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.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

End of Summer -- Finally!

I confess I'm relieved summer is almost over. We're in the midst of a drought here in California, but there are predictions we'll have an El Nino this winter and I can't wait for rain! I love cozy wet weather way more than dry hot days.

Lily keeping cool on a hot August day

I didn't do much knitting this summer-- just a stack of cotton wash cloths, my favorite item to knit.

This stitch is called Chinese Waves

Feather & Fan pattern, my favorite

I've been on a big YA (young adult) book kick the last few months. One of the best was Boys Don't Knit (In Public). Funny, funny, funny! It reminded me of Marion Keyes' early books. I'm excited to read the next in the series.

It was written by a man who doesn't knit!
I did lots of treasure hunting for goodies for my Etsy store, Tiny Sacred Things. One of the best finds was this pair of Lantern Moon rosewood knitting needles. So light and gorgeous and lovely to knit with. (They are still available in my store if you are interested.)
Are you glad summer is ending?