Tips For Better Interior Photography – Straightening and Aligning Lines you want to take good interior photography, you need to master the art of getting straight lines.

What do I mean by straight lines?

Well, it is very simple: Main horizontal lines should actually be horizontal and main vertical lines should actually be vertical.  Also, main lines should be parallel to each other, meaning that vertical lines should be parallel to other important vertical lines in the photo – the same goes for horizontal lines. For example, the ceiling line should look horizontal in your photo AND parallel to other horizontal lines like your floor (see above), unless you are taking your photo sideways.

A photo of a room with crooked lines does NOT look good. Here is an example of a very bad photo: you see how bent this photo is? The ceiling and floor lines are all over the place. Same goes for the vertical lines.

Look how much better this shot

How easy is to take straight lines? Well, not super easy, but I can give you some tricks to start trying. Here are the steps you need to follow:

1) Vertical lines

Vertical lines depend on the camera being tilted up or down. Here is an example of a camera looking up (the red lines are vertical and represent the lines where you want your lines to be) : photography24 This means that your camera is tilted up, so the vertical lines are skewed to the middle of the upper part of the frame. To adjust the vertical lines, tilt the camera down.

Now, here is what happens if your camera is tilted down too much: vertical lines are skewed again.

Once you find the right position where your camera is not tilted up nor down, this is the vertical lines that are also parallel to each other.

2) Horizontal lines

Something similar happens with horizontal lines. As we mentioned before, vertical lines change depending on your camera looking up or down. Horizontal lines, on the other hand, change depending on your camera being tilted left or right.

Here you can see what happens when your camera is tilted to the left. The horizontal lines are skewed. is what happens when your camera is tilted to the here is what happens when your camera is centered – not looking to the right nor left get beautiful straight and parallel horizontal lines.

3) Centered camera

Sometimes, even if you do what I mentioned above, you get this result: get one line straight, but the other lines are crooked. That was the MOST typical and difficult situation to solve when I was taking photos for the One Room Challenge! I would get one line straight, but the others didn’t follow. It took me a while to understand that this happened because my camera was not centered! Your camera has to be centered to the object you are trying to photograph to be able to get parallel lines, if it is not, some lines won’t be straight.

4) Fix it in post

Sometimes, even when you try your best, you can’t get straight lines when taking a photo, especially when shooting buildings or larger spaces.

See the photo below (the red lines are true vertical and horizontal lines and show where you want your lines to be): photo lines in this picture are totally crooked and not parallel… what to do? Well, Photoshop, of course!

Here are the steps you need to follow in Photoshop to fix this mishap:

a) Go to Filter/Lens correction. If you can’t open lens correction, you will need to create a copy of your background layer, but that was not necessary for me (I have Photoshop CS3, version 10.0). After you select Lens Correction, you should see this window (I highlighted in red the two tabs you will be using to get straight lines) I started with the Horizontal Perspective tab. By moving this tab, you can adjust horizontal lines until you get them straight. d) After getting the horizontal lines straight (and hopefully parallel to each other), you can start playing with the vertical Once you get the lines to the position you want, you need to press OK, and you will get an image similar to you can see, Photoshop uses your older image to patch up empty spaces.  To fix this, you need to:

f) Crop your image Select the portion of your image you want to keep, and crop is the final result: lines are much, much better, and here is the the lines in the photo are vertical and horizontal and the picture looks much better, don’t you think?

I hope this tutorial helps you. I wish I knew this information before I started taking interior photography because it would have made my life so much easier.

Let me know if there are any other tricks out there I should know!


Also, some posts about my first week participating in the One Room challenge, tips to take better Instagram photos, and an interview with photographer that takes photos of abandoned buildings.

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One Room Challenge, Week 6 – Kids’ Room -The Big Reveal

So, I have been participating in this challenge called the One Room Challenge hosted by Linda from Calling It Home. The idea is to transform a room in 6 weeks. I have been working on my kids’ room and today is the big reveal day. You can catch up to what I have been up to here:

Week 1 // Week 2 // Week 3 // Week 4 // Week 5

These 6 weeks have been full of busy weekends and physical (and mental) exertion, but that is all over, and I am very, VERY proud with the results. My kids’ room looks so good, but you can judge that by yourself.

Let’s get to the photos because that is what you are all here for. First, here are the before pictures, so you can be reminded of all that ugliness: here are the after photos of that same space. Be ready to be impressed! the beginning,  I was afraid the dark wallpaper and walls would darken the space too much so, to brighten it up, I painted one wall and the ceiling in true white. I chose Decorator’s White from Benjamin Moore. It was the perfect choice for the space. For the light fixture, I chose IKEA’s shade Overud. It is a beautiful statement and it matches the copper tone of the walls. It was super coincidental because I went to IKEA one day and didn’t find any lamp I liked, but I had to go back the week after to get some other things and I took a moment to walk around the lamp section again, just in case. Well, lucky me because that time I found the Overud shade hanging in all its glory. They had hung it the day before I came back! It was so lucky. I saw it and I knew immediately that this was the light fixture the space needed. Won’t you agree?

But, the best part of this room is, without a doubt, that Underwater World wallpaper from Hygge & West. It is so dramatic and gorgeous! It has beautiful copper details that I didn’t want to cover with a bunch of art, so I decided to paint the fourth wall in the same blue tone and create a gallery wall. Here is the result: of the art in here are vintage finds from thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. The other half was art created by me. I took all the photos and painted the yellow/black painting, plus, I painted the solid emerald and black paintings on the top left – I like having solid colors in a gallery wall to give a break to the eye.  All the frames are from IKEA. The panda accent is from Target – I thought it would be a cute addition to the gallery wall adding some movement to the straight lines.

I also fixed the old dresser, added corners from Home Depot and pulls from Orchard Supply Hardware and you can see the result above. Isn’t it cute? So much better than how it looked before (see before photos above). I also painted the door with a darker and more orange yellow (Lemon from Benjamin Moore) and it looks a million times better than the light yellow I had before. chair was a thrift store find that George did years ago. It is an old fake Eames chair  that we reupholstered in white leather. It used to live in the living room, but it looks so good in this space, I might leave it here. The rug is from Anthropologie. The toy storage units are Trofast from IKEA – I painted them emerald and the reason why is here. – they are a great way of storing the kids’ toys because they are easy to access. I bought the plants and planters locally at Rolling Greens, the best (and most expensive) nursery in the West Side. They have the best plant selection and the staff is always so nice to me and my kids; I really love this nursery. The black planter is from IKEA. Paintings are vintage finds. the books, we built floating bookshelves. In this post I wrote details about how we built them and why we chose to do floating shelves. I really like the result, don’t you? and other decorations on the shelves are vintage finds. The books are real books for kids that my children actually read! Can you spot the golden Nate Berkus lions in the photo above? I love those lions. The idea was to have a bright, beautiful, fun, and functional room. The bunk bed is from IKEA. I bought it in pine finish and painted it with Decorator’s White, to match the walls. The bedding and pillows are from target. That little copper light is from West Elm. I bought it last year and I don’t think they have it available anymore.

The photos above the beds are mine. Frames are from IKEA. I wanted to have black and white photos and frames in this part of the wall- something muted but elegant. At this point, I didn’t want to keep on bringing more color and noise into the room, so these photos seemed like the perfect choice. Also, they were taken in Punta Arenas, Chile, were I am from, so they are a little reminder of my home – I wish I could get rid of the reflection on the photos, but this is the best I could cute is that white vase with the tulips? I bought it in the Flower Market in DTLA. I got the hand at the Rose paintings above are from the Rose Bowl and a estate sale. vintage school chairs are also from a estate sale. As soon as I saw them I felt in love. They are so darn cute! and the perfect size.

In the photo above you can take a closer look at how the dresser turned out. Do you love it as much as I do? Specially after drilling more than a 100 holes to put those corners from Home Depot. It all came together so nicely and this guy and I are so happy. my big GIF fail from last week? Well, this week I tried harder and I think I succeeded! Take a look at how I built the gallery wall:

This is the first time I decorate a room from scratch and photograph it. I think it was a major success, if you ask me. Who would have thought I could pull it together? I am already thinking about the next One Room Challenge and what I could do. I just need more rooms to work with. Maybe you are interested in a room upgrade?

I hope you like how the room turned out. I LOVE to read your comments, so, please, don’t hesitate to write your thoughts. I always answer.

Also, some posts on where to find wallpaper for your nursery, how to paint your own walls, and, cute art for your kids’ room.

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ORC – Week 5 – Building And Fixing Furniture Room Challenge – Week 5 –

For previous weeks, click here: Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4

The most important news this week is that I have done my very first GIF. It is a total fail: I couldn’t keep the camera in one place (Max decided that moving the tripod with the camera on it was his Sunday’s priority), the photos are badly frame (vertical & horizontal lines are not straight), and the color of the pictures don’t match (taken at very different times of the day), but, as much as a bad GIF this one is, it took me forever to learn how to do it and it is my first one, so… ENJOY:

I am already nauseous watching that GIF! Too busy. Let’s look at that last photo instead: you can see, we built bookshelves this weekend (and by we, I mean George). I was planning to buy a bookcase, but after looking at the space, and listening to Domicile 37‘s advice, I decided to build floating bookshelves instead. This decision opened up the space and helped fitting more books, because I custom built them to fit the space (again, by “I custom built it,” I mean “George custom built it” – love you, George).

I left an open area in the middle of the bookshelves so I could fit a painting I bought in Costa Rica from a painter that lives in Playa Carrillo, right in front of the sea. This man changed a busy life in the US for a quiet and modest life in Costa Rica. A beautiful way of growing painting is not the obvious choice for this space. It is very colorful and noisy, but it fits just right for my taste. It brings a nice edginess to the bookshelves and it opens them up. It draws your eye and unclutters the shelves with that open space.

Deciding to use this painting was a difficult decision. I loved it, but I was afraid that a lot of readers wouldn’t. It is not the easy choice! A white, neutral, funny quote poster is the easy decision for here, but I have to be true to myself, and appeal to readers that like my aesthetics, so, why cheat? I went with the crazy red/blue girl painting instead.

For the big reveal, I will need to do a better job at styling these bookshelves, which means organizing 500 children’s books in a nice manner – an impossible task – I will probably put some books away for the shoot, but then they will come back to this original, messy position. the I decided to style it like a campaign dresser. First, I bought these corners at Home I didn’t want gold hardware, so I sprayed them with Rust Oleum – Antique Brass before installing them. Now I need to do a post on drilling! There are many details on how to drill appropriately. It is not as easy as pressing a button. Tutorial about it coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Here is how the corners look now (there is a general view of the dresser in another photo below) am going to have to repaint some of the details with a small brush  because paint came off when installing them. - orc wk5 -7These are the bail pulls I ordered. I am hoping they will get here on time for me to spray and install them before next week. it will suck if they don’t. I don’t love the finish of the pulls, but it doesn’t matter because I will spray them before installing.

And now, about that gallery wall. If you follow this blog, you know what my method of doing gallery walls is not conventional. If you don’t know what I am talking about, here is a post about the topic.

As a reminder, here is how this wall looked before I started the, here is how it looks right now: this photo you can see how the dresser is coming out – I have a lot more drilling to do but I like how it looks)

I want this wall filled with art that I have collected throughout the years (I spoke a little bit about this plan on last week’s post), but I realized I don’t have enough to complete the wall, so, yesterday, I went to IKEA and bought a lot of frames of different sizes, then I made paper dummies of all the art I have and started playing this puzzle call “make a gallery wall that looks decent, if possible.” The photo above is what I ended up with. It is not perfect, there are some frames that I want to move around, but, overall, it looks pretty good! Next week it will look even better, when all that art is hanged where it belongs. I am planning to use of my own photos in some of these frames (cheapest solution), so today I went to Kinkos to get everything printed, and it should be done tomorrow…The clock is ticking. Wish me luck!

Here is my Instagram account, in case you want to follow what I do this upcoming week. Also, I want to thank Linda from Calling It Home for hosting this fun challenge.


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Snooping On Etsy – Wallpaper For The Nursery
As you might know, I have been working on my kids’ bedroom for the last couple of weeks trying to get it ready for the One Room Challenge.

Re-decorating a room takes a lot of research – my pin board for the room has hundreds of images. I had to make decisions about color, wallpaper, art, bed, dresser, etc.– you get the picture. This knowledge should not die with me! But it should be shared with others that might want to update their kids’ room.

Let us start with the wallpaper.

Choosing the right wallpaper for the bedroom was the hardest decision I had to make and it took the longest time. I did a lot of research to find the right one. Here is a post I wrote about wallpaper options I was looking into some months ago. ended up choosing the Underwater Word (Deep Blue) from Hygge & West because of the dark navy color and copper finish. Hygge & West was nice enough to give me a 20% discount because of being a participant in the challenge. It cost me $320 to get the wallpaper. I bought 4 rolls. It looks AWESOME, guys. Really, everybody that has seen it loves it. My kids love it, I love it, my friends love it. I am SO happy with the decision, which is comforting because I was afraid that in reality it wouldn’t look as good as in my imagination, but there was no reason to fear. The wallpaper looks great!

After writing that first post about wallpapers for the nursery, I kept on searching for more alternatives on Etsy – one of my favorite online places to find cool stuff. There, I found a huge quantity of beautiful papers for the bedroom. Keep in mind that most of these wallpapers come in different colors and sizes, so you can custom made almost all of them!

Here are my favorites (this list took hours and hours of research to put together, so I hope it helps you save time in the future):  Dreamy Wall – Rousseau’s Dream Tropical Dreamy Wall – Summer Land Super – Vinyl Dreamy Wall – Forest Fantasy The Olivia Design – The Giraffe Southern Shades Home – Jane Churchill Winnie and Livettes – Watercolor Cactus Wall Truck Paper – Vintage Dream Wall – Winter Wall Play – House Southern Shades Home – Manuel Canovas L’ Southern Shades Home – Schumacher Plays – Striped Seamless Sian Zeng – Dino Wallpaper Midas Wallpaper Fabric – Imperial Wall In Wall – Spring Pop Decors

BC Magic Wallpaper – Teepee

Let me know if you like any of them!

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One Room Challenge – Week 4 – Art And Troubles

This week of the One Room Challenge has been about choosing art and other details for my kids’ room.

Deciding on art for a room takes me a lot of time, sometimes years, because I like using vintage pieces and thrift store finds that you don’t encounter in just one visit to the market.

Throughout the years, I have been collecting cool art for the kids’ room from estate sales, flea markets and thrift stores, but I need more!

I want to have this wall covered with art from top to bottom:

I want the wall to have a worldly feeling with art from different geographical places and cultures. In my last trip to Chile, I bought some pieces that I want to add. I also went to the Rose Bowl this month and found some cool and colorful paintings. I am also thinking about adding some of my own photographs to the wall because it is a cheap way of adding art.

Here are some photos of my trip to the Rose Bowl, my favorite way of spending a Sunday:

These are some of the items I  found. How cute are these bronze figures? these small penguins!!! I bought them in Chile.

I have found more art for the wall, but I will wait to show you the rest… I don’t want to give out too much before the big reveal.

Now, the question is, how do I fix the dresser?

First, I need to finish taking out the stickers and cleaning the surface. I had bought these knobs from Anthropology to replace the current hardware, but they don’t look good – they are too small and get kind of lost. I am thinking I should do some DIY copper hardware to add to the dresser instead. I like that the dresser is white, so I won’t change the color, but it definitely needs an extra “something” that I am trying to figure out.

Maybe this should be the plan?

So it looks similar to this bookcase from The Land Of Nod? We will see.  Next week I will let you know what I have done.

As for the problems I have to solve this week, I need help deciding on:

  • Bedding: what color should I use? I am thinking about something neutral because the emerald toy storage and the yellow door give the room enough color, plus, the gallery wall will be colorful and I don’t want the room to look too busy. Any ideas on what I should use? Also, I need to get affordable and fun pillows. Any ideas on that, too?
  • Rug: I am inclined to get this one. Thoughts?

Right now I am a little bit stressed out about the final details. I don’t have much time to order items and receive them before Week 6, so I need to make decisions by Sunday. HELP!

Here is my story for this challenge so far: Week 1Week 2 and Week 3.

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