Artfully Photographing your Homestead
You do not need a fancy camera to shoot beautiful, meaningful imagery around your homestead. While I have been a professional photographer for nearly 20 years and feel most comfortable shooting with my DSLR, the guidance I’m sharing below is relevant with any type of camera, including the one on your cell phone, and can be any type of photography you shoot for your business.
Set Your Camera Phone Up For Success
When shooting for your business, make sure your camera phone is set up to shoot in a JPG format with RAW option on (if using an iPhone.) This will give you more control when editing.
Once your subject is in your frame, tap on the subject on your screen. This allows the camera to fine-tune focus on your subject. This is simple, but very important. In time, it will become second nature. When your photos are crisp and clean, your viewers will be more drawn to engage and purchase.
Edit with LR Mobile. It’s a game changer for your imagery and is simple to use. You can then use a preset (a set of editing adjustments) to make your time editing photos most efficient. Presets allow you, in one click, to get the tones and colors that you are drawn to from your favorite photographers. If you like my editing style, CLICK HERE to learn more about my Cedar Homestead Preset Collection.
Use Natural Light to Enhance Your Imagery
There are three types of natural light I absolutely LOVE to shoot in.
- Golden hour backlight. Golden hour is the hour before sunset and the hour after sunrise. When shooting during this time, the sun is warmer, softer, lower in the sky, and provides beautiful colors and shadows.
- Side light is my favorite when shooting flatlays and product photography. It adds a beautiful dramatic affect to your image. To shoot sidelight indoors, simply set up your table near a window and turn off all the other lights in the house. You only want ONE LIGHT SOURCE. This will give you dramatic shadows.
- Diffused light. Here in the PNW, you get very good at shooting in overcast conditions. When you shoot overcast, your subject is truly the only focus. There are no flares or shadows to distract the viewer from the story you are trying to tell or the product you’re trying to sell.
Leading Lines. Chances are, your property has lots of leading lines. Fencing, housing structures, barns, stalls, railings, pathways, dirt roads, and wagons to name a few. Use leading lines to draw your viewer’s eye toward the subject of your capture.
Next, consider your horizon line. Is it straight? Crooked horizon lines are such an easily correctable composition rule that will make your image immediately more pleasing. There is a tool on most phones and editing software platforms that does it for you with a click, so don’t worry about it too much when shooting but DO make sure you correct it before sharing or publishing the image.
Adding texture into the frame adds visual interest and creates depth and warmth to your image. Here is a list of things you may have around your homestead that will add texture to your imagery:
- Plants. Indoor, outdoor, growing, cut, whatever! Plants add beautiful texture to any image!
- Animals. Your animals naturally have beautiful texture. Don’t be afraid to get up close to photograph them in a way that enhances your fur or feathered babies.
- Exterior of structures around your property often have beautiful texture. Brick walls, board and baton barns, the more rustic the better!
- Fibers. Towels, napkins, skeins of yearn, throw blankets, twine, anything you have around your home can add visual interest to your image!
- Buckets and baskets! I am going to make a confession here. I have a basket obsession. It’s out of control. I probably have 200 baskets in my home. Hit up your local thrift store!
- Vintage kitchen items add beautiful texture and interest to your kitchen images.
- A wooden kitchen table with grain and contrast can be a beautiful backdrop for your flatlays.
I hope these tips get your creativity flowing and help you realize that you have many beautiful photography options at your fingertips. Happy shooting, friends.