Thursday, January 13, 2011

House Call

Recently I was asked by my dear friend Fifi O'Neill to scout and photograph some homes for a few of the wonderful Italian publications she is now working with.   She will even be spearheading her own magazine, and as we all know from her past endeavors in the publishing world, it's sure to be a huge success!

So that brings me to my next subject.  If you happen to live in Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, or any of the surrounding states and have a house you think should be featured in a magazine, I'm all ears.  But first I have to be all eyes and see some photos.

They don't have to be professional quality photos, just nice clear shots taken from each corner of the room.  Try and stay away from sending me lovely vignette shots, because if your rooms have good bones, we can create vignettes, but it's hard to go the other way if you know what I mean.

Being in a magazine doesn't require you to have a home where each and every room is perfect, usually we focus on master bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms, with a few exterior shots thrown in for good measure.  Of course, if you have a wonderful child's room, or a great screened in porch, or sunroom, those are an added bonus!

Now, not all houses can make the cut when it comes to being in a magazine.  Often it's not that a home wasn't pretty enough, or stylish enough, it can sometimes come down to something as simple at it having the wrong paint color.  As much as I'd like to believe I live in a nicely decorated home, I clearly know that my home isn't up to snuff when it comes to being in a magazine spread.  Maybe one day it will be, but not at the moment, it's just not unique enough.

So if you drool over magazines and can honestly say that you think your home could be in one, here's what I need you to do.

1.  Send me photos, no larger than 5 x 8 and medium to low resolution so that the files aren't huge.

2.  Exterior and interior shots, remember to take wide shots from every corner of a room.  Don't fret if every corner isn't perfect, but you get the idea, I need to be able to see the WHOLE room, not just tight, close up shots of your dining room table!

3.  If you live outside of the areas I've mentioned, send photos anyway, there are other photographers and writers out there that might be able to shoot your home besides me.  Be sure to tell me in your email where you home is located, as in city and state.  That will help me to decide if you are within reasonable driving distance of where I live, or to better pass your info along to someone else!

4.  You don't have to "stage" your house, but do take a moment to really look at what you are photographing.  It's hard to see what a room actually looks like if there are piles of paper, kids toys, and people in the shots!

5.  DON'T get discouraged in you don't hear back right away, it takes time to review the pictures, and like I said, not every home will make the grade, but it's not a personal affront if you don't get selected.  Refer to the list at the bottom of the post for exactly what types of homes I'm looking for at the moment.

6.  Don't try and make your home look perfect...that's the job of the stylist and photographer, we understand that real people aren't living perfect lives every day!  And in this instance size doesn't matter, a bigger house isn't always a better house.

7.  Please be sure to leave me an email address or phone number where I can get in touch with you should your home be picked, or to let you know if it's not.

8.  Be brave and send the pictures.  Some of my very favorite homes that I've covered in the past 13 years have been people who have said to me when I contacted them..."Oh my house isn't anything special!"  When someone says that, I generally know it will be a winner!

9.  This doesn't have to be your home, if you have a neighbor, friend or relative that you think should be included, feel free to get their permission and submit their home!

10.  Be sure you want to have someone come into your home and photograph it.  Remember it will probably be an all day event with furniture rearranging going on and someone pulling things from your closets and cupboards in order to make a perfect shot!  You have to be able to go with the flow during a shoot, (because there is a lot of hard work and chaos that goes along with a shoot), or it simply won't work and the photos will be lifeless!  Everyone I've ever worked with who has had their home shot, found it to be a very rewarding, but also tiring experience!

11.  Lastly, here's what I'm looking for: 

a.  Romantic homes that aren't over the top, too frilly, frou frou, or with everything but the dog covered in wallpaper!

b.  Country farmhouses - clean, simple farmhouse style

c.  Small, unique cottages - think English Cottage or summer cottage

d.  Bungalows

e.  Waterfront homes, big and small 

f.  Log homes, from over the top to cabin chic

g.  Victorians - But again, nothing too chi chi fou fou!

h.  French Country - But think French Country farmhouse, not what Target or Home Goods says is French Country

Sorry, I'm not looking for sleek and modern at the moment, but don't think that new construction is out, because if you've taken a typical tract home and turned it in to something wonderful, I would love to see it!

So, there you have it my friends, if you've always thought your home oughta be in pictures, here's your chance!  I look forward to seeing what you guys have to offer!

If you have any questions you can email me at


  1. Fun job, my friend! I'm certainly not in the running right now, but loved reading through what you're looking for!

    Looking forward to hearing about your adventure as you go along...


  2. Oh, Kat, I just posted my romantic bedroom makeover today,, but I am in Canada. Shucks.

  3. Kat, you are living the dream job aren't you?

  4. Kat, Oh how I wish you could photograph my Ocean inspired master bedroom and bath. I would just like to see what a professional could do. I am waaaaaay to far away in California. Also it would be so fun just to meet you. Good luck on finding the perfect looks for your shoot, how fun to travel and take pictures of others homes!! Have a great weekend Kathysue

  5. Oh my, I'm out of area and in a Park Model. That seems to be an unexplored market...Mobile Homes'll be anxious to see what you find.

  6. What a fun job! Good luck with it.

  7. Hi Kat,
    I bet you will get flooded with lovely homes.
    I hope you find what you are looking for and I can't wait to see your photos in Fifi's new magazine.


  8. Like Sissie said, you are going to get completely flooded with responses. How cool that you and Fifi are working together on this! I've got the farmhouse with character, but it's such a work in progress that she's not yet ready for her 'close up'. But it's mine and I love it here ... heck, I'm proud that I can open the living room door now without feeling totally mortified.

  9. What a great project to work on Kat! It would be fun to look at all the gorgeous pictures of people homes for Fifi!! Have fun!! :)

  10. What's wrong with coming round to our little pad in Bath, UK?

  11. Kat- you already know this house and we'd welcome the attention if it was chosen. On my blog in the labels Before and After it showcases most of the rooms in this house. Look them over, and if you think the house warrants further action I'll take new photos. We are in Connecticut, I'm not sure if that is close enough to your target areas though.

  12. Wish I lived closer! I also happen to have the duvet & shams that are in your photo! LOL!!! Have a wonderful day and enjoy your latest assignment!


  13. Oh Kat, you always how so fun!! Good luck in your new quest and enjoy!!

  14. Hi KW, SW here!
    Happy Friday....we
    made it : ) Maybe
    someday when I'm
    visiting the area I
    could tag along on one
    of your photo shoots ~
    I'd just love to see
    how you do it. I enjoyed
    your house "recipe" post
    from yesterday. So
    very, very true. Have
    a wonderful day!
    xx Suzanne

  15. Kat, make sure you keep us posted as you work through this project. What a great way to spend the winter months....looking at the beautiful homes of others. Great assignment!

  16. I've got the perfect house for you--mine--though all the pictures will qualify solely as "before" as in "miraculous before-and-after."

  17. What fun you'll have!
    If you're ever out in the Pacific Northwest you're welcome to come here - the house is nothing special, but we could have a good time!

  18. How exciting! Good luck and if you ever come to Texas, give me a two month's heads up and I'll have mine ready for you!!

  19. Fun! Can't wait to see what you find and shoot!

  20. What a dream dream dream job Kat! Oh I know there has to be plenty of hard work too, but what another wonderful opportunity to work with Fifi! xo ~Lili

  21. Hi there! I am a new blogger that just stumbled into your world of romance and fantastic seaside dreams and I couldn't be happier to be a new follower! Super duper cute. xox!


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