Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Product Photography Tips

Just about everyone I know enjoys photography. For some, its a hobby, for others its a chance to record all the precious memories. A few have been able to make a living from turning their passion for photography into their career. {Talking about passion, I highly recommend reading this blog post from Kansas City photographer, Brent Gumminger}

For a crafter turned small business owner, photography takes on a slightly different role. Your creations may take a painstakingly long time to finish. You may agonize over every tiny detail, until everything is just right. Once your item is completed, you aren't done yet. The next, and arguably the most important, step is photographing your product.

product photograph for a recipe contest
Since many of us sell online, rather than only craft fairs, having a photo that beautifully represents your creation is key. With so much competition, an eye-catching photo is important to get your customer's attention. I'd like to share some of the tips I've learned with you. You don't have to own a fancy setup to make your work look great.

beaded clip from BeadstoBlooms
Lighting is the most important factor to getting a good photograph. Use natural (sun) lighting, but avoid direct sunlight. Camera-mounted flashes give everything a washed-out look, and causes harsh shadows. Direct sunlight also causes harsh shadows, and makes even exposure difficult. Open shade is best as it cuts down on distracting shadows. I prefer to shoot in the mid afternoon when the sun is bright on our deck, but the sunlight is not directly coming in the window. Learn what settings you need to change to turn off the flash on your camera, and use a tripod to minimize camera shake with long exposures.

Violet's Buds lighting set up
Since my hair accessories are relatively small, I am able to use a single plank of distressed wood as a backdrop. Just about any neutral background will work.

Next, I position my two reflectors to bounce light back at the item I'm photographing. I did not pay for a fancy reflector, and I used what I had available. I use my daughter's dry erase board, and a blank white canvas. When you position the reflectors, move them around a little to see the best angle for erasing any harsh shadows.

Violet's Buds newborn crown
Take lots of shots, and don't stand in one place. I will stand on a chair, then lay on the floor to capture different angles. My product is 3 dimensional, and I want to represent it accurately to the customer. Experimenting with different angles, compositions, & cropping will help you to find the style you like the most.
Origami Delights dozen Spiral Roses
You work hard to make the best product possible, and the photographs of your items should represent that. If you would like to learn more about photography, I've rounded up a few great instructional posts.

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  1. Great tips Melanie! Thank you. Love and prayers, Cara Louise

  2. Thanks for sharing! great tips!!!

  3. Great tips! Thanks for sharing this at my Pin Me Linky Party. I hope you come visit & link again.

  4. Some good tips are shared here which will help in my jewellery photography.


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