Wednesday, May 25, 2011

the art of taking photos

so living in pittsburgh makes it rather difficult to take photos of my pieces. the weather is frequently gray, cloudy, sometimes a bit rainy. there are definitely sunny days, but let's be honest... it isn't just a coincidence that we all have low vitamin d levels around here!
i had such a hard time with blah, flat photos of my items, with no pop or vibrancy. it is so important to have photos that let the customer feel like they are holding the item in their hand. photos that really show the fine details of the item. photos that actually reflect what the piece looks like in real life!!
so this is what i did about it!!
i had seen a few websites that had ideas about making light boxes and all that. with a 4 year old, i couldn't have a contraption like that sitting around. i then discovered a little how-to for using the sun and things around the house to create the perfect image.
first, i found a window that gets sun shining directly in.
i put a tv tray up against the window and made sure that the top of the tray was a bit higher than the window sill.
i put a piece of foil, shiny side up, down and then covered it with parchment paper. i then tacked it down so it wouldn't have too many wrinkles.
i then found a regular old copy paper box lid. i took a long sheet of aluminum foil and taped it to the outside, shiny side out. finally, i took some parchment paper and put it over the window. it helps to soften the light coming in from outside.
it was that simple!!
place your item with it's back to the parchment paper over the window. 
using the box lid, find the sun and direct the light coming in from the window onto your's good to have something to prop up the lid or hold it in place, or to have a tripod for the camera. you will need extra hands for this!
oh, and always mess around with the light settings on your camera, too. i have found that adjusting it to a +1 is good for my camera and the natural light i have.
this is the difference.....                                

what are your little tips and tricks for taking good photos??? i'm always looking for new ideas!


  1. Wow - it makes an impact! I agree - natural light is best for photos. I'll have to try your handmade light box idea!
    Found you via Etsy's Blog Team:)

  2. Lately my photos look the same, flat and dull. I have the same problems; overcast gray Ohio weather and a 3 year old. I might have to try this.

  3. Cool idea. I have a new creation that is totally silver with a hint of green. I will try using an aluminium foil so that the earrings really pop out.

  4. I take pictures of my items on a wooden table that I keep by the window. I use a tripod to eliminate blur. Once I upload the pictures I brighten them up a little in Photoshop.

  5. wow, great idea!!!

  6. Found you through The Etsy Blog Team.

    Your photography experiment paid off with a gorgeous photograph!!

  7. Something I always seem to struggle with as well. I keep trying and improving or I hope I'm improving haha

    Have a ton of natural light(to much) but I still can't seem to get it right with the natural light either somethings I've found to photograph better in the almost dark with a flash.

    I'm always looking for new ideas to try! =)

    Also from the Etsy blog team! I'm following you now! =)

  8. Nice tutorial!
    The second photo is absolutely gorgeous!!

    So glad I found you through the Etsy Blog Team!
    I am your newest blog follower. :)
    Looking forward to seeing your upcoming posts!

    I welcome you to check out my art blog, too!

    Mary C. Nasser

  9. Wow, how did you come up with the parchment over the foil thing? I love it. I struggle with my photos so will certainly try this tip. Thank you!

  10. Hi, there! I'm admiring all your creative posts here. Can you please them at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there at the party :)

    PS: I am also currently holding a blog party called Market Your Biz and Giveaways where you can link up your etsy, online boutique or giveaways. You're more than welcome to come and get your business and giveaways promoted.

  11. Thanks for the tutorial / tips!

    Your newest follower,

  12. Very interesting idea. I also live in a gray, cloudy area. I've used foil sometimes to brighten the side opposite the window, but I also rely very much on photoshop.

    I also found you on etsy blog team.