15 Furniture Photography Tips and Ideas (2024 Guide)
Without the proper product photography tips and techniques, your listings can suffer from dark, cluttered furniture shots that don't showcase the beauty of the spaces. This turns off potential buyers and leads to lower engagement. I'm sharing this guide on furniture photography tips to gain more sales and improve client satisfaction.
Table of Contents
- Furnishing Frames: Furniture Photography Tips and Creative Ideas
- Frequently Asked Questions
Furnishing Frames: Furniture Photography Tips and Creative Ideas
To maximize furniture photography, clean the pieces until they look brand new, shoot minimally without over-styling, adjust the overall lighting for even exposure, utilize handy presets to expedite editing, and don't forget background removal to isolate the furniture. It also helps to invest in high-resolution cameras and lenses with various focal lengths.
Furniture photography brings out the true beauty of the furniture piece, which can only be seen by the naked eye if not enhanced. Here are some furniture product photography and photo editing tips to attract potential customers and save time in your work.
Underestimating the power of attraction brought about by furniture is a huge mistake. Blending furniture in the enhanced areas of the house together will help make the overall picture look natural yet appealing.
Furniture Product Photography Pre-Shoot
Careful planning and setup before the shoot lays the groundwork for product photography success. Cleaning and staging the furniture, preparing backdrops, and scouting lighting setups allow you to maximize each piece's visual appeal during the shoot.
1. Clean the Furniture Products
The first step in doing furniture photography is to clean the furniture and make it look brand new. There are a lot of ways to do this, and depending on the material of the furniture, you may need to look for a specialized cleaning service.
Make sure your furniture is spotless before taking pictures because photography brings out different flaws, including fingerprints, dust, and other blemishes. This small cleaning step will go a long way in furniture photo editing, giving a flawless look and minimizing the need to edit out small blemishes.
Here's what we recommend to keep furniture in pristine condition and help improve image quality in product photography:
- Get into crevices and remove surface dust, dirt, and debris using microfiber cloths, dusters, or vacuum attachments.
- Use wood polish or furniture polish to clean and enhance wooden surfaces gently. Apply evenly, then buff off.
- For upholstery, hand wash with a mild detergent or use a specialty upholstery cleaner according to instructions.
- Scrub out any sticky spots or residue buildup with concentrated attention and care.
- Touch up scuffs, scratches, or worn areas.
- Check for spots, lint, or anything else that will be more noticeable in photos.
- Fully dry surfaces after cleaning to ensure there are no liquids before starting the shoot.
2. Choose an Ideal Location
The location impacts lighting, staging options, and the overall aesthetics of the final images. This is why, whether you prefer outdoor or indoor, you'll need to select an optimal location to improve efficiency for your furniture photography workflow.
Carefully weighing the aesthetics, lighting, and staging potential allows you to choose locations indoors and outdoor. As a result, your product photography shots show furniture in the best setting possible.
For indoor locations:
- Seek out rooms with large, clean windows for ample natural light.
- Look for open floor plans without clutter or obstructions for wide shooting angles.
For outdoor locations:
- Evaluate shade and sunlight areas in the yard for optimal natural light all day.
- Set up on a patio, deck, or area that matches the furniture style.
- Avoid harsh overhead sunlight. Shoot in the shade or use diffusers and scrims.
- For natural context, photograph furniture arranged in an outdoor living space.
3. Practice Furniture Staging and Setup
Staging and setup are hugely important in furniture photography to present each piece in the most appealing way possible. Arrange the furniture, decor items, and shooting environment to enhance visual storytelling and draw viewers into the scene.
In furniture photography, the key is to prepare the room and stage the furniture to show its best sides. According to the National Association of Realtors, 82% of agents say staging a home made it easier for buyers to visualize a space. This includes how you stage furniture to set the space.
There are times when it’s worth collaborating with an interior designer who can find the best angles and positions to maximize the furniture.
- Style the furniture minimally and limit decorations to highlight its best features. However, you can use pillows, vases, or books that accentuate color and texture.
- Craft a compelling scene around the furniture with thoughtful props. Show how it fits a lifestyle.
- Position furniture at flattering, natural-looking angles. Facing slightly away invites people into the scene.
- Check the lighting on staging elements. Adjust the positioning of lamps and furniture to illuminate nicely.
- For big pieces like beds or sofas, style bedding or blankets in an inviting way. Show how cozy it feels using the furniture.
- Use backdrops and flooring that contrast nicely with the furniture finish and colors.
- Show furniture groupings and combinations when applicable, especially for a brand's collections.
4. Prepare Colored Backgrounds and Backdrops
When using a stand-alone piece for furniture photography, setting up a clean cloth or a white background can help you work with it later on. Furniture photo editing ideas can come from blank canvases or simpler photos since they offer a lot of room for creativity and work.
You can use these stand-alone pieces for virtual staging later on and serve as nifty pieces to fill empty rooms. The good thing is that it's easy to source low-cost background rolls of paper online.
- Use a neutral color, like a gray background, to perceive a piece of furniture's pattern, texture, or detail.
- Prepare green screens when photographing furniture to layer on desired backgrounds during editing easily.
- Prepare a backdrop stand and a few clamps to create a smooth transition between the vertical and horizontal planes.
Furniture Photography Actual Photoshoot ideas
Executing optimal camera techniques for product photography captures high-quality photos to work with. Choosing the right lenses, angles, and camera settings ensures you have stunning establishing shots and details for furniture photography
1. Pick the Right Camera and Lens Combination
We recommend investing in a professional camera that lets you use manual settings. You’ll likely want a wide angle lens, such as a 24mm. However, be mindful of where the furniture is placed in your frame so that it doesn’t look distorted.
These high-quality cameras and lenses can get you started.
- Sony A6100 and Tamron SP 35 mm f/1.8: The APS-C sensor provides high-resolution images and excellent autofocus. The 35mm prime lens has a natural perspective that avoids distortion, making it perfect for indoor shots.
- Sony RX100V and 24-70mm: The large one-inch sensor in a compact body produces high-quality photos. The zoom versatility suits furniture's varying sizes and distances. It's also a good walkaround lens.
- Nikon D3500 and Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E: I used to have a Nikon D3500 when I needed a budget DSLR that excels at detail and color rendition. The fast mid-range zoom creates sharp images across furniture dimensions. The NIKKOR 24-70mm has a useful focal range, especially under natural light.
- Sony A7R IV and Sony-FE 16-35mm f/2.8: The 61MP full-frame sensor delivers enormous resolution. The ultra-wide-angle zoom lens emphasizes furniture shapes and spatial contexts.
2. Stabilize Your Camera Using a Tripod
You also need to shoot steadily and minimally. With large objects, subtle movements of the camera are magnified into blurry, distorted photos. Mounting your camera on a stable tripod prevents unwanted blur caused by unsteady hands.
Stability with a tripod ensures that blurs will be minimal, and sharpening certain areas will result in easier tasks. Minimalistic styles are much appreciated in product photography due to their nature of catering to a more general taste.
- Invest in a sturdy, heavy-duty tripod that securely supports a DSLR or mirrorless camera without bending or vibration. This prevents wind or bumps from disrupting your shot.
- Extend the legs and position the tripod so your camera is at eye level with the furniture. Bending down or reaching up distorts angles.
- Use a tripod head to pan and tilt your camera for flexible framing. Head movements should be smooth and fluid.
- Ensure the legs are extended to a wide stance for maximum stability. Tighten the leg locks firmly and weigh down the bottom center hook if needed.
- Use a remote shutter release or self-timer to prevent any vibrations from touching the camera during exposure.
3. Learn the Correct Camera Settings
One of the most challenging things about taking pictures of furniture is using the right camera settings. Choosing the optimal camera settings lays the technical foundation for high-quality furniture photos.
Since furniture varies greatly in size, shape, and detail, a versatile semi-automatic mode provides needed creative control while automating initial settings. These are general camera settings for furniture photography.
- Use Aperture Priority mode to control the depth of field. Go for f/8 to f/11 for adequate sharpness throughout.
- Set a base ISO between 100 and 400. Avoid higher levels to reduce image noise.
- Opt for a lower shutter speed, around 1/60th of a second or slower, as long as you have a tripod. Lack of movement allows this speed for image clarity.
- Choose single point AF focused on the main furniture piece. Recompose after locking focus.
- Shift between Auto or Custom for white balance when using mixed lighting.
- Enable mirror lockup on DSLRs to avoid vibrations. Use a remote release or timer.
- Shoot two to three stops underexposed if the wood is highly polished to avoid blown highlights.
- Review photos and histograms. Check focus and exposure, and make any adjustments needed.
4. Combine Natural Light and External Lighting
Quality lighting is the make-or-break factor in attractive photos. Proper illumination in furniture photography showcases textures, colors, and dimensions accurately. For optimal lighting, leverage available natural light first, then supplement with artificial sources as needed.
- Position furniture near large, clean windows for ample diffuse daylight. You can move the furniture away if the light is too harsh.
- On cloudy days, brighter window light may suffice without supplements. Overcast skies make for great diffused light.
- Find a spacious, naturally well-lit area, like outdoors or near windows, to photograph large furniture.
- For indoor shots, add external reflectors to bounce more natural light onto the shadowed sides.
- Fill overly dark spaces with an extra lamp or artificial light placed strategically to illuminate without glare.
- Choose an early morning schedule for outdoor shoots to avoid direct sunlight and eliminate harsh shadows.
- Use a white paper or a white sheet to diffuse window light.
- Take great interior photos by using natural, indirect light.
- Add accent lighting, like small LED panels, to spotlight specific details or features.
- Use bounce cards and reflectors as fill lights.
- Mix color temperatures from daylight, camera flash, and tungsten lamps for dynamic lighting.
- Take test shots and inspect highlights or shadows.
5. Explore Image Compositions and Different Angles
The key to furniture photography is knowing how to take multiple photos of furniture from the most flattering, visually pleasing angles and compositions. In this way, you can highlight the very best attributes of each piece.
High-quality photographs shot from various angles can elevate sales by up to 40%.
When taking pictures of furniture, composition and angles in furniture photography guide the viewer's eye to important details and create an engaging viewpoint.
- Capture multiple angles, including front, sides, and details, for a comprehensive visual tour of the piece. However, be cautious, as shooting front-on can make furniture look flat.
- Highlight special features like fabrics or wood grain. More comprehensive photos give customers the confidence to purchase.
- Shoot at an angle to showcase dimensions and proportions. Straight-on shots look flat and confuse buyers. Diagonal angles depict furniture best.
- Shoot diagonally at 45-degree angles to convey dimension, shape, and a dynamic perspective. A slightly lower angle can emphasize a commanding, powerful presence for substantial pieces.
- Higher, straight-down angles showcase a furniture item's symmetry and overall shape.
- Position furnishings at natural angles and arrangements to portray it realistically.
- Frame compositions to highlight striking features, fabric patterns, or materials.
- Allow space around the furniture to convey the proper scale and prevent crowded, awkward cropping.
- Shift camera position for shots with furniture in context, like sofas in living rooms.
Thoughtful angles and compositions in furniture photography bring out the best in your furniture subjects. Train your eyes to convey shape, details, scale, context, and visual appeal through deliberate, varied perspectives suited to each piece.
Post-Production Work for Furniture Product Photography
Post-production is crucial to do furniture photography some justice. The supplement it provides with real estate photo editing is that the furniture will not look like stray items. Editing will help these inclusions blend in with the beautifully enhanced interiors and lighting and will be sure to grab any viewer's attention for a second look.
1. Adjust Exposure, Contrast, Shadows, and Highlights Values
Particularly in product photography, it's common to encounter shiny surfaces like metal. You can save time in post-production work by softening the highlights and keeping some contrast.
When editing furniture together with an interior space, adjust the lighting and exposure from an overall photo perspective. For localized adjustments, Dodge and Burn tools are available to touch up the furniture shot's brightness, especially when there are shadows and dark areas.
- Use Levels and Curves tools to balance shadows and highlights.
- Dodge and burn to lighten or darken specific areas.
- Adjust brightness and contrast for optimal image tonality.
- Match exposures across batches of photos for consistency.
- Brush on localized adjustments where needed.
2. Incorporate 3D Edits
About 93% of consumers consider visual appearance a vital decision-making factor before purchasing an item. Product visualization in furniture photography allows you to showcase furniture in various settings or environments. You can better explain the item to customers, speeding up their decision-making when purchasing furniture.
For furniture as a stand-alone piece, a good furniture editing idea is to make it pop out in a 3D fashion. This means you may need shadows on the edges to help create a perspective of being shone a light on.
Incorporating 3D edits in furniture photography brings a realistic touch to the photo needs when you need to use it as a stock furniture photo in virtual staging.
- Add shadows along the edges to create depth.
- Use lighting effects to mimic dimension and contours.
- Boost vibrance to make the colors pop.
- Apply saturation boosts to elicit realism.
- Adjust perspective for straight lines and angles.
3. Remove Blemishes
Retouch for any blemishes that remain, especially when there are fingerprints. One of the basics of the product photography editing phase is the quality check. Retouching ensures no visible and unsightly marks from any last-minute movements during the shoot.
- Use the Clone Stamp tool to cover up spots or marks.
- Carefully erase distracting reflections.
- Patch larger damaged or discolored areas.
- Gently reduce visible brush strokes or texture.
- Smooth out any distortion from the lens or angle.
4. Apply Presets
Another editing idea for furniture photography is to use available presets. These presets enable you to create enhancements with a single click, as they are memory-infused with the edits you have set.
There are also a multitude of existing presets available in Adobe-developed software. These presets work by selecting one image preset that resembles the enhancements you need for furniture photography. After that, you can adjust the various aspects from there.
- Take advantage of one-click enhancements.
- Fine-tune preset effects to suit each image.
- Create custom presets for batch efficiency.
- Use presets as a starting point for further editing.
- Save new go-to effects for a consistent style.
5. Enhance Furniture Color
About 22% of shoppers return items because they don’t look how they appear in images. As a general rule of thumb in product photography, high-quality photographs should showcase the right color of furniture in real life.
- Use Hue and Saturation tools to shift tones.
- Adjust color balance for unified palettes.
- Match furniture colors across the product line.
- Create color-coded preset styles.
- Ensure consistent brand style and aesthetics.
6. Remove or Replace the Background
The least intuitive editing tip in furniture photography is background removal in images. Even if the furniture was shot as a stand-alone element in a backdrop of white cloth, chances are the cloth is still visible.
The need to remove this through background removal tools or even internet software will make your furniture look clean and independent.
- Carefully erase or replace backgrounds.
- Use layer masks for non-destructive effects.
- Add new backdrops that complement the furniture.
- Maintain natural light against shadows.
- Choose minimal backgrounds to emphasize furniture.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Take Professional Pictures of Furniture
To take professional pictures of furniture, clean and style the pieces minimally under natural light, and shoot from multiple flattering angles like diagonals. To master furniture photography, you also need to take wide establishing shots and closer details and use post-production editing to perfect the lighting, colors, and focus.
What Are the Angles for Photographing Furniture?
The best angles for furniture photography are diagonals at 45 degrees to highlight dimension, straight 3/4 shots to focus on details, bird's eye shots from above to emphasize shape, and eye-level front views to showcase style. Avoid unflattering distorted shots from below.
How Do I Shoot Furniture Photography?
To shoot furniture photography, clean and style the pieces minimally, set up an optimal natural light, and take wide establishing shots and close-up shots. It also helps to adjust exposure and lighting for evenness and use post-production editing to perfect each image.
Why Is There a Need for Post-Processing in Furniture Photography?
Post-processing furniture images can bring crucial features, especially the details, colors, textures, and patterns. These enhanced product photos will make or break impressions based on what they see, and you cannot change it any other way.
The truth behind good-looking furniture in real estate photos is a combination of good photography and editing skills. Save time on improving your furniture product photography services by following tips on optimal lighting, angles, staging, and post-production. With these furniture photography ideas, you can take your furniture shots from lackluster to magazine-worthy as you gain more sales.
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