Monday, September 15, 2008

Photographing your Wares

You know, one of the greatest challenges in setting up my online shop has been getting good photos of my work. Remember, your customers are trying to figure out what you're selling in a glance. You have only a few seconds to grab their attention. They can't pick your product up and fondle it so you have to make an instant positive impression. If anyone pays attention to the scrolling pictures in the sidebar, you can often see that I've taken 20 shots of the same item just to get five

There are a couple of things to remember when taking good pictures.

1. Find a good background. Now, I haven't settled on the look that I want for my shop yet and I continually try out new things; but consistency just plain makes your shop more appealing. I like to use posterboard and scrapbook paper because they have a nice smooth finish and a variety of designs. Try to avoid taking pictures on your carpet (ewww!) or unpressed fabric. You don't want customers to think you've put your products on an unmade bed.

2. Take pictures in natural light if possible. Either by a bright window or outdoors works great. Morning light casts the fewest shadows, though I've been known to take pictures of my glass in the afternoon to showcase the colored shadows. If you are like me and your daylight hours are swamped with work and childcare, then a lightbox is a good idea. You can buy them ready made, but I just cut the top and sides out of a cardboard box and taped white tissue paper to the sides. A couple of clip lamps on the outside and a sheet of posterboard on the inside gives a bright, seamless background that really showcases your product.

3. For close-up shots, use the macro setting on the camera. On most models, that's the one with the little tulip flower. It allows you to get good closeup shots without blurring.

4. Of course, to keep from shaking the camera and blurring your shots anyway, you need a camera rest or a camera stand. I've been using a plastic cup to balance the camera on, but I really want a tripod like Leah pictures in her blog here: I covet! You should check out her blog because she's giving one away free of charge. How awesome is that?!

5. Photoshopping. Taking the perfect picture almost never happens. It's really handy to have some kind of photoshopping software available to crop, brighten and color balance your pictures. I use Picnick through my Flickr account, but Photoshop and Irfanview are considered really good too.

Sorry to bore you with photography again. It's been on my mind a lot lately.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am impressed. Little did I know that I had raised such a talent. It most be your father's work.