniture and artwork. Sometimes we need to move them out or angled to make a room look more appealing.
4. Make a list of critical areas. Is there one room different and unique. Highlight that.
5. Incorporate people. Especially for business locations I like to have some people working in the background to give the image life. They don't have to be models but they do need to be dressed appropriately. When I photographed for the La Crosse Courtyard by Marriott, we used many of the staff members in photos. They were a bit nervous but with a little direction they did great.
You can use many of these suggestions when having family photos taken at your home as well.
Clients are surprised how much time I take setting up and preparing for a shot. Anyone can take a snapshot, but a professional photographer knows what equipment and camera settings to use to enhance your location.
Thanks Jan Feeney for proofing my blog. Sorry I am so horrible with commas.