One thing about online retail stores is providing beautiful, if not outstanding shots of your products. For me, this is always a challenge. Apparently, I’m not the only one with this dilemma. A fellow member of DTeam (one of the teams in etsy) blogged about it today. Here is an excerpt of her entry:
1. Learn what the words in italics mean and how you can use them to get closer to a better photo.
2. Say NO to flash! Especially around shiny jewelry.
3. Cloudy days may not be good for a trip to the beach, but they’re great for outside photo shoots.
4. A simple background will make your stuff POP!
5. Macro, macro, macro! Find that tiny flower button and use it when you want a close-up.
6. Better no props, than the wrong props.
7. I know, it’s been said before – get a tripod or make your own (on my Santa list).
8. If you really don’t feel like taking pictures, then don’t – they’ll just end up crappy.
9. Don’t spend your money on the most expensive camera you can find, you won’t know what to do with it.
10. Consider taking a photography course (it’s on my to do list too).
11. If your camera really is possessed by an evil genie, try bartering some of your stuff to photography students in exchange for their services: they need a portfolio, you need good pictures.
12. If you have a day job or don’t have the time to take your photos in daylight, you can make your own light box or light tent . Of course, you could also buy one, but where’s the fun in that?
I agree with everything she said.
When it’s time for a photoshoot (for purposes of this blog, it exclusively means “taking photos of finished products/items ready to be posted”), make sure that all my materials are ready: the background, lighting, the environment, and most especially, my camera.
Unless the earring or necklace is made up of rock crystal, clear crystals, or any transparent and clear gemstone, I will use a black background.
However, more often than not, I find it too much of a contrast, so I will shift to placing them on top of my mother of pearl boxes. To add dimension, I will add a few more boxes in the background.
For the lighting, I’ve experimented with bright lights, mood lights, and natural light. The best lighting for me is natural light with a bit of mood light (soft yellow). This, however, creates shadows. When this happens, I just use the zoom of my camera.
The environment sometimes has an effect on the lighting. This is the time I move around, everywhere and anywhere I could find a nice space for the shoot.
Last and not least, I always make sure my camera is fully charged and that the memory card is empty. I always take a gazillion (ok, that’s an exaggeration) of shots. You can edit later on.
I’ve always had trouble with those freakin’ shadows – most of the time I edit them in Photoshop 😀 – it’s cheating, I know, but anything for a decent product photo!