I love a challenge as much as anyone else, but when customers or fellow rug cleaners send me photos of rugs for my opinion, I often (almost always!) have to ask for more or better images. There isn’t a whole lot I can tell you about something I can’t see clearly. I’m already handicapped by not being able to feel and handle the piece. I thought it was time for me to lay down some ground rules, so…
This is what we professional Ruggies are looking for in any photo submitted for ID or consultation:
1: A clear, well-lit image of the entire rug, showing all four corners. The rug should have little to no furniture covering it.
2: A clear, well-lit image of an 8”- 12” section of the back corner of the rug, showing BOTH the end & edge finish. Include a coin of some kind (preferably a US Quarter) in the image both for scale and for clarity. If you can read the words on the coin clearly, the photo is a good one!
3: A clear, well-lit image from both the front AND back side of any damaged areas or places of concern. Please include in the image a ruler or open tape measure next to the damaged areas. The ruler markings should be legible in the photo.
Several of the examples I’m going to share with you have come from the Facebook page “What Is My Rug?” where I am one of a handful of administrators. The concept here is simple - you post photos of your “mystery” rug, and we will try to help you identify what it is. Easy, right…?
NOTE: I want to stress that my intention is NOT to pick on anyone out there. I simply wish to show examples, side-by-side, good and bad, so that you are able to see exactly what we’re looking for in a quality photo. Once you see how best to photograph a rug, it will save you (and your chosen expert) tons of time and frustration down the road.
The "I HAVE EVERYTHING I NEED RIGHT HERE" photos:
|This image shows all four corners clearly, is well lit, and there is no furniture covering any of the design elements.|
|This image clearly shows the end & edge finish, and the coin is legible.|
The "IT'S NOT AWFUL BUT...MAYBE ANOTHER PHOTO IS CALLED FOR" photos:
|Not much wrong with this photo other than it's taken from a little too far away for my liking.|
The "I REALLY CAN'T TELL YOU MUCH." photos:
|The tape measure is just too far away to count knots per square inch.|
|This one gives me a definite vertigo feeling.|
|Design motifs are so interchangeable between countries that you can't identify a rug based on that information alone.|
I saved this next photo for last because it is my favorite example of what NOT to do. It has something for everyone! The lighting is bad, the photo is fuzzy, the rug is covered in furniture. Is it a 10 x 14 or a 5 x8? The photo was sent to a friend of mine for ID purposes because this rug may end up in court as part of an insurance fraud scam. It was the ONLY photo available and I could only scratch my head in wonder.