Marketing Your Design Work – Tips on Photographing Reflective Surfaces

“How do I reach new customers?” is a fundamental question that rings eternal for every business owner. As a designer, the best tool you have to gain new work is beautiful, well put together examples of your previous work. The perfect picture of your designs can act as your best marketing piece to reach new customers. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer in terms of marketing, this blog will help you in taking on one of the more difficult tasks of photography – shooting reflective surfaces.


Chrome, polished nickel and other surfaces that shine are extraordinarily popular today. As beautiful as they are in a design, these materials prove wily subjects for photography. Many products that have a polished chrome or nickel look will tend to have intricate details to go along with the reflective surface, like ridges, curves, bevels, and sharp edges.


First tip: The shape of the hardware/product will tell you how you need to set up your lights, where to stand in relation to the product, and what you want to reflect or not reflect into it.




Second tip: Reflective surfaces will show anything within close range. Makes sense, right? So, put at least 3 feet between you and the product you are shooting. If you can, put distance between yourself and the product; it will help to eliminate unwanted reflections. It also helps to wear neutral colors if you can’t shoot from a distance.


The last thing you want in a close up shot of your beautiful chrome piece is a reflection of a person holding a camera.




That being said, some reflections can actually provide an interesting enhancement to your photograph.



These surfaces can also be very responsive to the light in a room. For example, yellow lights will make them appear more yellow themselves in tone. They will take on the coloring of the room and lighting in it, which may not provide an accurate portrayal of how the product actually looks.


Final tip: Be mindful of the light! A good soft box can help create the right lighting. If you don’t have one, try to get as much natural light in the room as possible. You can also use a combination of natural and artificial light. The goal is to fill in every shadow of the composition.


Use white boards to surround the reflective material and bounce light off of them instead of directly at the actual reflective surface you’re photographing. This will create soft, clean reflections that do not capture the image and color of other objects in the room.



If all else fails, you may need to color correct in post-production with a photo editing software.


In terms of photography, the devil is in the details, but with a few of these tips in mind you can easily create a beautiful portfolio of your best work.


Good luck and happy shooting!


From the collaborative minds of

SusanSig  andvioletsig


The Power of Color

Color has power. We respond to colors in ways that are unrealized, a subliminal reaction to external stimuli. Restaurants often chose red because it has been believed to make people more hungry. Shades of blue are thought to reduce stress and anxiety and lower blood pressure. While not everyone is affected the same way, scientists have long made study of the way color can affect our moods and reflect our personality. It follows that picking the colors for your home design is an important task.


Let’s take a look at this example of Emtek’s Wilshire entry set in oil rubbed bronze paired with three different door colors. The same hardware in one finish has a completely different feel with each color choice.


First, let’s look at red:


This color is bold and eye catching. The color red has the ability to increase your heart and breathing rate; it is stimulating and energizing. What about the personality of someone who chooses to paint his/her front door in such a vivid color? What does it say to guests and passersby as they approach the door? In Chinese culture, red represents good fortune and joy. Perhaps a bold front door tells guests that they are walking into a joyous home, filled gregarious people who are filled with life. A bright color for energized people.


Next, a beautiful blue:



As previously mentioned, blue is the color of calm. It reduces anxiety and stress. On this more gentle color, the Wilshire has a chance to stand out much more than on the red door. The simple beauty of its geometric lines draw the eye. And what of the person who chooses this blue? Imagine a peaceful household full of warmth and love. Put a hand on the door handle and open it to the smell of freshly baked bread. Close your eyes – what does blue make you feel?


The ingenuity of green:



At first glance, this green brings out the highlights of the oil rubbed bronze finish. The small flashes of brass shine against this color. Green is the color of ingenuity and learning. “Geniuses pick green,” said Robert DeNiro in Meet The Parents. Scientists have found that a room painted green can actually improve a child’s learning speed and retention. So, what is the home with a green door? A family gathered around a Scrabble board? Mom and Dad are always sure to include story time before bed to instill a love of reading and imagination. What do you see for green?


The colors you choose for your home are more than just a style choice. They have the power of subtle influence – peace, energy, ingenuity. The color you choose can reflect who you are. Next time you head to the paint store, don’t be afraid to pick a color that lets YOU stand out.



Thanks for reading. You might also be interested this post about color.


A Burst of Color

The term “curb appeal” has become an integral part of the vernacular of home design. An appealing exterior can add to a home’s value, help it sell quicker, and make it appealing to friends, neighbors, and all passersby. Further, a home’s exterior is the first chance you have to tell the world about your personal style; it tells a little bit about who you are.


Emtek is a door hardware company, so naturally, we have a passion for all things doors and hardware. In terms of curb appeal, the latest trend in our industry is a brightly colored front door;  home owners are no longer content to have something standard. The front door is the first impression your home can give, so it should make a statement.


The key to working with a bold color is to find balance in the surrounding elements of the design. For example, in the picture below, Emtek’s Octagon entry set in oil rubbed bronze is the perfect compliment to this vivid red door, by Masonite. Oil rubbed bronze doesn’t clash with the bright color, but rather adds warmth to its overall look and feel.


What color is your front door? Is adding a bright, bold color on your home rennovation list of “to-dos”?




Thank you for reading and be sure to follow Emtek on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.



Emtek on American Dream Builders

Look for Emtek products on the new NBC reality show American Dream Builders this Sunday night at 8pm!


Emtek provided entry sets, passage and privacy, accessories, and cabinet hardware for the new one-hour reality series hosted by Designer Nate Berkus. The show pits the most accomplished home designers and builder in the country against one another in a high-stakes competition.


Contestants are divided into two teams and will take on a home to be redesigned and renovated in only a few days. The losing team will send one person home!


Tune in this Sunday!


Emtek in the Architectural Digest Greenroom at the Oscars®

Emtek was thrilled to be invited to participate in the Architectural Digest Greenroom at the Oscars®. This incredible room was designed by David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group, who is an established designer with credits to his name such as Nobu hotels and restaurants. The Greenroom is “a spacious backstage retreat where superstars can relax, gather their thoughts, mingle, and perhaps refine their thank-yous,” according to Architectural Digest (www.architecturaldigest.com).


Emtek, for its part, provided the STRETTO non-keyed passage, 1-1/2″ x 11″ with Hercules lever and Modern Disc crystal knob for this sumptuous design. The ultra modern look of the STRETTO fit perfectly into Rockwell’s modern New York loft themed Greenroom. The room design featured a “blending of indoors and outdoors, comprising an elegant living room setting boasting a livably luxurious scheme sprinkled with striking vintage furniture alongside a fantastical outside garden area offering additional seating,” stated Architectural Digest.


Take a behind the scenes sneak peek into this incredible design. Don’t forget to watch the Oscars® the Sunday night!



Kitchen & Bath Industry Show 2014

We had a great time at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show this year. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth!