Photos For Your Home Staging Website

Home Stager with Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA

Here's some tips for creating photos for  a home staging portfolio for new stagers - or freshening your established home staging website.

Because we build websites for home stagers, we are very aware that some stagers don't have a lot of photos, or photos they like for their website and home staging portfolio.

Using stock photos or "stealing" photos is not the answer!

What are new stagers to do if they haven't gotten any staging jobs and, therefore, don't have any photographs to put in their portfolio? What about an established stager who wants to focus on a new style of staging or just wants to "freshen" their website?

A while back Anthea Click's wrote a post While You Were Out I Decided To Have A Little Fun. While Anthea is an experienced home stager with lots of photos of staging jobs in her portfolio, I thought her post was a great demonstration of a way Newbie home stagers could build a portfolio. In her post she describes how she rearranged her sister-in-law's living room. She took before and after pictures which clearly demonstrated her ability to stage a room (in this case it was "staging to live", not sell). She could easily use these photos in her portfolio or on her website.

Here are some suggestions to build your portfolio of your home staging photos:

  • Stage a room in your own house using furniture and accessories you have in your home
  • Stage a room for a family member using their furniture and accessories or things you have in your home
  • Stage a room for a friend using their furniture and accessories or things you have in your home
  • Offer to stage a room for your hair dresser, dentist or your child's pre-school teacher
  • Offer to stage a room for a charity, non-profit or nursing home
  • Arrange a few attractive objects on a nice table top. Create some vignette photos (see below)
  • Arrange a few attractive accessories on your kitchen counter. Shoot close ups of these vignettes (see below)

Home staging portfolio photos


Home staging portfolio photos

*These are all photos I took at my home and in my warehouse. There is no reason you cannot set up vignettes like this up in your own home*

Here are some tips for taking photos for your portfolio:

  • Digital photos are free (until you print them out) Take many photos of each room and arrangement from different angles, heights, exposures, etc. I may photograph a room 20 or 30 times just to make sure I get a shot I like. Its not uncommon that I shoot 200 photos when I stage a home to ensure I get 10 or 20 photos that are fabulous.
  • Your photos don't have to show the whole room. You can just capture a chair, side table & lamp if that is all you have to work with. 
  • Invest some time to read your camera's owners manual and learn how to use it. Learn what your camera is capable of. That investment will pay you back 1000 fold with more attractive pictures.
  • Take your before and after pictures from the same angles. Take photos from multiple angles to be sure you have this covered.When shooting a home before staging, I snap a photo from each corner of the room.
  • Turn on every light in the room, and every light in adjacent rooms. This makes rooms much more inviting and you're less likely to see a black hole through a door into another room. 


If you'd like to see my home staging portfolio please visit my Los Angeles home staging website.

 This post is revised from a similar post I wrote on AR in 2009.


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Los Angeles Real Estate Staging

2015 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

2014 RESA Top 10 Professional Home Stager2010 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

Michelle has staged hundreds of Los Angeles homes, many of which have sold with multiple offers, above listing price.

She works with home sellers, listing agent, builders, flippers and asset managers to prepare homes for sale throughout Los Angeles and North Orange County.

Moving Mountains Design provides vacant home staging, color consultations, corporate and executive relocations,  and interior design. We also stage model homes, REOs, foreclosures and auction properties for real estate investors and asset managers. Builders hire us to stage their models or to help move inventory when sales slow down.

For more information about our Los Angeles home staging services, contact Michelle at (626)385-8852 or by email.

Click here to see our Los Angeles home staging portfolio

Click here to go to our Los Angeles home staging blog

Click here for more information about home staging in Los Angeles and how we can help sell your home faster and for the best price

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Michelle Drewry
Signature Real Estate Group - Henderson, NV
Realtor - Signature Real Estate Group

Thanks for posting this Michelle.  I still remember your advice for getting my own photos from before and after staging I had done in my own home and the home of a friend.  The only way to help kick start your portfolio before actually getting hired.  Great advice!

Jan 22, 2012 11:29 AM #4
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Michelle- this is absolutely excellent advice and every stager new or old should have this at hand.  We can't always obtain the photos we want, especially if so much of what we do are occupied homes.  And to illustrate our point in a post, you've given excellent solutions!

Jan 22, 2012 11:46 AM #5
Heather Cook
Rooms in Bloom Staging & Design Inc. - Kitchener, ON
Quality Home Staging

Great way to illustrate creative ways to add a variety of interesting photographs to a new staging website. I hope aspiring stagers take notes and follow your advice to make their websites interesting and all their own! 

Jan 22, 2012 02:32 PM #6
Chris Twing
Twing Staging & Redesign - Cedar Park, TX
As a new stager I did just whY you said. I took before and after photos in my own home. I wanted to add more photos so I decided to do a little research on how to take the photos. I found a great book and after going to three bookstores got my hands on it last night. It was terrific and so helpful. I can't remember the title but when get it and share later.
Jan 23, 2012 01:42 AM #7
Teresa Meyer
Cincinnati Home Stager - Cincinnati, OH
Home Staging Cincinnati-OH.

Excellent advice Michelle!  I LOVE your photos- you've inspired me to take some of my own and get better at taking photos esp. the close ups!

Jan 23, 2012 01:51 AM #8
Karen Dembsky
Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA - Peachtree City, GA
Atlanta Home Staging

great advice, Michelle.  I agree with maureen it should be required reading and a required activity!  and, like Teresa, you have inspired me to take a few more vignettes on a regulare basis!  Thx!

Jan 23, 2012 02:48 AM #9
Sharon Lord
Maracay Homes - Peoria, AZ
New Home Advisor

Michelle - GREAT tips!  It took me seemingly forever to learn to take MULTIPLE angled shots on the "before" as well as the "after"!  Still haven't read my super-fancy camera manual, though!  ;)

Jan 23, 2012 05:51 AM #10
Tori Toth
Tori Toth, International - Howard Beach, NY
888.667.6643 NYC & Beyond, HSR, SAR, RESA, LIBOR

i love these ideas for building your portfolio newbies always ask how to get photos and you've just spelled it out for them and reminded me I need to do some more vignette photos!!

Jan 23, 2012 08:26 AM #11
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Michelle - These are super tips.  There are many seasoned stagers who don't think to take close up shots, and yet these types of "vignette" photos really carry huge appeal.  I'm with Tori - a great reminder to focus on the minutia and take more vignette shots.

Jan 24, 2012 04:35 AM #12
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Thank you, everyone, for your comments. I don't know why, but I wasn't notified of any of the comments after my last comment. I hope this info has been helpful. I'm going to add some more vignette shots to my website because I think it breaks things up and adds interest. Its not the same-old-same-old that you see time and again on staging websites.

Jan 24, 2012 06:25 AM #13
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

Great tips Michelle!  This one definitely needs to be bookmarked!

Jan 24, 2012 11:59 AM #14
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Michelle,

Oh my gosh, sooooo very many good things in this post. Many of which I would have never even thought out, like taking photos of vignettes.  I try to use as many photos as allowed in my listings and this would help showcase some of the smaller details.


Jan 24, 2012 03:16 PM #15
Kathy Nielsen - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

While this post does not contain before and after pictures, it's nonetheless a very insightful post on how to get before and after pictures for your website.

Michelle - thanks for sharing such great information.


Jan 24, 2012 11:11 PM #16
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Great tips for the newbies! I remember how difficult it was when I was just starting out and not having enough pictures.

Jan 27, 2012 03:19 PM #17
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Thank you, Renee!

Lynda, using vignettes and close ups of details will make your listings stand out. It helps tell the story of all the home has to offer.

Kathy N. You are most welcome!

Shar: It is difficult when you are first starting out. Also, our portfolios and websites can get stale, so its always nice to add some new photos. Thanks!

Jan 27, 2012 03:53 PM #18
David Peterson
Synergy Staging ~ specializing in vacant home staging - Portland, OR
Home Stager Portland OR-Synergy Staging-Portland Oregon

Great tips for new stagers, and reminders for veterans. We have the same art with those birds. They seem to work well in so many places! Have fun in Vegas!!!

Jan 30, 2012 10:49 AM #19
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

David: We missed you at the RESA Conference!

Feb 03, 2012 02:28 PM #20
David Peterson
Synergy Staging ~ specializing in vacant home staging - Portland, OR
Home Stager Portland OR-Synergy Staging-Portland Oregon

I missed you too! Will definitely be there next year!

Feb 05, 2012 05:08 AM #21
Andre R. Aragon
Greater Tampa Real Estate Photographer - Tampa, FL
Real Estate Photographer

Hi Michelle- Don't know how I missed this post. This is true for photographers too - building a portfolio is tough - you have to work all of your resources, friends family and contacts.

I like detail shots for staging photos also. You can use the power of pretty pieces and vignettes to express your style and supplement over-all views.

Apr 12, 2012 11:37 PM #22
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Thank you, Andre. Detail shots also work well for architects, interior designers and landscape architects. Often it is a detail shot that will first capture our attention and make us want to see more.

Apr 13, 2012 12:41 AM #23
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Michelle Minch

Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA
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