When I take pictures of my quilts, there is a just few things I "focus" on.
(Ha! Pun intended!)
Lighting, background, and sharpness.
I take pictures when I can get some bright, indirect light. This can be light reflecting off a light surface, like a vinyl fence. Or a bright sunny day under a shady tree. Direct light makes hard shadows, which distracts from the quilts.
Some people have some cool light box set ups that they use. Those are great. I am all for using what I have available to me. Sometimes that might mean I have to wait a day or two for the weather to cooperate.
Backgrounds should be complimentary to the quilts and shouldn't distract from them. I use things like green grassy fields, fences, and other natural environments. I have seen some really cool pictures of modern quilts with a graffiti background that worked really well. Just think about what is going on around your quilt when you photograph it.
Here are some backgrounds I have used for bigger quilts.
This is the Violet Burst Quilt. It is hanging on a white vinyl fence with some rocks holding it up, in my backyard. Super simple. The hardest part was waiting for athe wind to calm down.
This is the Bombs Bursting Quilt. It is a queen size quilt so there are two people holding up as high as they can! We are standing under the shade of a tree in a local park.
This is the Counterbalance Quilt. It is also hanging in my backyard on a vine covered chain link fence during the winter.
This is the Magic of Christmas quilt top. There is one person holding it up, in my yard.
For small quilts or individual blocks, I use a project board. This is a foam core board with batting on one side.
I put the board next to a big bright window that does not have direct sunlight coming through.
I try not to use the zoom. I will physically get as close as I can. The zoom takes some of the quality out of the picture. I also make sure the picture is focused. This picture is not edited.
I take pictures with my iPhone. It provides really well defined pictures and they upload directly to my computer.
For editing pictures, I use GIMP editing software. I usually just brighten up the pictures and crop them down if needed.
Have fun quilting and photographing!