A picture tells a thousand words.
As someone who makes and sells craftwork online, I struggle with taking a good picture of my items. I have neither a fancy camera nor mad photography skills so I have to work hard to get a picture that I like. I want a picture that portrays the item accurately, but also one that conveys a "feeling", my feeling of the item.
The sweet Karen posted a comment on my blog tonight, complimenting me on my photos, and her comment made me feel compelled to share my process.
Here's what I know works for me.
First I shoot in natural light near a window. I find that 10:00am to 11:00am offers light that is kind of moody and nice. Any later than that, and the light no longer throws shadows, something that I like in my photos.
I shoot the item while facing slightly into the sun.
I shoot in macro mode.
I consciously arrange the scene, often with the main item slightly off-center.
I use Picasa, a free photo service offered by Google, to crop and make minor edits to my pictures.
I take many pictures, often running to the computer to check them out before returning to take more or change things up. This becomes extra fun when I know I'm losing my light and have many things to photograph. (take photo, run to computer, mutter profanity, run back, take another photo, run back to computer...)
Here are outtakes from today.
This one was shot in a different room than I normally shoot in. The room was painted yellow which gave kind of a sickly yellow tint to everything. It has a window, but it did not get a lot of sun in it. Using a diffuser, I set up a daylight bulb to add extra light. It looks like it's in an aquarium sort of, don't you think.
This one was shot in the same room, but without the diffused light. A little better, but a lot of glare, and still that sickly yellow tint.
This is the shot I kept. I changed rooms, and changed backgrounds and shot into the sun. I like this one much more.
So please, fellow photo-takers, share your tips. I'd love to hear what works for you and what doesn't. What are your secrets?