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How to Photograph a Door: My 3 Top Door Photography Tips

What is the best way to photograph a door? It’s actually very easy to take a bad door photo. Believe me, I know based on my personal experience.

Over the years though, my doortraits have definitely improved and I have 3 door photography tips that I think made the biggest difference to my own photo quality.

Read on to explore my personal top 3 tips to help you improve your door photos.

1. Wait for a Cloudy Day

Sunshine is great if you are taking a walk, but it is the bane of a door photographer’s existence. Why? Sunshine breeds shadows and shadows will ruin your doortrait.

Wooden door flanked by ornate lamps held by muscular figures. There are two cameos on either side of the door near the top. There is a shadow from the lamp cast onto the door.
How sunshine can ruin your door photography

There are some scenarios where you can use light and shadow to your advantage to create an artistic effect, but most of the time I prefer to keep it simple and go doorspotting on a cloudy day with uniform light.

Photograph of a door bathed in sun rays. The door is set against a step-gabled brick facade in the Hague Netherlands.
Doortrait taken in the Hague with rays of sunshine used to create a dramatic effect.
Door photo taken from inside a chapel on a sunny day. There is a view of the April the 25th Bridge in Lisbon and shadows cast on the floor inside the chapel.
Lisbon door casting amazing shadows

You don’t want to go out in the rain (how miserable is that?), but a day with uniform cloud cover is the ideal weather for door photography.

2. Stand Front and Center

The second most important thing to consider when photographing doors is where you’ll stand relative to the door. Make sure to stand in front of the door or across the street if the sidewalk is narrow.

I created this postcard of Dublin doors when I first moved to Ireland in 2010. I cringe looking at these door pictures now 😅. The perspective is just terrible.

postcard featuring 27 door photographs taken without considering the angle of the photograph. "The Georgian doors of Dublin Ireland" is written on the postcard.
How not to photograph doors

To get the perfect door photo, stand at a distance that allows you to get the whole door in the shot without tilting the camera up or down.

I take most of my door images with my smartphone. I always take care to stand directly in front of the door and I make sure to hold the phone as parallel as possible to the door that I’m shooting.

See what a difference perspective can make? All the pictures in this collage of colorful doors were taken standing directly in front of each door. I held my phone parallel to each door as I took the shot.

Collage featuring a rainbow of colorful doors in Portugal.
Buy this postcard on Zazzle

3. Use Snapseed to Fix Photos in Post

That brings me to my third door photography tip. It’s good to take the weather and camera angles into consideration. However, don’t worry too much because you can always “fix it in post”.

I use the Snapseed app to edit my door photos. Snapseed is a free smartphone app available for both Android and iOS. I like Snapseed because (a) the price is right (b) you can edit the light, colors, add filters, and more.

My favorite thing about Snapseed has to be the Perspective tool. It allows me to adjust the picture in all three dimensions. If I accidentally tilted my phone by a few degrees as I was lining up the shot, I can easily correct the angles.

Mauve door with peeling paint surrounded by striped arches. There are cars parked in front of the door
Mauve door with peeling paint surrounded by striped arches.
Ornate wooden door with carved stone above. The door is labeled "Biblioteca"
Ornate wooden door with carved stone above. The door is labeled "Biblioteca"
Moorish-style door framed by ornate stone and an orange tree in Seville, Spain.
Moorish-style door framed by ornate stone and an orange tree in Seville, Spain.

Just like with other photo editors, you can rotate the image. I like that you can also tilt the image around the X or Y axis. There is even a “Free” option that lets you use your finger to adjust perspective around any point in the photo.

Be careful with this feature though, it’s easy to get carried away. Of course, if you mess up the perspective correction, you can always “undo” and try again.

There you have it, my top tips for photographing doors. If you liked this post or found it helpful, don’t forget to give it a signal boost on social media.

For more door photography inspiration, check out my doors of the month gallery.

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