Frequently Asked Questions

Suzi Davis Thursday 27th May 2021

From pets and parking to food and fireplaces, our clients love to test our knowledge on the ins and outs of a shoot location. If you have a question about your shoot location, read on to see if your query is among our frequently asked questions.

Can I paint and decorate?

With around 40% of shoots requiring the need to paint or decorate the location, this is possibly our most frequently asked question.

A large number (about 60%) of our properties offer clients the option to decorate, adding to their versatility and increasing their appeal. This feature allows clients to paint walls, put up wallpaper or hang pictures to achieve their desired look. It also allows them to be very clever with creating false walls, showing a different flooring or even adding a fireplace. 

You can easily see which of our locations allow for painting and decorating, either by searching through the paint and decorate category or looking at individual properties. And our guide to the decorating rules and considerations will arm you with the knowledge needed when putting together your shoot plan. 

What are the owners like?

Crews want a shoot to go as smoothly as possible, and this can only happen if the location owners are helpful, friendly and accommodating. Photoshoots are intrusive, and if owners are too precious, it will make for a difficult day. 

An ideal owner is relaxed and can feel happy to leave a shoot crew to themselves yet be around if required. A location that comes with too many house rules can give the impression an owner will be a bit difficult. It’s about finding a good balance between having a relaxed environment but knowing the boundaries and that rules are in place to make the shoot go smoothly.

Clients also sometimes ask about the neighbours. The start and end of a shoot day can be busy with lots of people and deliveries coming and going, so having frosty neighbours isn’t ideal. 

We know our location owners very well and can answer your questions on an individual basis. We have received lovely feedback on some owners who go the extra mile and offer free breakfast or a little hamper with nibbles or drinks for the crew.

What is parking like, and do owners provide car permits?

If a location offers a driveway or free parking, this is a bonus and why parking is a common question. We have many interiors shoots that tend to come with large delivery vans or set builder vans. There is also the crew that may need to park. 

The answer tends to be one of the city versus the countryside. Our country locations usually have more significant driveways, allowing plenty of parking space, which is always advantageous. 

Quite often our London Locations are permit parking, but it’s something many clients are used to. Owners tend to provide permits where needed but sometimes can only offer 1 or 2 per shoot day. This can sometimes be a little restrictive, but we’ve found that most shoots find a way around this. 

Can I have the window measurements?

Soft furnishing clients often need window measurements for their window dressings, although clients from any industry may look to change window furnishings as part of their set.

We can supply detailed measurements for any area of a shoot location, whether it’s windows, doors or rooms sizes. There is also the option for clients to recce the site themselves, just to be sure. 

Do you have photos of the exterior? 

If they are shooting in the garden, some clients want to include the location in the background. 

We have exterior shots of most of our locations shown on their listing pages.  We may have additional images, so it’s always worth asking. 

Clients often ask for front door photos particularly over the Christmas period for shooting wreaths. Depending on how long the clients plans on shooting outside the property quite a lot of our locations prefer not to have shoots outside the front as it can annoy the neighbours. 

Can I light the fireplace? 

Clients ask this question a surprising number of times. It tends to be for interiors shoots and quite often for Christmas or Autumn themed projects.

The large majority of our locations will allow it.

Can we bring animals to the shoot? 

Clients sometimes ask to bring animals that they plan to use in the shoot, although we do get the odd enquiry for a stylist/photographer to bring their pet dog. The request is usually for cats or dogs, although our most random animal enquiry was for a micropig.

Whilst most owners are flexible, we have to check and make sure they are OK with the animals being inside the location, in case the owners already have pets or any allergies. Even if they have said yes in the past, something may have changed. 

We recently had a shoot where they used the owner’s cat on an armchair, and it was just lovely. Owners are always super excited to see their pets feature in shots as well. 

Can we prepare or cook food in the kitchen?

Companies ask this question either for the crew to make their lunch or for food styling projects, perhaps for homewares or a cookery book shoot. 

Most owners are happy for the client to use their kitchen, although they do prefer them to bring their utensils and crockery. 

Is there an ironing board?

Fashion and home furnishing shoots often need an iron, board and steamer to ensure their props or products are in tip-top condition for a shoot. They may also need clothes rails to make sure they stay that way. 

Where owners have these items, they are usually more than happy for crews to use them. 

Can you recommend a caterer? 

Whilst crews tend to use mainstream delivery companies such as Deliveroo for our London locations, they often ask for local catering options outside of the city.

A large number of our countryside locations offer catering suggestions, together with recommendations for accommodation and taxis. Ham House is an excellent example that illustrates this. 

Who will be there to let us in? 

The location owner will typically be there. But we do have some unoccupied locations, and in this instance, we might supply a key code to access the house on-site, or a cleaner may be there to let you in. Either way, we are always on the end of the phone line if you have any difficulties accessing the location. 

What is the overtime rate? 

Shoot teams carefully plan and manage their schedules to avoid going over the agreed time. But sometimes overruns do happen, so it’s good to be prepared and know the additional costs.

We charge 20% of the daily rate per hour for overtime. For more about the fees and payments, download our shoot guide.

More Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that we haven’t covered here, do drop us a message. And don’t be afraid to ask anything, however odd you think it might sound.

Suzi Davis

Suzi Davis