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Photographing the Difference

Listing #4006   Listed on: 11/21/2012

Company Name: Hudson Cabinetmaking, Inc.

Contact Name:   Russell Hudson

Click to View Member Profile Member Photo Member Contact Info Shop Gallery Project Gallery Categories
Pictures are a great way to communicate...especially when you are trying to sell your work. It provides a 'proof' of your experience that few clients can argue with. It also helps a client to better understand the quality of what you're capable of and lastly, it convinces them just how much better their home or office or property will be (or work, look, etc.) if they choose to go forward with the project being considered. This same sales tool can be taken to a whole other level of success...and for the exact same reasons we've just listed above. You do it by making sure you also remembered to take photos before you created the work.
Good, old, and reliable...before and after shots. Nothing says it like they do. You even become more reputable because photographs 'say' that you believe in what you do and have been willing to document it.
I often go so far as to tell my clients they can call any customer whose work they are looking at. Clients will find it helpful to see both pictures taken from the same angle and with the same size framing. I also elect to take pics during construction or installation as well. It helps people see how a project 'comes together'. I have enough pics to break them up by project category. The following are samples of -KITCHENS- photographed before and after...

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During Installation

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The following pantry is in such a small room, I shot it from two different angles.

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Before - Left View

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Before - Right View

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During Installation - Left View

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During Installation - Right View

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After - Left View

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After - Right View

I'll be adding more of these pre/post photos as I have quite a few, but they're scattered everywhere and I'm working too hard these days to post as often as I used to (glad to have the work though). Check out the website if you'd like...

Russell Hudson
Hudson Cabinetmaking, Inc.

Viewer Comments:

Posted By: C J Struthers     [11/26/2012]
Great stuff Russell! Your photography is good too. One suggestion however. Work with your lighting a little and your shots will go from good to great! I use a few halogen work lights with photographer filter screens to soften the light. You'd be amazed what the difference can be.

Very nice work on those kitchens as well! I think you also do a very good job of designing for the space at hand!

Stay busy!


Posted By: Russell Hudson     [11/26/2012]
You're the second person to mention this. I actually have a lot of background in this field so I know how to light. I just barely have enough time to take the picture after sprucing it up a bit to make it look presentable, but if two of you now mentioned it I may have to think more about this. I find lighting to be very time consuming to do correctly.

Posted By: CJ Struthers     [12/02/2012]
Don't you just hate it when you've got things going just the way you want them and some schmuck shows up and says something like I did about lighting? I know I sure do but then as you indicated you stop and think well maybe there is something to it!

I hope you know that my comments were in no way meant to be critical. I'm married to a photographer and she is always all over me to take the extra time to make the lighting just right. I usually groan and try to ignore her and take my pictures. Then she is always happy to set up the lights, shoot the shots and show me with great fanfare how much better her's look. She is always right so I've started listening and learning and I guess now I'm prompting others about their lighting too.

Keep up your great work and if you find you are curious play with lighting, it can make a dramatic change in your photography. I hated it too but she was right.


Posted By: Brendan     [12/07/2012]
Amazing work, I am truly envious.

One suggestion on the photography (I certainly cannot offer any on the carpentry): In small rooms, like bathrooms, pantries, entries, etc., use a wide angle lens. Then crop the photo as needed to show what you wish. It will allow a full conceptual pic in one shot with ease, and a professional light (preferably one that fits into a shoe on the camera). If you use your pictures in a portfolio to sell your skills paying a little extra for proper photo equipment is a must.

I would trade my photo skills for you carpentry skills in a heartbeat though :)


Posted By: Larry     [12/10/2012]
I agree with you about getting good photos of your work. I also agree that lighting makes the photo. In addition to what has been said, take the keystone affect out in PS Elements or one of the free online editors. I'd avoid the on-camera flash. It gives harsh lighting, poor distribution and often nasty reflections. Bounce your light off the ceiling or opposite side wall, or shine it through something to diffuse it.

Posted By: Russell Hudson     [12/10/2012]
before becoming a cabinetmaker I was a union motion picture cameraman and I eventually became a producer of TV commercials. Trust me guys I know how to light and shoot. I just can't spend the time to art direct, dress the 'set', light it, and tale the shots in a clients home. If you guys would like to see some good looking photos of work, check out my gallery I also have a number of videos I've done on the site. I really like talking to woodworkers about the craft - they know what the heck I'm talking about :-)

Posted By: Kevin Dunphy     [12/18/2012]
Your work is excellent. I like the fact that each kitchen is unique, not making the same thing over and over.

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