In this interview, we are joined by Interior Photographer Steven Havers, founder of Havers Interior Photography, who is all about creating something different point showing the hidden gem from a different angle.
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Who are Havers Interior Photography and Steven Havers?
Well, the answer is obviously in the title.
When you are trying to separate yourself from the competition to be heard above the noise to stand out, you often have the best and most unique identifier in your name, and that’s why the name is Havers Interior photography. I am located just outside Leicester in the middle of the country.
That is me. I work alone at the moment, and it’s a company that I’m looking to grow.
I’m primarily looking to work with local venues, local interior designers, architects, anyone that has a story to tell and a vision to share or an experience to sell because everything is visual in what I do.
Because if you’re an interior designer, you need to be showing off what you can do, mainly if that’s being applied to a venue.
It’s a very happening genre; Many places are reopening, and they need people to know that they’re around or refurbished, especially restaurants.
So if I can help them create content that shows off their unique venue, that unique design, their unique experience, that will help bring people in.
And that’s where I’m at the moment, contacting and meeting a lot of people and trying to get some work out of them.
So let’s not put too fine a point on it.
That’s the plan.
How did you decide to convert to a full-time real estate photographer from dog photography?
Steven Havers Interior Photography is only eight months old. It was very much a lockdown pivot, from the dog photography that was going nowhere fast and doing nothing in particular and a pivot that has remarkably surprised me;
I’m loving it and enjoying it so much. It is fabulous.
For example, if you’re an architect, your design needs to be shown to the big wide world, and if you are looking to get people into your venue, then we have to make that venue not only attractive but exciting and alive. So that’s kind of why I decided to convert to a full-time interiors photographer from dog photography.
What is your most favorite part of real estate photography?
My favorite part of it is extra creative because my primary responsibility is to bring something different than the client’s love that shows off what they’re trying to show off in the way they want it done. And that meets with their own particular either individual, company, or corporate brand.
Part of interior photography is creating something different. So, for example, if you look at a stately home photographed to death, there are loads of additional images on the internet about that venue, but they all look the same. So it’s doing something different and coming at it from a different perspective, showing off another side of it from a different angle.
What are the primary responsibilities of a real estate photographer in 2021-2022?
So the responsibility is to make sure you understand what the client wants from that photograph. My most recent encounters are all very contemporary because it is such a new business. I am interested in meeting the right people looking to promote their venue, design, or idea.
Tell us about your most recent encounter with obstacles at work?
One of the things that you find is that you only encounter obstacles in your shooting if you haven’t done your preparation.
Your preparation is talking to the client and not just listening to what they say, but probing it, asking questions, and getting to the heart of what it is that you want. Because very often they won’t know exactly themselves what they want.
How to recognize a Havers Interior Photography?
My photography style is very much to get your attention, to get your eyes roam around, the photographs. So you are becoming curious about the place I’m presenting.
Pretty much that’s what you will get as my signature is.
Steven Havers: Well, that’s different. That’s an interior, and therefore that must Havers.
TALLBOX Ask: Well said!
If you don’t stand out from your competitors, no one sees you as different. Yes, you can de-clutter you can frame it, lighting post-production custom approach, et cetera, but that all relies on you getting the work in the first place. You’ve got to be able to show your work in the first place that is different is showing a different perspective and it’s an ever-evolving thing.
How to recognize a Havers Interior Photography #1
I like to have people in my interiors photographs because it brings the thing to life. That’s something you very rarely see.
I was working with a very creative designer recently and she was delighted that I wanted to include her working in her designs in her house putting the design together because that’s what makes it real.
It’s bringing those pictures and those photographs to life by including people because it’s only people that bring interiors to life. Otherwise, it’s just a pretty picture, a lovely wall, wallpaper, the lovely light in a fantastic setting as a stately home.
How to recognize a Havers Interior Photography #2
Yeah, but what’s the reason, what’s it doing there? What’s the point of it? Why do you want to go? Apart from looking at beautiful walls and beautiful paintings.
People are for me, the biggest part of it, which is quite an interesting addition to interiors, but it’s the person that brings it to life. The person isn’t the focal point, nor the point of interest.
It is the interior that is of interest. That is the focal point. The person just happens to be there to bring it to life.
Describe your photography style
What do you love doing and what not?
What milestones you have set for the studio in the new 24 months?
To know a lot of people in Leicester who can use my work to be the go-to photographer for interiors in Leicester and Leicestershire.
To achieve that I’ll be giving them the very best and creative photographs and the very best service I can possibly give them and making sure we get it right.
So that’s the next 24 months that’s 24 days as well. You know, there’s no real anything beyond that yet, because until we’re doing the basics and getting the people on the bookings, then we can’t plan anything else.
How many miles do you do in a month?
Not very many at the moment, but that will change. I’m trying to keep things reasonably local because clearly, I don’t want to be traveling all over the country to start with, but that’s for the future, the moment I want to be working in Leicester because that’s the local area, the local people.
I want to be working in Leicestershire because that’s the local area, exactly where my initial work is taking place, networking, visiting locations, et cetera.
As we advance, I’ll go where the work is.
But it’s about getting the work out there in the first place for people to see, and because the work’s evolving and the style is evolving, then that’s takes time to get produced. So it’s all the whole chicken and egg thing. So it’s all very, very interesting.
On what projects do you work on at the moment?
I’ve got a networking event at a venue in Leicester coming up, and I’m going to take my camera and produce some images there.
Just because I want to go and create some content, and it’s going to be fabulous. So that again is a portfolio-building exercise because I need images to show people what I can do to help me stand out from the crowd.
What software do you use to edit your photos?
Primarily, the software I use is just Adobe Lightroom because, if the interior is set correctly and staged correctly, that’s again something that you have an involvement in.
Still, most importantly, it is lit perfectly. You get in the exposure correcting camera and the composition correct in the camera. So there shouldn’t be a great deal to do in post-processing.
So as far as that’s concerned, it’s a few minor tweaks just to make it look nice.
How did you found your first client?
Through networking, I found my first client by talking to people and knowing people, and building that relationship because photography is very much about relationships. That’s how I found my first paying photography client.
Do you work with a home stager or do you do everything yourself?
I do work with interior designers and home stagers. I’m talking to a few already, and again, it’s that building relationships and taking time to get in there.
What was the most expensive property you worked on?
The most expensive property I’ve worked on is probably going to be Prestwold Hall. A very nice stately home, just outside Loughborough.
How do you organize your time around photoshoots and personal life? Any tips?
Making sure that if you are not drowning in work, which at the moment I’m not, to make time for your family because it’s straightforward even when you’re marketing and networking and meeting people to let that take over.
If you’re letting that overtake, you got to have a personal life and family life, and I’ve got a fabulous wife and three amazing kids.
The beauty of working for yourself is you can be very flexible. You can book shoots around your family, and you can work for your family around your shoot.
So it is just the question of being organized and ensuring that the demands don’t override the other. So that is, for me, very, very important.
What are your top 3 real estate photography tips?
Well, the obvious one is to get a tripod. You can’t do it without one because you need to be getting excellent photographs, sometimes in relatively low light.
You will need to have a decent camera.
You’ll need to have an excellent, very nice lens. Because it’s the lens that allows you to go wide enough to get if it’s a relatively small room to get the room in, or if it’s a big room, you need to be still able to concentrate on details?
Look at lots of interiors images because you will see a considerable amount that is pretty much identical.
Now, if you were looking to photograph home stages and stuff and get people into a show home on a new housing site, that’s fine because that’s what you need.
But if you’re working with interior designers or venue owners, you won’t be bringing something different on. The only advice that I can give anybody, which also applies to my younger self, is to be yourself.
Because you will see things in a room and photograph things that other people and photographers haven’t noticed, you will want to do things from a different angle and different perspectives.
If you were to advise your younger self, what would be?
There’s an awful lot of things you can do – be yourself.
Because this is the most challenging thing to be yourself, it doesn’t get any more personal.
So if someone says, no, I don’t want to use you as a photographer, or I don’t want to use your work.
It is hard not to take that personally but view it as a not yet instead of a no because you are constantly evolving and improving as a photographer.
What’s the temptation?
The temptation is to them straightaway change what you do.
If you start to change what you do to try and please somebody else, you will never discover your own identity.
You will never discover your style of photography.
You will never stand out from the crowd.
Yes, you have to do things that the client wants; of course, you do. So you may end up doing something that you wouldn’t choose to present to your client from the images you’ve taken, but that isn’t your job.
Your job is to give the client what they want. But also, once you’ve done that and they’re happy, you can start to show them other things that you think they might like because you will be offering them something that they might not have considered.
So you have all these things to consider when you’re looking at yourself as a photographer.
You’ve got to be unique, and this is why I use the word audacious because yes, I’ll meet the brief.
Yes. I will give them the images and the style they want and present them with a range of ideas different from those.
When I’m using images from my social media on my website, I tend to use the ones that the client wanted and the stuff I took because that shows creativity.
It shows that you’re not afraid to say to the client. Yeah, I’ve done what you want, but have you considered this?
Don’t be afraid to share because you are creative, have ideas, and have a vision. So that’s me.
That’s Havers the Interiors Photographer, or if you prefer Havers, the audacious Interiors Photographer.
I like to be audacious. You can find me on LinkedIn. You can find me on the internet at haverstheinteriorsphotographer.co.uk, and I’m based just outside of Leicester.
I hope that has been remotely interesting and remotely useful.
I would finish by saying one thing. I am always available for a chat, a coffee, a discussion, a collaboration.
If you want to ring me the phone below, it’s a hotline straight through that’ll help you get to me.