We see so many photos of painted furniture, either not staged or worse an unflattering photo angle.
That photo is your one shot to selling the piece, you need to make it a feast for the eyes.
Customers look at a photo for no more than a few seconds, You need to stop them scrolling and actually look at the piece.
Unfortunately it doesn't matter how gorgeous the piece is, if it isn't staged or has a harsh camera angle they aren't going to stop and look, that is when you have lost a potential customer!
So we are going to share with you some tips and tricks to help to either fake it till you make it or use what you have around you to stage and take those gorgeous photos and hopefully get those sales.
Even with a smart phone!
So you have finally finished that gorgeous piece and now it is time to sell her, to reap the rewards of all that hard work.
Time to stage and photograph, you really don't need any fancy camera equipment.
Your first call is the background.
There are four ways of doing this.
Use what you have i.e a solid brick wall, or even better a nice plain wall.
Fake it! Use a camera backdrop off amazon or ebay
Take the photo on a plain backdrop and edit the photo in Canva* or photoshop. (some skills here are required)
A white sheet pulled really tight to form a backdrop
*Canva you will need to pay to use the background removal edit.
The easiest option is a brick wall, as little after shot editing is needed, however if a large brick wall or a plain wall is not available the sheet option works well.
Just make sure it is as crinkle free as you can make it.
Pesky crinkle marks show up 100 times worse on a photo.
Using or having a nice background will make all the difference.
You go from a "piece you have had lying around the home" to a professional looking piece to advertise.
TIP- Use an off cut of skirting board at the join of the wall and floor, it will make it look more appealing.
Once you have the background sorted, it's time to think of the flooring.
A lot of people wouldn't even think of the floor but trust me it is going to make a difference.
If you have a messy floor around you (Like we do in the workshop) its not going to look very nice on the photos, So time to change it!
Ideas can be...
Using an off cut of vinyl flooring or even clean off cut of carpet
A large rug
Some stick down tiles on a piece of boarding (Make sure its big enough for the piece)
* Some backdrops come with a floor and wall.
We are really lucky our workshop has a large brick wall, and some gorgeous flooring, so we use a rug.
Once you have the background of the photo looking brilliant and nice it is time to add the furniture and start to think of "Staging"
Staging a photo.
The difference between a staged photo and a un staged photo is getting that second look... and that sale!
So now you have the back ground sorted and the piece of furniture in the middle of the backdrop it's time to think of items that will enhance the beautiful work you have created.
Think plants, ornaments, art work, all that will help enhance the look and feel of the photo.
Remember you want a potential customer to imagine this piece in their home.
Items work better in three's, So maybe on one corner a plant, cute or unique ornament along with a photo or piece of art.
Use the back ground to hang a nice big piece of artwork, or on trend at the moment are seagrass plates hung in threes.
If the item is small, you will need less staging.
TIP-Try to imagine how a potential customer will display the piece in their home
Try using a small table for a large plant on the one side of the piece to draw the eye.
This piece has a brick wall backdrop, a nice rug in keeping with the theme of the piece with some artificial plants and an ornament in keeping with the theme.
As you can see it's also a nice camera angle, we will come to that next.
This photo is a prime example of a photo gone bad.
No lighting, you can see some non flattering shadows and a messy background and floor.
The eye is drawn to the silver at the back not the piece of furniture for sale.
One good thing, it is straight on so you can see the piece at eye level.
This is a better example of staging and camera angle.
The piece is well lit, on a plain backdrop and has some nice plants and a rug.
Its been watermarked so you know Furnitureaholic has created this, as well as being a Hokus Pokus brand ambassador.
To take the photo you don't need a professional camera for this.
Yes the digital SLR cameras are brilliant bits of kit, but you really don't need one for this.
A smart phone can do the job just as well also could be quicker and a lot easier.
Chances are that smart phone is how you post to your social media accounts and list the item for sale. So the photo is going to be right there for you ready to use.
Taking the photo isn't the issue getting the right angle is and having the piece along with the space around it properly illuminated.
First lets talk light...
I personally take my photos in natural light in the outdoors, two reasons; the piece always looks better in natural light and the brick wall I use is right outside the workshop door.
There is a draw back to using the natural light to photograph outside, If we have bad weather I have to wait to take photos.
The more light- natural or from a light bulb the better (You can change the photo settings on your smart phone if needed to lighten the photo, we will move onto that later)
You can use a light ring, they are now cheap enough to purchase.
Amazon have some for £30.00 (watch the size you buy)
Once you have the piece lit up its time to think angles.
Most people will stand there looking at the piece and hold the phone/camera at neck or chest height. This is where the unflattering camera angles come into play.
You need lower the phone/camera or if you can be straight on with the piece so you can see it eye to eye. Then take a photo!
TIP- If you want little to no editing afterwards, before you take the photo have a look around on the screen to see what is there.
Is the piece in focus? Is there any part outside of the backdrop showing? If you have any of this change it!
TIP- Remember to show different angles of the piece from the sides, or any extra detailing the piece has.
Using a smart phone tripod is also an effective way to get the correct camera angle, These are a cost effective way to help take better photos.
Hopefully now you have the perfect photos of your work, But there is another few things you can do to help!
Adding a watermark to the photo not only helps people know who created the piece, but it stops people from stealing your photos or taking them and sharing the work with no artist credit.
As I have mentioned before you can edit the photo on your smart phone.
Once you have the photo, go to the edit in to the top right corner you can then press auto and the photo will change to the best settings. You can change these manually as well if needed.
You can also add wording onto the photo here as well. (Like a watermark)
The top 3 little buttons (Right side) once pressed will pop up a box saying Markup if you click that you will get a new screen pop up, press the + and then text and a text box will appear.
This allows you to type a business name or any wording you want into it. This also can be edited to a different colour and size but pressing the aA button at the bottom left.
TIP-Just remember to press save before coming out of this screen.
Hopefully now you have some good tips and tricks to get some lovely photos of your work.
Why spend hours creating then add a quick snap to advertise the piece.
Go stage, take photos!