Thursday, March 29, 2012

taking better product photos

One of the joys (and frustrations, at times) of the businessy part of crafting can be the photo taking. Since I started blogging and selling my wares, my photography skills have steadily improved, but I would not claim to be very good at it. Which is why whenever I see blog posts about product photography, I zoom right in (pun intended!). I recently saw a book on the Skinny Laminx blog ~ The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos, and immediately ordered it. The day it arrived in the mail, I read it cover to cover and then started thinking about how/when to put it into practice. It's a really practical book with good diagrams and ideas for people with all levels of equipment ~ basically from zero to owning a nice DSLR (by the way, this is not a sponsored post).

The big tips from this book for me were:
~ use natural light (which I always do) and enhance that light if needed through reflection
~ use the camera's timer function and a tripod to free up your hands for reflection
~ props are important

So one sunny morning I set up a little area in front of a blank grey wall (sadly, all the walls of our apartment are grey) with a table, some props and some products (this was taken on my phone, so a little dodgy on the colours!) ...


This wall is perpendicular to the large window in the room, so I held up a white sheet to reflect the natural light onto the little set. You can see the results of "without sheet" and "with sheet" below:


The effects are subtle (the above photos have not been edited in any way) but you can see that the depth of the shadows on the right hand side of the photo (the side furtherest from the window) have been lessened quite a bit. The tea towel also appears much brighter. This was the final pic after only a tiny bit of fiddling in photoshop ...


Keep your eyes out for this pic over the coming days ... it might have something to do with a giveaway (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say-no-more!).

Best wishes with your own photography this week ~ I'm certainly a novice, but it's nice to share the learning. I plan on doing a whole lot more practicing with the camera ~ it's a work in progress. I'll leave you with another shot from that morning ...


More creativity here today!






P.S. Incase you're interested, my camera is an entry level Pentax K-r Digital SLR, with a 28-80mm Sigma lens (I also use a 105mm Sigma macro lens). I mostly use the "auto" function, but am venturing into the manual zone these days too!

13 comments:

willywagtail said...

Thanks for the tips. I have a lot of problem with lighting too, possibly not helped by the cheapness of the camera. I want to sell on ebay but my camera skills keep putting me off. Will just keep trying and working on the natural light. Cherrie

inkcaravan.com said...

Great post Nic. I must say I think your shots always look utterly gorgeous, but I know what you mean - when it's your own work there always seems to be room for improvement. That book sounds brill. I'll def. look out for it. x Alisa

m.e (Cathie) said...

your styling is always gorgeous Nic!
isn't it amazing what a reflector does. I love using a round baking tin because it can stand on it's own.

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

Ha! I just bought some skinny laminx which arrived today! Love her pics. I am not always a fan of props.... I think they can work but am also a big fan of plain white background. Yours look fab though and the book sounds awesome!

Jackie @ Fred-and-Cissy said...

Thanks for the tips - my photos are usually pretty bad and dark. Will try the reflector idea rather than cursing the camera and my own lack of skill next time...

Jo's Place said...

Great tips, thanks for that :)

Wombat's Picnic said...

Thanks for sharing your tips and the book! I too have seen my photos improve over time, but still have a lot to learn. And a tripod is on my wish list:) Cyndy

Cat from Raspberry Rainbow said...

The books sounds fab. I actually trained as a medical photographer in a past life (well, a long time ago!) Not that I ever worked as one....but I do know a few things about photography (not everything, I am always learning more) That is one of the great things about photography, there is always more to learn :)
Your styling is gorgeous, very appealing. Your photos are great, and I can tell a great deal of though went into taking them. I dont mean to sound pretentious here, but maybe move the table away from the part of the wall with the edge in it, I find that distracting. And try cropping off some of the extra wall space at the top of the photo, see how that looks.
I bought a huge light tent a few years ago, and it is really fabulous for some items, gives you the best soft lighting (and folds down afterwards)
Keep having fun Nic!
Cat

Blonde One (Deb) said...

Fabulous, I cannot wait to try this out with my massage photos for my assignment. thank you for all the wonderful information.

Blonde One (Deb) said...

Fabulous, I cannot wait to try this out with my massage photos for my assignment. thank you for all the wonderful information.

Blonde One (Deb) said...

Fabulous, I cannot wait to try this out with my massage photos for my assignment. thank you for all the wonderful information.

Jayne said...

thank you, i needed this!

Jenny from Ohjoh said...

Great photo - loved it in Tickle The Imagination mag. Looks very professional!
Thanks for the photo tips.