Monday, May 28, 2012

Product photography

There's a lot of random stuff floating around in my head right now: projects I'm working on, projects I'm planning, projects I'm thinking of planning... Much of my days lately are spent outside, at least as much as possible, with Lachlan and Sadie. Lachlan loves it, Sadie loves it, and I love it (except for the part of me that is freaking out over everything I need and want to do every day that involves not being in the yard).

We are trying to spend as much time outside now as possible, because the gnats usually come the beginning of June and they stay all month. They are outside all day long, only to be replaced by the mosquitos in the evenings. The gnats (no-see-ums) are little specks of black with wings and two big teeth. And they're MAD and wickedly ferocious and their bites itch so bad that you want to get a carrot peeler and remove that portion of your skin. Our fun outside will be coming to an end soon, at least for a few weeks until those little SOBs die for the season. But I digress.

As I go through my day I think of a lot of things I can blog about, but I rarely do because I feel like I need to devote a lot of attention to any particular item--with lots of great photos--to justify a blog post about it, and I simply don't have time for it. But that means I'm not here very much, and for those of you who expect me to be here, that must be irritating.

So I'm going to start sharing the really random, short bits of my life. Here's the first:

I finally, just today, started taking product photos for Saya's Nest. FINALLY. I know, right? Geesh. I've been blabbing my big fat mouth about this forever and going nowhere with it, or so it seems. In reality I have been building up my inventory, dreaming up products, and planning my photo shoots, and doing all that in the teeny tiny bit of free time I get each day.

Along the way I had to figure out how to work my camera better. I bought a book (The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos) and read it (most of it, anyway), but I think I have only improved my skills by less than 10% so far. At least I figured out where the white balance on the camera is... It is something I'm working on and I realize it is the kind of thing that just takes a lot of practice.

So I'm trying to make time to practice.

Here's a shot from this afternoon with no editing at all other than cropping and reducing the file size. I can already see a lot of ways to improve it, um, including making it level with the world, but it's a start. I am using my husband's old tripod. It has a loose hinge, so the camera always ends up tilting just a bit to the right. I've had enough with trying to prop it up just right, so I'm finally going to order a new tripod tonight. Unless I forget about it as soon as I finish here, which is highly likely...

In case you were wondering, no, my house does not have a white brick wall. What you see in the background is actually a really cool vinyl product photography backdrop I got from Swanky Prints. Would you have ever guessed that it's not a real brick wall? It's one of two backdrops that I bought (the other is weathered wood). I absolutely love it, though I think I had her make it too small so I will probably have to get a larger one for some of the items I'd like to photograph with it. But it will do for now. Let not the best be the enemy of the good, as my two favorite docs at my old job like to say.

And in case you were also wondering, yes, Saya's Nest is going to have some letterpress type. Vintage type. And not just vintage type. Vintage a lot of things. Along with a lot of other non-vintage things. Which is why it's taking me forever and a day to get it open. Well, that and all the other things I've got going on at the moment. But my goal is to open it for business by the end of this week, if not sooner, with at least a few things. Some cool things. At least I hope people think they are cool things.


  1. Gah, the gnats sound awful... I remember no-see-ums in Florida, but didn't realize they're where you are too. Very clever faux wall! I'm a fan of Picmonkey... it helps to make up for my less than stellar photography skills.

  2. 1 Get a prime lens for your camera 35-55MM

    2 Set your camera to (A) aperture mode

    3 Open up your aperture as wide as it will go such as F1.8 Focus on the center of the product. With the aperture wide open the product will be in focus everything else will be blurred giving a depth of field to the picture and making the product stand out. We are using a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1:1.8G lens. They are $199 on amazon they also make a similar lens in 50mm. The lens that came with your camera is a kit lens and not very good.

    If you want a white background buy a light box. If you want the white brick background the wide open aperture will cause it to be blurry and out of focus which will look nice and not take your eyes of off your product. As it is its to busy and draws your eye away from the font pieces you set on the table.

    Make adjustments in photoshop.



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