Friday, August 03, 2007

Photo shoot day . . . taking pictures of my stuff

The surprising truth is that taking photos of my handmade creations is one of my least favorite things to do. I usually wait until I have a huge amount of items that I need to take pictures of before I go ahead with it. Then I just plan an all day photo shoot. I've really come to respect professional photographers' abilities because it is such an ordeal for me to try to take good pictures, and they aren't always that good either. I admit that I did have a photography class or two in college, but I think that I would definitely benefit from taking another one some time.

Here's a little synopsis of how I go about taking my product photos. I use a digital camera to take all of my photos, a Samsung Digimax. It is very easy to use and usually takes great photos on all occasions. You can see my little photo shoot area in the picture - not exactly the most impressive space, but it certainly works. I take photos in front of a large window in my office/studio space. The natural lighting is great there on days when the sun is shining brightly. I also use poster board, construction paper, or large sheets of colored foam for my backgrounds. I don't always put up poster board over the window as in the picture because it does block out a lot of natural lighting. The poster board is a nice solid background for when I photograph hats, scarves, and other large items. Sometimes I use a large spotlight on these items also.

When I'm finished taking photos, I usually still have to do some color correcting or light correcting to the digital files. Since I am also a trained graphic artist, I put those skills to use, but I try not to alter the product image or change the overall photo too much. I always want to accurately portray what I'm selling or showing to my audience.

I know that there are certainly better photography set ups out there, but mine is inexpensive and doesn't take up any extra space. I've read online several times how to make a light box and plan to do that some day. For now, what I've been doing seems to work for me most of the time. I do get the occasional bad photo that I have to redo all together because no amount of digital retouching could ever help it, but most of my photography turns out pretty well - at least in my opinion it does. I'm continually trying new angles and props just to see what works, and I'm sure that my photos will continue to improve over time.

You can see some of my latest photos on my flickr account. I just took some photos this week that I'll be uploading today.

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