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Decorating allowed: What are the rules?

Sophie Hitchens Saturday 15th August 2020  

At Light Locations, we offer location houses and spaces across the UK. A large number of our properties offer clients the option to decorate, adding to their versatility and increasing their appeal.  

If you are researching properties that will give more flexibility to your photo shoot, our guide to the rules and considerations will arm you with the knowledge needed when putting together your shoot plan.  

What can I decorate? 

While all individual properties outline and define their own areas that can be decorated, general areas are walls, panelling and tongue and groove. Sometimes locations also allow ceilings, doors and woodwork to be painted.

Are there any areas I can’t decorate? 

This is always down to individual property and property owner. An area that is potentially off-limits for some locations is woodwork. As these areas often require eggshell paint, a great deal of drying time is a requisite which shoot hours don’t allow time for.  

Who paints the property back to the way it was before the shoot? 

It’s the client’s responsibility to paint the location its original colour, and to a professional standard at the end of the shoot. As this takes place within the agreed shoot hours, it usually takes place at the end of the day as soon as a shoot finishes.  

Sometimes clients run lots of sets throughout a day in one location. A shot is set up in one room, and as soon as that’s complete, it’s painted back while the next set begins. A set builder is part of the shoot crew, and they spend all day painting and repainting different areas as the shoots progress and revolve throughout the day. 

What if I run out of time to paint during the agreed hours? 

It’s essential to carefully plan enough time to fit painting into the agreed hours for a project. On a rare occasion, this doesn’t happen, and an overtime rate is paid. Our Location Coordinators have lots of expertise in helping clients to plan their shoots and are always more than happy to offer advice. 

Are there any restrictions on the decoration materials I can use?

Once again, this is specific to individual owners and their properties. Some owners don’t like walls being painted too dark as it can be challenging to return the colour to its original state. 

How do I know what colour to paint it back?

Each Light Location has its own paint back information outlining exactly which paint brand and colour is used, and on which surface. All paint colours are discussed in advance of the shoot, so the client knows which is the correct paint to buy and bring on the shoot day. That way everything is ready to return the location back to normal at the end of the shoot.

Are there any other considerations to be aware of?

It happens rarely, but if a property hasn’t been painted back to a professional standard, then a client will need to return to do so. Again, our Location Coordinators know our properties inside out and are always on hand to offer advice on returning specific locations to their pre-shoot appearance.

Interested to know more? 

Browse the full paint and decorate location category or read more about typical paint and decorate clients and properties in our previous blog post ‘Decorating allowed: What is a paint and decorate photo shoot location.’

Sophie Hitchens

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We wanted to make you aware we have shoot guidelines in place to enable the gentle phase back of shoots in location houses and to enable everyone involved in a shoot to return to a safe working environment. To see these please enquire for a copy.