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Loft Photograph from Interior Designer Tamara Eaton's liveBooks Site

Many interior designers avoid developing their web presence because they don’t have good images of their work. If you don’t have the resources to hire a professional photographer, your next best option may be to do it yourself. Here are five simple steps to help interior designers learn how to photograph interiors.

How to Photograph Interiors: Five Simple Steps

1. Start by purchasing a good camera and tripod — If you are planning on taking interior photos, do it right with a camera that can produce high quality images. We recommend the Canon G12 ($450 msrp); a good entry-level camera that can shoot HD images and manages light well. A tripod will help you reduce noise from “camera shake” while allowing you to step away from the camera and observe your interiors. Using a timer may also help you if you don’t have a steady hand.

2. Focus on one subject for each photo — One of the easiest mistakes you can make is trying to capture EVERYTHING in one photo. Think about the different ways your design highlights the room and focus your images around these elements. As a designer, many of the elements you focus design around (flow, colors, contrast, angles, materials, lighting) will be of more interest to your clients than capturing the entire space of a room. Eliminate any items that distract from the subject of your photo.

3. Use natural light to showcase the room— Unless you have proper training, complex flash systems and lighting will be nothing but trouble. Experiment using natural lighting and try to capture your rooms from different angles throughout the day. Once you get more comfortable with your camera, you will learn what times throughout the day warrant the best results. Your tendency may be to turn on all of the lamps to add additional light; don’t. Your camera is equipped to help you and will work best with a balanced quality of lighting.

4. Don’t edit your photos on scene— If you are new to photography your images likely won’t turn out perfect; you will need to do some basic editing. If you use a Mac computer you can do basic editing using a program that is often preloaded on your computer called iPhoto. If you don’t have access to iPhoto, free applications like Pixlr can help you make adjustments to your photos.

5. Borrow ideas from the pros— Pinterest is a great way to gather inspiration for your photo shoot. Create a pinboard of interiors that you love and take notes on what aspects of a room you want to capture. By doing this prep work you will begin to recognize themes between your photos and professional interior photos.

liveBooks provides simple, easy to use, website platforms for artists, photographers and interior designers. See more examples of how interior designers use liveBooks at success.livebooks.com. Hear it first; join our Facebook and Twitter communities to receive real-time liveBooks news and updates.

Last week on RESOLVE we asked you, the smartest creative professionals we know, “What is the best advice you’ve gotten recently that helped you improve your business?” We encouraged our readers to tweet us @liveBooks when they found a gem so we could feature our favorite every Wednesday on RESOLVE.

Well, guess what. Today is Wednesday.

Thanks to Adam Westbrook (@adamwestbrook) for sharing this week’s top tweet: “Creativity vs. Cash,” part of the Break Through Your Creative Blocks series on the Lateral Action blog (forgive them for the vibrant red highlight color, the advice is worth the visual assault).

The post leads with a great quote from Hugh MacLeod of gapingvoid.com:

“The creative person basically has two kinds of jobs: One is the sexy, creative kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills. Sometimes the task at hand covers both bases, but not often. This tense duality will always play center stage. It will never be transcended.”

It goes on to outline three options for, let’s not say transcending that duality, but dealing with it in a healthy way.

1. Put creativity and cash in separate boxes
2. Earn cash from your creative work
3. Take a creative approach to earning cash

As you might guess, option three is where the really good advice comes in, with specific examples about how you can apply creative thinking to every aspect of your business — and actually make it fun :)

If you find this post helpful, please pay the creative karma forward and send us more tweets with useful information for creative entrepreneurs. You can even comment below, include @liveBooks, and click “Tweet this comment.”

New York Magazine last week published the most in-depth article yet chronicling the sad financial downfall of celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz. The question on everybody’s mind is how a person who’s making an annual salary of $2-to-$5 million could run into a debt of over $24 million. The Wall Street Journal blames it on her “leverage-and-live-large lifestyle.”

In a surprising move, Time Inc. has purchased a house in Detroit to serve as a long-term base of operations while its publications document the struggle of the nation’s automobile capital. This seemingly unprecedented move will allow Time’s journalists to cover the story not only as observers, but as part of the community.

The iPhone emerged this month as the most popular camera on Flickr, ousting the long-reining top uploader, the Canon Rebel XTi. We’re not surprised considering how easy  iPhone images are to upload and the improved picture quality of the new 3GS. At the time of writing this post, the XTi has climbed back to the top of the chart, but we’re betting Canon is paying attention and expect to see wi-fi upload capabilities in their DSLRs soon.

Matt Mandelsohn’s The Lesson of Lindsay is a beautiful story of young girl struggling with personal tragedy. The fact that the piece was turned down by every potential publisher, one because they wanted “happy” news stories, is just a tragedy. A Photo Editor boils it down to the “duh” soundbite that publishers still refuse to listen to.

One of Gustavo's photos from his Hogs for Kids tour. ©Gustavo Fernandez

One of Gustavo's photos from his Hogs for Kids tour. ©Gustavo Fernandez

No one has more power to change the world than photographers. Yes, yes, doctors are regarded as the human deities of the world, but with few exceptions photographers are embraced with open arms everywhere they go. Because whatever your photographic discipline, and no matter where you travel, you can barter your talent as a shooter for just about anything. Including the well being of children in a far away country.

A week and a half ago photographer Gustavo Fernandez packed up his Harley Davidson to be shipped back to California from New York. He had successfully concluded his second annual “Hog for Kids” motorcycle ride across the United States in a bid to raise money for impoverished children in the Dominican Republic, where Fernandez was born.

In his first career, as a pharmaceutical rep, Gustavo frequently contributed to Children International, a Kansas City-based organization that aids needy children around the world. When he left that steady paycheck last year and plunged into a new career as a photographer, Gustavo (like most making that transition) was watching his bank account with a frugal eye. His budget wouldn’t accommodate his annual donation to his favorite charity.

Gustavo Fernandez

Gustavo Fernandez ©Michele Celentano

Unwilling to abandon the kids of the Dominican Republic, Gustavo went on a motorcycle ride to conjure a creative solution. He was sitting on the answer. He loves riding his Harley and he loves making pictures. Thus emerged Hog for Kids.

As he rode east to New York, Gustavo shot portraits of the children along the way — in exchange, the families contributed his room, board, and a $264 annual ($22 monthly) sponsorship of a child through Children International. This year’s successful trip took 28 days and received international attention. Gustavo says he is looking forward to riding again next year — provided he gets the feeling back in ass by then.

There is no other art form that is so versatile in it’s adaptability and portability for aiding others than photography. As Gustavo demonstrated, all that’s required is the will and the application. Your efforts don’t need to be as grand as a motorcycle ride across the country, but I do urge you to try and find a charitable application of your talent at least once a year. Not only is it good for your soul, it’s good for your career.

As Gustavo discovered, any experience with a camera in your hand, paid or charitable, will always make you a better shooter than you were the day before. He returned from his first Hog for Kids ride a markedly better shooter than before he left. When you place yourself in photographic situations that are unfamiliar and require you to adapt quickly, you’ll be improving by a significant factor. If those situations are charitable in nature, you have more latitude for mistakes, which will ultimately prepare you for the times when mistakes are less tolerable.

Photography is a unique profession that is a golden key to the world. Don’t keep it all for yourself.

Be Part of the RESOLUTION: There are so many great examples out there of photographers bartering their time and work for good causes. What projects like this have you participated in or heard about?

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