BALA Awards – Get Ready: Take Pictures

Photography is an important element of the Best in American Living Awards – it lets you showcase the special elements, details, and design features of your homes/rooms, so make sure the photos are clear and show what you want them to show.  All applicants are allowed up to 15 professional-quality, high-resolution color photos. All submitted images must accurately and truthfully reflect the project design. Brief captions detailing what is shown are highly recommended. Finally, applications cannot be completed without agreeing to the terms and conditions of the photo, image, and content release form. The release can be reviewed in the application before submitting.

Entrants should refer to previous winners (opens in a new tab) for an idea of the standard of photography required. Visit the Best in American Living blog (opens in a new tab) for tips on architectural photography.

If you haven’t already done so, make arrangements to have photos taken ASAP!

BALA Photography Tips:

  • Identify the design aspects you most want to showcase. Create a checklist so you don’t forget to capture all the desired images.
  • Scout the project to determine the best shots, and time of day and identify any adjustments that are needed before the photoshoot.
  • Take photos at different times of day, under different conditions, and from different angles. Capture wide, real-life and detailed shots that focus on your designs.
  • Provide a sense of scale so the judges can visualize being in the room.
  • Move or remove unwanted distractions, and stage areas or add props to showcase the details.
  • Don’t overlook the landscaping. Is the grass green do the trees have leaves, is there enough color? Don’t be afraid to supplement with colorful potted plants or other props.

Save your photos in your BALA documents folder for easy access.

Contact Sherin Sameh by email at or Kiera Gulley by email at or by phone at (202)266-8245 for any questions.

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