I am back today with another behind the scenes peek at my DIY blog world. I loved the response to the first behind the scenes post so much. Yes, my house is real…it is messy…it is lived in…and generally in a bit of chaos from all my projects, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want to share more behind the scenes type posts, but only when I have something really good (er, bad) to show or a good tip. Today I have a good tip.
To successfully capture your amazing projects at home, you have to find the good light. Unfortunately, some rooms have poor light…or no light. Our basement playroom is a perfect example. I have struggled to get good photos in that room.
When I shared about my camera, I included one tip about how I deal with a dark room. It involves a tripod, cable release, and a really slow shutter speed. It also involves throwing my arms up at some point and saying good enough. Still the pictures aren’t ideal. This is as good as it gets:
One of the best tips I learned at Haven was in Kristen Duke’s photography class. She shared how she moves projects to the light. She will shoot smaller objects on her kitchen table near the window. She will stage something right in her foyer with the front door wide open to let the light in. She will photograph projects in the garage with the garage door up. Sometimes it is not possible to move a project to the light, but if you can it makes a huge difference.
Case in point, the DIY rolling toy storage crates. I managed to get a few decent photos in the playroom. But, to get really good shots of the crates, I knew I needed to move to the good light.
By moving the day bed and crates to the nearby family room, which is flooded with natural light, I was able to get beautiful pictures. I cropped creatively, so the reader doesn’t necessarily notice I photographed them in a different space. The only tell-tale sign is the wall color behind the day bed. Despite the slight inconsistencies in the photo, it was worth it to get great pictures and show off the crates in their best light.
Of course, in the pursuit of great pictures I had to mess up the family room a bit. The yellow chairs were casting shadows on the day bed set up, so I shoved them out of the way. I keep most of my furniture on sliders, so they can be easily moved.
I also got pretty darn creative with make-shift tripods. The shortest my tripod goes is about 18″. When I want to get down low, I have to get creative. In the playroom, I grabbed the nearest thing I could find. So, I used a Duplos rock structure to get the camera at just the right height. When I moved out to the family room, and left the Duplos behind, I grabbed the next best thing…the stack of books from the coffee table with a small tray turned upside down on top. The low shots allowed me to show off the teal wheels.
(Sorry for the grainy iPhone photo…I wasn’t kidding when I said it was rough shooting in this room)
As winter approaches, I have to be more creative finding the light to photograph my projects. When the days are short and the sky is are overcast for months on end finding the light is even harder. Maybe a space heater for the garage is necessary? We’ll see how I manage with my new camera toys.
Oh, and since the last behind the scenes, I have made some progress on the media cabinet. I guess posting the unfinished project lurking in the basement got me motivated to follow-through and get it done. My oldest helped me paint it yesterday. There are a few more steps to go, but I will be sharing this project soon.