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Insider Tricks for Creating a Photogenic Space

The Property Brothers crew shares their tips from set.

Your photo doesn’t have to capture everything in the room.PHOTO: DARREN GOLDSTEIN

Have you ever photographed a room in your home and wondered why its beauty gets lost in translation? After spending a lot of time setting up “before and after” shots for our shows, our production team has it down to a science. Whether it’s a temporary staging trick, part of the home’s design, or a nifty camera technique, our talented crew members are eager to share their favorite ways to make any space look—literally—pretty as a picture.

“More light makes a space feel bigger, and the best kind of light is always natural. That’s why I incorporate as many glass doors and windows as possible to brighten things up. I also try to use recessed lighting so you can keep the room illuminated in the evenings. Because no matter how well you stage them, dark and dank spaces will never showcase beautifully in photos.” â€”Jonathan Scott

“In our Honeymoon Home in Los Angeles, we didn’t want to have a television as a focal piece in our living area—we wanted the room’s main function to be entertaining and conversation. So we installed mirror that transforms into a TV above the fireplace (which was also a throwback to the home’s original design!). It’s no secret that a mirror can make a space look bigger, but it can also—depending on how it’s positioned—reflect your favorite pops of color in the room or act as a neutral against them.” â€”Drew Scott and Linda Phan

“Adding fresh greenery is a surefire way to make a space feel camera-ready. I love a good potted herb plant on a kitchen windowsill or a tall fiddle-leaf fig tree that catches the sunlight in a living room. I even incorporate live greens and florals in my inspiration boards, because it helps set the tone of the space as livable, cheerful, and approachable. If you’re on a budget, keep in mind that plants and greens last well beyond fresh flowers—so you get to enjoy them longer.” â€”Natalie Hager, art director for Property Brothers

“What makes for a stunning reveal, both on and off camera, is one that reflects the unique personality of the homeowner and celebrates and showcases their story and memories: photos, souvenirs, and knickknacks with a backstory. After all, a house is not a home until a family adds their personal touch to it!”  â€”Dora Fong, series producer for Property Brothers

“Food props are a great way to add color and personality without breaking the bank. Look for brightly colored fruits (like lemons, oranges, and limes) and avoid ones that can bruise easily, like bananas and peaches. Or try using pastries—think cookies, muffins, and other dense treats that won’t leave a pile of crumbs—and display them on a serving tray, cake stand, or nice glassware. Finally, accompany your display with utensils like a pie server to emphasize a space’s lived-in feel.” â€”Erin Hinkley, art director for Property Brothers

“Don’t feel like you need to capture the entire space in one photo. You can tighten up your frame and leave some of the space out of your image. This way, you still get the feeling of what the space looks like, but it keeps your lines nice and square and allows you to see more details.” â€”Darren Goldstein, photographer for Property Brothers and Buying & Selling

“Nothing is more frustrating than a blurry photo, so always use a tripod to eliminate any camera shaking. And when you want a wide shot of a particular room, shoot with your camera’s highest F-stop and let the shutter stay open as long as needed for proper exposure. This technique will ensure that everything in the room is in sharp focus!” â€”Matt Blair, photographer for Property Brothers

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