Sofa set or a couch is an interesting subject to photograph. As an object, it has texture, shape, form and a surface, which can be glossy, semi matt, dull or combination of various finish.
Basically, it is a bench for seating. However, this simple form of furniture is elegantly modified in shape and form to display it as a life style article. The skeleton of sofa can be fabricated from wood, metal or plastic, which may be cushioned and covered with soft leather or linen fabric or both. This external covering gives its glossy or matt look.
We can use a wide angle lens to exaggerate perspective of a sofa, but a moderate tele photo lens of 85 mm to 150 mm is more preferred as it shows form of the subject in more convincing manner. In order to present a couch larger than life style, slightly lower camera angle can be used, however the choice is subjective.
Leather clad-ed sofa will create hot spot reflection light as compared to a linen fabric covering. In this case we can use soft light. However, when shooting a sofa with linen fabric cover, we have to capture texture of the fabric. In this case, we have to use hard or spot light. Be sure for disturbing shadows created by arm rest, or use a medium soft light.
Sofa set is fairly a large object to shoot. In order to lit it evenly, place lights at a longer distance. In this case, the result will be evenly lit subject, but medium source of light will become point source of light. Secondly, because of distance, light will fall and we may have to compensate the exposure with wider aperture. So in such case, use a powerful light or use multiple head flash light.
Another solution to deal with this problem is we can use available light along with studio flash lights. In this case, take readings of exposure with exposure meter for available light. Select aperture at f 16 or f 22 and we may require shutter speed any thing between two to thirty seconds. (depending upon brightness of available light and at 100 ISO setting.) Now place the flash at a distance, where we get about f 8 or f 11 aperture for the flash light. If our flash is less powerful, then we can manually fire flash for more than one time, as the camera shutter will remain open during the exposure.
This lighting set up will give result for available light as a key light along with flash lights as fill in light. Be sure of the color balance, or we may have to correct it during post production.
As a furniture, sofa set is an expensive life style product, which has to be glorified in a photograph.