Why Photographers Need to Understand Decorating Styles

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So Why Should a Photographer Think About Decorating?

As a creator of art in any form (yes photography is an art) I believe we need to look at our end product and understand it’s purpose and why a client may want to purchase your artwork.

For most photographic art there is a good chance your art will end up on someones wall in their home or office.

So if that is the case, then shouldn’t you understand all the different types of decorating styles?

I got thinking about this the other day and thought to myself where would my type of photography fit in the different styles?

Here is a list of many different styles of decorating that I have seen in magazines and on Pinterest.

Here are 10 of the most common decorating styles today:






Rustic/Early American

Modern Farmhouse




These are just a few of the style but some of the most popular depending on location. But this to help you think about when creating a art piece in your photography so you can understand where your work would have the most value. Especially for those of us that do Fine Art Photography.

I have included some photos here of the different styles so you can get a feel for them and how they can help you when you are photographing different subjects.

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This is a typical look of a Modern style of decorating. Square lines and little color. B&W images or abstracts are great for this type of decorating style

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This style of decorating is again light and mutted colors.

So simple composition photography with white and earthy colors would suit this type of style best.

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Minimalist Style

This example shows very white and clean and fewer items in a room. Art item are usually small framed simple compositions with white mattes. Subject should be very simple and clean.

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Industrial Style

Many offices use this style of decorating by having lot of metal and simple cool colors. B&W looks great with this style, but with simple lines and compositions.

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Lots of over stuffed furniture, wood tables, rugs, and the art work is old world style in heavy frames. Many hotels use this this style because if is warm and comfortable.

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Rustic/Early American

Lot’s of wood and small antique items. A farm scene, chickens, farm related images work well in this style of decorating. Usually this can be more popular in the Midwest region of the country.

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The ModernFarmhouse

It is clean light colors with accents of wood items. Simple horse art and farm art looks great with this style but it should be simple. Farm items and animals go great with this style.

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Here is a great example of seaside or costal decorating. Usually light blue and sand colors make this feel more like the ocean. A great photograph would be shells, lighthouse, beach items, cool blue colors, sunsets

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Southwestern Style

This style is usually very colorful, with Aztec types of materials throughout the room. Great art for this style is cattle, desert scenes, blue and orange colors, with subjects found in the desert Southwest

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Western Style

This style is usually found in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming. It is very rustic and with lot’s of wood and warm colors. Art suited for this are buffalo, wild horses or the Quarter horse, saddles, cowboy boots, spurs. Usually a lot of warm deep dark color.

So as you can see from all these examples the photographs you take can be suited for different types of decorating styles. Usually if you live in an area you will take photographs of subjects from that area and they would be suited for the way most people decorate their homes.

However, we all decorate according to our personal taste and sometimes that may not reflect where you live. But if you understand what type of images look good in the different type of decorating style, you may have more success selling those photographic art pieces.

Also if you look at the different styles and the accessories that are used in each room you can begin to understand what photographic art would be suited for hanging on the walls.

Large prints are very popular, so you must make sure you photographs are sharp and will look great in a very large print. You do not want your client to be disappointed in the purchase of your work.

It is always a good idea to have test print your work to make sure the colors are correct and that it looks great in a larger format.

Hope this is helpful for you next time you are out photographing a subject. Have an idea of how you subject would fit into a certain style will always help you make more sales.