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Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your DIY Projects

When you’ve poured blood, sweat and tears into your DIY projects, you want to show them off, right? Here are several tips from The Family Handyman’s resident photographer, Tom Fenenga, for taking photos that will do your projects justice.

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Clean LensPhoto: Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock

Clean Lens

Before taking any photos, make sure your lens is clean. This is especially important with smartphones, which frequently have smudges and debris on the camera lens and touch screen.
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Clutter-Free Background

Clutter-Free Background


Take unnecessary items out of the background, so your project is the focus of the photo. On that same note, keep the composition of the photo simple. You want viewers to understand your DIY project right away.
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Multiple Angles

Multiple Angles


Try shooting the subject from multiple angles. That way you’ll have several different options to choose from and can select ones to post on social media that best show off your project!
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Ample Light on Subject

Ample Light on Subject


Make sure there is plenty of lighting on your project. Take it outside, if needed, as natural light is usually better than artificial light, but avoid heavy shadows. If you’re using a smartphone, remember that you can manually adjust the exposure by touching the screen with your finger.
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Get Close

Get Close


Avoid using zoom, especially when taking photos with a smartphone, Tom says. Instead, move toward the subject to get a closer shot.
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Test with FlashFamily Handyman

Test with Flash


Take some photos with flash and some without, Tom recommends. Then you’ll have multiple options when selecting photos to share. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to using flash.
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Point-and-Shoot Pointers

Point-and-Shoot Pointers


Be sure your camera is set to the highest resolution possible. And if you’re shooting in a dark environment, set a higher ISO.
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Stabilize the CameraPhoto: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Stabilize the Camera


When shooting your DIY projects, Tom recommends using a tripod or clamp to stabilize your camera. If you don’t have either available, be as steady as possible to get a crystal-clear photo.
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Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds


You may have heard this one in grade school art class. It’s not a must, Tom says, but it’s worth considering when trying to get the best shot of your project. Visualize the frame divided into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. Experiment capturing the subject at any of the four intersecting points on the grid.