How to Photograph Your New Furniture like a Pro Using Just Your Phone (& Earn $100 Doing It)
STEP 1 – Clean Your Space
Everything looks better when the area is dusted, fluffed, straightened, smoothed, vacuumed, uncluttered.
STEP 2 – Accessorize
Just like getting ready to go out for the evening, decor can make a sofa, table, bed feel pretty. This could include throw pillows in a coordinating color on a sofa, beautiful sheets, or a centerpiece on a dining table.
Keep It Balanced
Like wine with dinner, the right pairings make or break the meal. Where possible, pair your new furniture with correlating pieces you own. For example, sofas look nice with coffee tables, end tables, lamps, area rugs, wall art, table art and coffee table books.
Dining tables look nice with chairs, a centerpiece, and art on the wall. Beds look good with voluminous bedding like a goose down duvet with an elegantly simple cover, 4-6 pillows of varying sizes, nightstands, lamps.
Infuse with Life
Perhaps nothing brings an area to life more simply than a living plant. Alternatively, cut flowers. A few, well-paired statement pieces look nicer in pictures than a bunch of small tchotchkes.
Things to Avoid
Busy bedding like quilts or knitted throws that are outdated in 2021 • worn out accessories like old flat throw pillows • plastic plants • dishes on the table like you’d see in some catalogue.
Of course, if you are a gifted interior designer, you will know where and how to break this rule to great effect so take this suggestion with a grain of salt. Trust your instincts about what looks great.
Set the Stage to best show the fantastic furniture choice you’ve made.
STEP 3 – Set the Mood
Lighting is everything to a camera. Daylight is everything for free. If you don’t own professional film lighting (and why would you?), one way of getting free professional lighting is to engage the sun. Think about the best time of day where the most daylight comes in through a window and makes your new furniture pop.
PRO TIP: If you have a white towel or sheet lying around, and a friend to help you or a timer on your camera, someone can hold the sheet/towel up in a way that bounces the light coming through a window back onto your furniture. Try it. It can be amazing and it’s totally free.
STEP 4 – Set Yourself
This means to shoot from a low angle.
If you’ve ever looked at professional photos of furniture or interior design websites, you’ll notice that the camera isn’t shooting from eye level. Here are some guidelines for how to shoot low:
- Shoot from 3 feet above the floor.
- Living rooms
- Shoot from 3-4 feet above the floor.
- Dining rooms
- Shoot about 4 feet above the floor.
STEP 5 – Focus On Your Furniture
Photographing furniture is different from taking a selfie. Composition is key. Filling two-thirds of the frame with your new piece of furniture is a good rule of thumb but don’t worry about showing the whole piece. Leaving a little bit to your viewers imagination is ok … in fact, it’s smart.
Feeling extra ambitious?
Try different furniture arrangements, & different accessories. You may just find that you’ve created a masterpiece or new design for your home in the process.
STEP 8 – Set Your Phone
Set your frame – For the most recent iPhones, 4:3 or 16:9 horizontal (also referred to as “landscape”) is the way to go. For non-iPhones, if 4:3 or 16:9 isn’t available, shoot in horizontal (with your phone on its side) mode and choose the option that fills your screen the most.
Set your lens – If you have options, choose the most-telephoto/least-wide-angle lens. On an iPhone 11/12 Pro this means the 2x lens. If you can’t see your new furniture well, back up. If that still isn’t enough, try the 1x lens.
PRO TIP: Never use any phone’s ultra wide-angle lens to shoot indoors, for example, the iPhone’s new 0.5x lens. These lenses are created for epic outdoor shots of mountain ranges and other distant landscapes/cityscapes, but they massively distort interior architecture like a funhouse mirror.
Set your exposure – For most cell phone cameras, simply tapping the screen will change the exposure. Tap different areas on the screen (light, medium, & dark) to see which gives your photo and your furniture their best looks.
STEP 7 -Set your angle
This literally means to hold your phone perpendicular to the ground…as if you were trying to stand the phone on its skinny edge. Furniture photographs differently from faces. Many people today hold their phones up high and shoot down at their face when taking a selfie because that is a flattering angle. Your furniture’s most flattering angle is “straight on” and 6-18” above its main flat surface (the sofa’s seat, the table’s top, the bed’s sleeping surface). Try different heights above the main surface before venturing into off-angle images.
STEP 8 – Snap Away
Again, just like with selfies, taking several images will give you options for choosing your favorite. The more the merrier to finalize the best few. Remember: keep your phone’s surface perpendicular to the ground…at least at first.
STEP 9 – Skip The Filter
If you are active on social media, you may be very familiar with the filters available on some platforms. Most are designed to make people think they look better; they aren’t about showing off how amazing things look naturally. Your star furniture is brand new and will never look better so we’d like you to simply let its natural beauty shine in its best lighting. Have fun.
STEP 10 – Get Rewarded
We love to see how your new furniture is thriving in your home, and we’re happy you can help us see that along the way, so we want to reward you with, not one, but TWO $50 gift cards – one for you PLUS one to give to away. Click the button below to submit your photos and get the best (imho) gift card in town.
Clean the area around the furniture, even windows, if necessary.
Place in a natural arrangement with other furniture and uncomplicated decorative items makes good sense.
Illuminate with plenty of lighting, especially sunlight. Your camera will thank you.
4. GET LOW
5. GET CLOSE
6. SET THE RIGHT EXPOSURE
Not too dark, not too bright.
7. GET LEVEL
Level your phone. Hold it perpendicular to the ground.
8. TAKE SEVERAL PICTURES
Shoot from differing positions, re-leveling the phone each time.
9. DON’T APPLY FILTERS
10. SUBMIT & EARN YOUR REWARDS
Receive two (2) $50 gift cards. One for you and a second $50 gift card to give away.
Furniture Priced Right