How to personalize your home with smartphone photography

Linda Holt Creative smartphone photography coaching, editing and courses. Create gorgeous interior design project images with your iphone and android. Own your copyright.

It goes without saying, that I want my clients to have a beautifully designed home. It’s also equally important to me to reflect my client’s unique personality. Often times I look to accomplish this by re-purposing beloved family heirlooms, meaningful artwork, or by displaying a collection that is meaningful to the homeowners.

Sometimes though, there are no family heirlooms or meaningful collections to work with. In this case, I like to to create something special using my photography skills. Today I want to share three different art photography projects I did that were very meaningful for my clients. All three were very simply executed, and might give you an idea for an art photography project in your home.

1. Display a photo of a meaningful location

The first photography project I did was  for my very first “big” design job back in 2012. I was only about nine months into my business and I was hired to completely furnish an empty condo. The dining area of the condo was part of the kitchen and the homeowner had very specific requirements for a dinning table. It had to be of a certain length and width most of the time but twice a year had to expand to accommodate a large crowd. After searching for WAY longer than I should have, I finally convinced him we needed to have the table custom made.

This is where the story gets interesting…and quite long. The short version though is that the furniture maker sourced the wood from the old Birds Eye Freezer factory in Gloucester Ma.

This is the very place where flash freezing was invented and produced America’s first frozen vegetables. The factory had been abandoned since the late 40’s and was only weeks away from being raised to make way for a new boutique hotel.

The completely freaky part of this story is that unbeknownst to either myself or the furniture maker was that my client had a family member who had worked in the factory back in the 1930’s.

This is the custom table we had made. It is made from the American Cyprus which once lined the freezer of the Birds Eye Freezer Company. Aluminum was eventually used and the wood freezer became obsolete. Here’s where the art photography part comes in.

Shortly before they knocked the building down I took a series of photos of the decaying factory. I chose three to frame and hang next to the table. I also gave him several unframed ones as well.

At the time I had no idea I would one day be writing a blog about this so unfortunately I don’t have a better image of the photos themselves. I can report that my client was very moved by my surprise.  He found it so meaningful to own a table made from the wood of such an historic factory, that one of his ancestors had worked in. The icing on the cake is that next to the table are photos of the factory itself…Cool right??

2. create a gallery wall from photos of treasured objects 

My next photography project was related to books. On my first meeting to discuss a new client’s project, the husband pulled out six books. He said he didn’t know how or if I could incorporate the books into my design.

He relayed that his recently deceased dad was a well known Indian author and had written the series. This type of family items are gold to me. I placed them all directly on the existing black leather sofa and took a quick iphone photo. These treasured books became the inspiration for my entire design. The colors drove my color scheme and although the books were only small paperback size, I wanted to bring them to prominence and give them a place of honor in my client’s home.

Client’s book collection written by his dad

Once my design plan was approved, I asked to borrow the set of books. I  took a photo of each book on a white background (white construction paper). I then had them enlarged by one of my favorite companies called Fracture. Fracture prints photos directly on glass and they arrive ready to hang. I enlarged them to a 20″ x 16″ size and the day of the install hung them on a tall thin wall just off the entry. My clients were surprised and thrilled!

3. Alter a photo to make it unique with a Photoshop or a similar app.

My final example is not yet installed so I don’t want to give too much away but I am working with an awesome client/friend on her “piano lounge”. I asked her to give me several of her absolute favorite and most meaningful sheet music cover pages. This is one that she chose as being very meaningful. I especially like the handwritten notations as it makes the piece even more personal.

I photographed each sheet cover and then imported the photos into Photoshop. I’m really not a Photoshop expert and I didn’t know exactly what I was even going for but after playing around for awhile I settled on the image below.

Artwork created by Linda Holt

This piece along with two others will be the featured artwork in the room. Each one is a different color based on the room’s color scheme. I used Fracture to print my images on glass for this project too and at the moment they are sitting in my office waiting for our install day.

Three very different clients, three very different projects and three very different “stories”. That’s what I love most about design. Every client and job is different yet everyone has a family story that is a part of who they are and it’s what makes a house a home. I feel honored I was able to by bring three stories out into the open in my client’s homes through photography.