4 Photo-Taking Tips For Showcasing Your Work

written by Kaitlyn Green

As an upholsterer or designer, you put a lot of time and hard work into making your projects and designs picture-perfect – now, how do you go about getting those perfect pictures? Photography can be intimidating, but you don’t have to be a professional to showcase your projects on social media and the web. By keeping a few simple tips in mind, you can take beautiful pictures that will help you share your projects in all their bespoke beauty!

1. Lighting, lighting, lighting

Photographs are created by capturing images of light, so when it comes to taking great pictures, lighting is EVERYTHING. The best light sources for any type of photography are natural light sources (i.e. the sun). If you are shooting outdoors, it is best to shoot on overcast days, since the sun is naturally diffused and shadows are made soft from the cloud coverage. On sunny days, it is best to shoot during the golden hours -- when the sun is rising or setting -- to avoid harsh shadows and capture a lovely glow.

An example of a project photographed in overcast light. Project and photo by One Room At A Time using S2505 Indigo. 

If you are photographing indoors, try to position yourself near a window to take advantage of any natural light. If no natural light is available, place a few soft light sources around your project so it is illuminated well from all angles. Whether you are photographing with a professional camera or a cell phone, proper lighting will take your photos from good to great!

Project and photo by Wilford’s Upholstery and Decorelle using F1836 Grass.

2. Include Detail Shots

Upholsterers know good work is all in the details – so show them off in your photos! Get some close-ups of your project’s texture and any hardware details to add some visual interest. And include a few unexpected angles; photos of a chair’s architecture will display like a work of art. Getting up close and personal with your work will make prospective clients want to do the same.

It’s all in the details. Project and photo by Economy Upholstery using S2376 Indigo.

3. Composition

Strong composition can take a photo from good to excellent. The “Rule of Thirds” is commonly practiced in photography: Imagine that your photo is broken up into a grid of thirds, both horizontally and vertically. Photos will be most pleasing to the eye if the subject lies somewhere along the intersection of those lines. Give it a try – your photos will be strong, balanced, and beautiful!

Example of Rule of Thirds. Upholstery work by Barnes Custom Upholstery using S1611 Pebble.

4. Show Your Process

Upholstery and design work are forms of art, and it can be fascinating to learn about an artist’s creative process; don’t be afraid to share progress photos of your work! Before and after photos will help you share your project’s full transformation from start to finish. Progress pictures are also a great way to provide clients with a glimpse into your process and build a personal connection.

A gorgeous transformation! Project and photos by Liz Rowzee using S1776 Cornflower.

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