Happy September! Not sure what happened to Summer but here we are, looking down the barrel of Fall. This week on Two Tip Tuesday I shared best practices for decorating a room from scratch and gave the low down on photographing on an overcast day.
Here is summary of my two tips:
Decorating from scratch
Several years ago, I went to see new client for a color consultation. I walked in the door and to my surprise, the home looked EXACTLY like a Pottery Barn store. I asked the client if she worked at Pottery Barn (thinking she must be high up in the organization) because why else would her home look like that)?
Now I have nothing against Pottery Barn. In fact, I frequently shop at Pottery Barn for clients. The thing is, this client’s home was an exact replica of a Pottery Barn Store right down to the rug, drapery and accessories. She seemed a bit embarrassed (I felt terrible I had said anything) and she told me that her entire extended family had chipped in to buy she and her husband a $18,000 gift certificate to Pottery Barn as a wedding gift.
First of all, what a great family. I’m sure they had the best intentions for this busy young couple. They most likely knew she loved Pottery Barn and were thinking this would be a great way for them to furnish their first home.The problem is, they were living at the store!
Folks, PLEASE refrain from furnishing your home or even a room all from a single store. I know it’s tempting to do one stop shopping. You will most likely meet a very nice salesperson who will dazzle you with a 3D floor plan filled with the store’s merchandise.
What to do instead
DON’T DO IT! No matter how much you love a particular store’s aesthetic, you want to mix it up. Buy a few key pieces from your favorite store but then mix in other looks from other venders. Shop for something vintage, get accessories from a local boutique. Shop for artwork at an art fair or on Etsy. The important thing to remember is that you want your room to reflect you and those that live there. Your room needs to have a soul, not be a showroom or advertisement for a big box store.
Shooting on an overcast day
One kind of outside lighting that doesn’t get the love I think it deserves is overcast lighting. Now I’m not referring to a dark dreary day where it is about to rain any minute. I’m referring to a bright but overcast day without harsh sunlight casting shadows. On an overcast day, the clouds act as a giant softbox and cast a soft even light.
The beauty of an overcast day is that the lighting is consistent morning, noon and night. Since there is no hard sunlight to wash out colors, an overcast day is an ideal time to photograph colorful subject matter. In some parts of the country we are approaching foliage season. An overcast day is an ideal time to get out there with your camera and shoot the beautiful colorful trees. On an overcast day, the colors will be very saturated and the leaves and green foliage will pop.
An overcast day is also beautiful lighting for photographing people. Everyone looks their best with soft even lighting on their faces. Wrinkles are softened and there will be no racoon eyes due to the sun casting shadows.
So next time you see an overcast day, take full advantage of the soft beauty of the light. Get out there and shoot!
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