Of course you do great work but are taking great pictures of your work? Or are you simply holding up your iPhone and snapping a dark, blurry picture? Like, um… this:
If you really want to impress potential customers, here are a few tips to help make sure you’re taking decent photos:
- Your Camera – Yes, you can use your smartphone to take good shots. But at the relatively low cost of a starter digital camera, you can get amazing photos with cameras from Nikon, Canon, or Sony. You can download your photos directly to your computer and upload them to all the social media sites. There are manual and automatic options for exposure, flash, focus, and more on every type of DSLR camera.
- Your Tripod – You will get better results if put your camera or smartphone on a tripod. Here’s an example of an iPhone Tripod. And this is another inexpensive option to support your digital camera. A tripod allows you to frame your photo, steady your shot, keep it level, and make sure you’re in focus.
- Your Lighting – This really is the most important aspect of taking quality pictures. If you depend solely on the flash, a single light source, you’ll end up with harsh shots with heavy shadows behind it and it really flattens your images. If you depend on sunlight, the exposure levels on the camera get confused by the heavy light pouring through the windows and can make the interior too dark. You can change the exposure, if lighting is low, but that can increase the “noise” (grainy effect). Try turning on every light in the room. Add additional lights, if possible. Avoid windows in the background, if you can. Many cameras have flash diffusers that you can buy separately. In daylight, turn off all lights and let sun shine in from behind or to the side of you to naturally light up the room. You might even considering buying a lighting kit with soft-boxes that are placed around the room and aimed to remove shadows – sure it’s a pain, but your shot will be awesome.
- Your Set-up – Take the time to clean and organize the room, even if it’s just for the shot. Don’t be afraid to stage the room – move furniture, add flowers or a fruit bowl, light a candle. Start by taking shots from the corner of the room to get more interesting angles and make the room appear bigger. You may have to step into hallways or staircases to get your shot. Try shots from high up and at eye level for variety. If you have objects in the foreground and the background, you’ll have a more three-dimensional shot because the foreground items will be slightly blurry, giving it a depth-of-field (just like your eye works!) Take the time to de-clutter a room, when possible.
And, finally, have fun with it. Try interesting and new things. Don’t be shy taking as many as you want – if you’re using a digital camera, there’s no film to waste (just memory cards to fill up) so if you get enough shots you’ll likely find a few that will work for you.