Taking Good Pictures

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taking good picturesTaking good pictures of your woodworking projects is important. It creates a visual record of what you have done. It also gives you something to reference when you need to remember how something was made. A great set of pictures also allows you to build a portfolio of projects that may become useful.

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A well stocked portfolio can be helpful for landing a woodworking job, and some companies will ask to see what you have made. A higher end place will almost surely ask, as they have a lot invested in having skilled workers. If you make it a habit of taking pictures at all stages of a project, you will always have something to show when asked.

The best way to store all these images when you are taking good pictures is on a computer or external hard drive. Digital cameras have made taking pictures almost free. There is no more developing pictures and paying per print. All you do now is take a hundred pictures and save them to your computer.  My external hard drive has close to 20,000 images stored on it, and the number keeps growing. My Canon Rebel

 is always covered in dust (still works) but I have a ton of great images.

taking good picturesAnother thing that is nice about taking all these pictures is that you will have images to work with if you are writing books or maintaining a website. When I want to talk about a project I did a few months ago, I can actually show pictures of the building process. This makes your reach more significant, because some people are more visual, and need to see pictures to learn.


Taking good pictures is important for woodworkers. A well stocked portfolio of images is a great way to seal a job interview, share your work, or create compelling online content. Take as many as you can, the more the better.

Storing pictures can be a little nerve wracking for some people. The prospect of losing all your beloved images in one lightning storm, or from one hard drive that gives up the ghost unexpectedly, can cause a little stress. The best way to safeguard your pictures from Murphy is to back them up somewhere.

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I have all of my pictures on my computer, and they are also on two different external hard drives. I have used MyBook Hard Drives

since the time when they were priced around a dollar a gig. I still have both by the way. Now you can get a 2 Terabyte drive for around $100, and you will probably never fill it.

Finally, the hidden benefit to taking good pictures frequently is that you are creating your own personal stroll down memory lane. Once in a great while I like to dig around in some of my older pictures. It is always a fun experience. I remember things that I forgot, see old projects with more experienced eyes, and learn from my past woodworking mistakes. It makes me smile every time, and it will do the same for you.

You don’t have to be a great photographer either. Just take good pictures and save them somewhere safe. Once you have the camera, the rest is pretty easy.

For more tips, take a look at my Woodworking Tip Of The Week.

If you have any tips for photographing woodworking projects, please comment. We can all benefit from your experience and become better.

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brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

  • 20 Years Experience in Woodworking
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