Next week, we'll open the entry form to our very first My Bedroom Retreat contest. We want to see what you love about your bedroom, and what tips you have for creating a beautiful, restful haven.
We'll share the best entries, your fellow readers will vote on their favorites, and the winner will receive a brand new adjustable bed from our friends at Leggett & Platt, the contest sponsor.
But having a great bedroom is not enough to win this thing — it's also about taking the best photographs you can to really show your space at its best. Your photos certainly don't have to be professional quality, but we find that better photos often do better in a contest. To help you get ready, we've compiled some of our best tips and tricks for taking great interior photos.
• Take advantage of natural light: Remember that shooting during high sun hours, like 11-2, is always favorable for indoors. Having enough light will help your colors appear true, your shots be in focus, and your bedroom look the way you want it to.
• Use a tripod, if you can: Shooting from a tripod does wonders for keeping photos crisp and focused. It allows you to use a long exposure on your camera, maximizing that natural light. And it lets you easily adjust the height of your camera to find the best perspective for a given shot.
• Make the space the subject: Be conscious of a foreground, a middle ground and a background when taking a wide shot of a room. Even in a wide shot, determine what the subject of your 'portrait' is — whether it's a bed, a lamp or an object.
• Leave White Balance on Auto: Be aware of how indoor lighting affects the color cast of your photos. Your camera's built-in white balance is usually the best way to keep colors true.
• Get cozy with Photoshop: Even the best photographers rely on Photoshop to correct color and light balance. Here is our quick video primer on how to color correct your pictures in Photoshop.
We hope these tips help get you and your camera ready for the contest. Our entry form goes live next week — we can't wait to see your Bedroom Retreats!
(Images: Carly & Chip's Resourceful & Refined Home; Rohde's "Opportunistic" Design Laboratory; Cheyenne Weaver's Gilded Simplicity; Hollie Wood's Low Country Antiquarian Glam; Ross's Cozy Modern Home in Midtown.)