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How to take photos of furniture

March 24, 2011 |
posted by Ana White
How to take photos of furniture

Just a year and a half ago, when I first started blogging, I thought taking photos of furniture was as easy as pushing the button on the camera.

And this is the kind of photo that just pushing the button on the camera would get me.  I was always disappointed, because I felt like my poor photography skills did not accurately convey the furniture I built.  
And by no means are my photographs professional quality, but I have learned a few tricks that can get you a photo that looks like this one of my daughter's room.
  1. Turn the Flash Off.  
  2. Take your photos during natural light, at several different times of the day. 
  3. If you are taking your photos outdoors, avoid direct sunlight.  Try shaded areas, early morning or evening photos.
  4. Declutter your photos as much as possible.  What looks bare in real life can come off as cluttered in photos.
  5. Straighten up.  Things like lining up the baskets just right and sweeping the floor can make a big difference in giving your photo a clean look.  
  6. Choose one item in the shot, and match all accessories to that one item.  In the photo above, Grace's bedding is the starting element to the accessories.
  7. Leave one thing out of place.   I see this repeatedly in designer photos, whether it's one magazine left out, slippers by the bed or a scarf draped over a chair.  
  8. Try different angles.  If you notice in the photo above, the photo is taken with me kneeling.  Try taking different angles of your photos, you may be surprised at what angles work when you look over you photos.
  9. Full shot not required.  When you take a photo, do not feel like you must get the entire piece of furniture in the shot.  Sometimes this is impossible, sometimes it just does not look right.  Instead, opt for accent shots.
  10. Edit your photos.  Our eyes are trained to think every photo of furniture needs to look like a design magazine.  But the truth is that those photos are color corrected and adjusted to look just so.  To help you put your photos in the best possible light (pun not intended) I've installed Picnik on the site.  See below for a basic tutorial of using Picnik to edit your photos.
Instead of uploading your photos the traditional method, click on the icon with the little ladybug for Picnik Express (if you know your way around Photoshop or the likes, you can click the butterfly for the full editor).
The screen will overlay with an editor as shown above.  You can either upload files from your computer or even use the image url from images already online.  Just click and find your files.
Once your file has been uploaded, the screen will look like this.  You can adjust the zoom in the upper right corner by moving the zoom slider.
In the column on the left, you can make many modifications to the file quite easily.  Under basic settings you can crop, resize or rotate or flip.  Shown above is the crop tool.  
Almost every photos will need the brightness/contrast adjusted.  You will find this setting under the adjustments tab.  Go ahead and test out different adjustments.  Every photo is different.  Just make sure you click on Done when you are happy with the settings.
After you click on Done, you will need to click Save.
And your file will automatically upload to our site!  How fun is that?  
Do you have any tips for taking better furniture photographs? Go ahead and add them below!
clips

I've done a lot of

I've done a lot of photography under "factory floor" conditions where you don't have much to work with.

Learn to color correct, adjust mid-range values (not just bright and contrast) and sharpen photos. Read this:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/159734/how_to_enhance_digital_p...

Bring in extra light!  Your halogen work lights from the garage will do just fine. Take the shade off a lamp and use a higher-watt bulb.

Read this: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/52513/digital_photography_light...

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posted by arcarro | on Tue, 2013-10-22 09:52

Thanks!


I'm o glad people are always giving thier different opinions on lighting and photography. I just bought a new DSLR and still need serious help! Thanks for the tutorial!

 

P.S. I just found your website this week and already have plans for three different items you have created! The suspended beds, farmhouse bed tables, and rustic media stand! Love your work!

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