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  • Writer's pictureBritt & Lorne Rempel

Elevate Your Interior Design Marketing with Before and After Photos

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

Interior design before and after photos in white text over an image of a decaying room on one side and a clean bright modern space on the other.

Before and after photos should be the foundation of your interior design marketing. Period.

I’ve repeatedly heard from incredibly talented and experienced interior designers that they don’t take before and after photos. If they do, it’s an afterthought. There are one or two poorly framed, blurry, crooked photos, and that’s all there is to show for months of hard work and dedication.

In this blog, I will explain why before, in-progress, and after photos are pivotal to your success.

1. Before and After “Photos or it didn’t happen”: Show, Don't Tell

The phrase "Photos or it didn't happen" couldn't be more accurate in interior design marketing. Clients are discerning. You have steep interior design competition in Calgary – almost as much as marketing agencies! You may have better ideas and complete your work faster than your competition, but they'll attract more clients because they prioritize showcasing their work.

Clients may never get to the point of speaking to you before they decide whether you can or can’t help them. They are always looking for proof of your capabilities. Don’t make them work too hard to find it! The more before and after photos you have, the more substantial evidence you possess to showcase the breadth and depth of your interior design expertise.

An easy-to-find, robust portfolio of before and after shots is your strongest ally in converting skeptics into believers and lurkers into clients. Use them in case studies to showcase your understanding of your skillset.

2. Building an Authentic Brand Identity

When it comes to interior design marketing content, stock photos or AI generations might keep your brand visible, but they won't establish a genuine connection with your audience. Your community wants to see the authentic transformation process, and your real photos are the key to unlocking engagement that resonates with your audience. If you post “fluff” content or stock photos, your audience won’t grow.

Did you know your consumer’s buyer journey can last up to two years? That means prospective clients in your social media or newsletter network are sitting there waiting for the right time to buy—every post counts. You can get away with playing to the algorithm with a few “throw away” posts to get your post count up. However, if you constantly share low-value posts with your audience, they’ll stop following and unsubscribe.  

Show them who you are and what you can do! It’s okay if you’re chatting about a job in an ugly construction site. That’s real. It shows that you have clients, are busy, and are working. If you’re working, you’re in demand, and people love to have things in demand.

It does not always have to be pretty. I repeat, it does not always have to be perfect. It has to be authentic and real.

3. Vision BOARDS: Real-Life Proof of Your Expertise

Further along in your buyer’s journey, photos are beneficial when conveying your vision to clients. You could still lose the job at this point, so this is still part of your interior design marketing strategy. You’re still showcasing your skills.

Not everyone possesses the same level of imagination and foresight as a designer. It’s why they hire you! While articulating your design ideas clearly is essential, there's nothing more convincing than real-life visuals from your designs.

Of course, you’ll still pull from external sources for your inspiration, but wouldn’t it be great if you could give them photos of your work for their inspiration? Clients want to see the tangible results of your creative prowess, making progress photos a compelling asset for your interior design process.

4. A Marketer's Playground: Fueling Engaging Campaigns

Hiring a marketer to help with your interior design marketing becomes far more effective when armed with a treasure trove of original content. Without original content, you’re asking your marketing team to perform a competition-level cha-cha with a broken foot.

Progress photos serve as the raw material for creating captivating marketing campaigns. A skilled marketer can weave stories around your transformations, turning them into compelling narratives that resonate with your target audience. This isn't just about visibility; it's about capturing attention and establishing your interior design brand as a trendsetter.

5. SEO Gold: Enhancing Your Online Visibility

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a linchpin in any successful interior design marketing strategy. Original content, particularly visuals, plays a pivotal role in SEO. By regularly updating your website and social media platforms with progress photos, you not only keep your audience engaged but also boost your online visibility. Search engines love fresh, high-quality content, and your interior design marketing efforts will benefit significantly from the SEO traction generated by captivating visuals.

Tips to PRIORITIZE CAPTURING Before & After Photos

  • Check out this Architectural Digest article about taking interior design photos.

  • Build it into your contract that you have the right to photograph your projects and use the media captured on-site in your marketing efforts.

  • Set aside a day at the end of a project to take photos and videos. If it’s impossible to do it at the end of the project, set a meeting to come back.

  • Hire a professional photography/ videography team to capture and stage the project if possible. Don’t forget to ensure they give you the license to use these for your marketing!

  • Take the photos yourself as well. Take as many photos and videos as you can! You can use them in far more than before and after photos. They can find their way into all of your marketing materials. The more, the better.

  • Keep the photos and videos organized by project and then by before, progress, and after.

  • If you already have ideas for how to use the content, file them that way and add calendar reminders for yourself that you have these photos.

Remember, interior design marketing isn't just about selling a service; it's about telling a story that resonates with your audience. It’s about selling a lifestyle they want and proving you're the one who can give it to them. Let your progress photos be the brushstrokes that paint a vivid picture of your design prowess in the minds of your clients. Elevate your interior design marketing – one captivating photo at a time.

I’d happily schedule a discovery call when you’re ready to take the next step in your interior design marketing efforts.

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