March 1, 2012

Product Shot for my Shop (part 1)

Felties - brooches made with felt 2010

I've been taking product shots with a compact digital camera for years! And let me tell you, it's amazing what you can accomplish with a few items, creativity and your pocket camera. I'll show you in 3 post, what I've learned.
I'm not a pro, but I believe I do have some tricks under my sleeve that I want to share with you. Hope this can help you improve your product shots and finally help you sell your work.

First things first. Set a place to take pictures: it could be a desk, table, bench, even the floor. Look for places with a window, must pictures come out great with natural light. If that's not the case, buy 2 desk lamps (swing arm desk lamp are preferable) so you can adjust height and angle more easily. About the light... I use neon, but you can use whatever you want. If you are taking pictures on a white surface a neon is best, and if you are taking pictures of life (food, plants, animals) sometimes it looks better on incandescent.

Use Tracing Paper to diminish natural light
This is my working space. As you can see it was very sunny, that's why I used tracing paper so the light was a bit weaker. Also I have all in hand: tape, boxes or books so you can place your item or camera up, paper, cloth... And make sure you let your battery recharge over night, it's frustrating when it dies in the middle of your photo shoot. Here I have light on three angles, front and both sides, if you only have one window, this should be lighting the product on one side, and use a reflecting surface on the other side (paper, plastic paper, metallic paper NOT A MIRROR). You might also try to use a lamp far away on the other side...

I advise you to have this items in hand: tape - for positioning your items in certain way, or to hang it, keep them closed, etc. White and Black paper - when taking pictures of reflecting surfaces, use a piece of paper to cover most of the camera, so it won't reflect you, but the paper. Heavy things - it can be glue, a box, a can or whatever it's heavy so it can step over things, like the picture below. Several working surfaces - it could be paper, a piece of wood, cork or whatever you think looks good with your product. Tripod - if you don't have it, it's ok, but when you are taking closeup even breathing and palpitations will make your hand to move, instead, use a stack of books or place your camera over something steady and use timer to take the picture.

Light colored surfaces highlight your product

This is one of my latest pictures I've used on my Etsy shop, hopefully like it! And hope this mini tutorial helped you to start taking photos of your products. Remember this is the first of three tutorials about taking pictures.
Bread Shaped Cork Coasters set of 4

Nicole Stagg Web Developer

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