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Top Tips to Showcase Your Woodworking with Professional Looking Photographs

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When you build a handcrafted piece of woodwork, you put time, sweat, and dedication into designing and crafting it perfectly. So, when it comes to how that design looks on camera, it matters that it is shown in the best light. 

There are a few simple tips that can make your projects stand out. After all, your picture represents your work. They may be the first exposure a potential customer has to your craftsmanship. Your pictures can communicate to your customer the beauty of your craft, maybe even make the difference between a sale and a pass. Here are our best, straightforward ways that help portray the fine quality of your work.

Great images can be captured either with a phone or a camera; it’s up to you. Most phones these days have excellent camera capabilities, so often, you don’t need a high-end professional camera. Phones also have the advantage of easy uploading and sharing apps so you can get your pictures onto your website or to your customers quickly and easily. 

However, if you’re already comfortable behind a professional camera, all the better. Quality at this level can’t be beat, and with new digital technology, it’s easy to transfer images to your computer in a snap. 

Pro-Tip: Free apps like Wordpress, Lightroom, and Google Drive make uploading, storing, sharing, and blogging about your work fun and simple. You can also share pictures on free apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to reach a wider audience. 

Take your time. Did you just finish up your latest project and excitedly snap some quick pictures, tools, and all still scattered around your workbench? While completing a work of art is thrilling, we recommend taking the time to set your project in the right environment. Remove all clutter and make sure the lighting is bright enough to set off the tones and figures of your woodwork. 

You can even play around with the position of your light source or time of day to enhance the image and provide a dramatic scene. For instance, backlighting where the main source of light is behind the project or a late afternoon photo shoot both provide interesting shadows. Just don’t forget to keep the main element - your handcrafted design - clearly visible and well lit. 

Set your scene; consider a plain backdrop behind your workpiece. Set your piece in front of a contrasting, plain backdrop to best highlight the piece itself. For smaller projects, a hanging thin piece of pressboard works well if it encompasses the entire subject behind and below. For larger subjects, a piece of cloth may work better. Choose a color that allows your workpiece to pop. Often, you’ll find a white backdrop works best to make the images of your craftsmanship simply stunning.

Keep Your Work in Focus. If you can’t or do not prefer to use a clean backdrop, another simple approach is to shoot the photo from a larger distance and zoom in. The background of the photo will blur out of focus allowing your work to stand out. Try different camera angles to see what position works well for various projects. 

Hands off! Set your camera down. Inherently, when we keep our cameras in-hand, the image loses some of its sharpness. In order to retain the highest quality image, position your camera on a solid surface; then take the picture. You can use the clamps you have lying around, but in the long run, you may find it easier to simply invest in a tripod or phone stand.  

Pro-Tip: Most phones and cameras have a timer feature for hands-free mode.

Taking a great professional picture simply shows off your work more effectively. At Keim Home Center, we know that you work as hard on your projects as we do on ours. When your pieces are captured in high quality images, you convey to your customers not only your love for your craft, but also your ability to construct high quality woodwork. Good photography is one of the best and easiest ways to share your passion. And, passion about wood is what Keim is all about.