Monday, September 14, 2015

Stylin' Photos

One of the most challenging things about having an Etsy shop has been learning to take decent photos. I have poor natural lighting in my apartment, but taking pics using lamps and fluorescent lights gives the photos an unflattering yellowish cast. When I read blog posts and articles about how to succeed with Etsy, one of the things that is constantly emphasized is the importance of good photographs, and at times it has almost made me freeze up because I've felt my photos are just not good enough and I didn't know how to improve them.
 
After three months of struggle, experimentation and frustration, I finally feel like my photos are getting better. Instead of dreading photo sessions, I'm getting excited about coming up with ways to creatively style them. I want to share some of my favorites with you.
  

This photo is for the green depression glass creamer, which sold to one of my favorite customers. All of the items in this pic are for sale, which allowed me to reuse it several times.

I like finding props to add to the photos to show how the item can be used or displayed in someone's home.

 
This photo is for the vintage tin box, which sold pretty quick.

A book that helped open up my creative flow is American Junk, a large book of photographs of the interior of homes filled them with quirky, unique vintage and antique finds. Of course, looking at other people's photos on Etsy is also inspiring. There are so many talented artists selling their work there.


This photo is for the folding breakfast tray. I wanted to add a lace napkin, but needed to make sure you could see the actual tray. That wrinkled cloth beneath the tray makes me crazy.

I take most of the photos in the kitchen under a bright fluorescent light and then play with the settings a bit to brighten it up and get rid of any unwanted yellowish or pimk tone. I haven't ben entirely successful with that, but things are slowly improving.

Vintage spools of silk and cotton thread in an antique French bowl that belonged to my grandmother.
 
I love having a mix of textures, patterns and colors in the background, like in the above photo of the spools of thread. When I use a cluttered picture like that as the main photo, I try to keep the remaining photos simple and clean, as shown below.
 
A more minimalist look at the spools of thread. 

In the above photo I used a free photo editing program called FotoFuze that allows you to give your Etsy photos a nice white background.


For the milk glass compote, I added a crocheted doily and Dum-Dums.
So far I have taken all of the photos with my iPhone. I tried using my digital camera and was surprised to discover the pics did not look as good as the ones taken with my phone.

 
This photo is for the ceramic tree stump , a vintage item from Japan. I wanted to show how you might use it to display small treasures at home, plus I love those little woodland creatures.



Thanks for looking at my photos! I'm continuing to look for ways to improve them. I guess that's a lifelong practice. Any suggestions you have are appreciated.
 
 

35 comments:

Jane Skoch said...

Long time no see! Photographing products is my biggest challenge - especially large items!

Tracey ~ Clover said...

I have noticed a huge difference in your photos Stacy and think you
are doing a wonderful job.
One book that has helped me with photography and the book I continue
to pull from the shelf is Understanding Exposure,

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-3rd-Photographs-Camera/dp/0817439390/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1442320325&sr=8-4&keywords=exposure

I love you shop, such wonderful items.

WildflowerWool said...

Your pictures look great to me. I think setting the scene for pics is half the fun!

GARAGE SALE GAL said...

They look good to me, your photos. I better visit your etsy shop!
warmly,
deb

Thimbleanna said...

Wow Stacy -- I think your photos look wonderful! I'm always impressed with the quality of phone photos -- often the photos on my phone are WAY better than the ones with my big, expensive camera!

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