Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Process

This is my first blog post here.  I'd like to share some of my process for taking photos for my business.  I hope you enjoy this post and it gives you a good behind the scenes look at what I do with my business.  :)

Each photo has quite a bit of thought put into it.  First I take "plain" pictures of each object to show just the product.  Like these-

Then comes the more challenging part.  Taking the "artsy" photos, as I call them.  I use props in these and put more thought into it because I like to take pictures that draw attention to the product.  The above pictures are nice, but do they really grab your attention?  No, artsy photos are more likely to get attention because they are more aesthetically pleasing.  

First I pick out props.  I have a lot of random objects I've collected over the years.  Some are things I've gotten at hobby lobby, estate sales, book fairs, and even presents from others.  Anything pretty that coordinates with the jewelry or contrasts well with it gets used.  

Once I've picked out the items I set up the photos.  I'm not overly concerned with showing the product with extreme clarity because that's what the other photos are for.  I'm going for artistic quality with these photos.  

It's a lot of trial and error.  Some days there's far too much light and others too little so it takes some doing as far as scheduling goes and playing with blinds and curtains a lot to achieve the desired look.  And sometimes I take photos and I'm not entirely happy with them so they get vetoed and I set up for more photos another day.  Examples of photos I wasn't satisfied with-

In the both photos the things that bothered me were the lighting, contrast with the props, and the angle.  Once I get these on my computer and see they're not what I want it's back to the drawing board, aka my room, to look through props again and find another way to take the photo.  

Here's a couple unedited shots of the same jewelry with different props.  

See the difference?  I was much happier with both of these.  The jewelry contrasts far better and the photos do a much better job showcasing the pieces while being artsy looking.  The sand was a mess to deal with but I feel it was well worth it for this effect.  It makes the photo much more interesting.  The book in the first photo is the same book that was in the earlier shot of it.  It looks a lot different with it when I've set it up another way with other props.  

After I get photos that look how I'd like them to I upload them on my computer and edit them in Adobe Creative Suite 5.  I try not to do heavy edits if at all possible.  In the past I had to do more editing because the camera I had wasn't top shelf quality.  It was a nice point and shoot but not what I needed for high quality photos of products I'm selling.  The camera I use now is a GE X500.  My boyfriend got it for me for my birthday.  :)  It's a great  camera it makes things a lot easier because it generally gets it right on the first shot and I don't have to edit very much to get it to look true to life.  Yes, GE makes cameras.  I didn't know that until a couple months ago.  The new laptop my parents got me (another awesome birthday present) is great for editing photos and makes things a whole lot easier for me.  I'm very thankful for both of these presents because having the proper tools makes such a difference!  It's a lovely Dell Inspiron that can support CS5 so I don't have to sit up to work on the photos.  It helps me conserve energy and not hurt my back so I can get more done. 

Here's the photos after some light edits, primarily cropping and adding my watermark.  Sometimes I have to lighten, darken, or even shift the colors, but generally it's all very slight.  Final photos- 

Sometimes I have a little help with set up from my furry assistant, Sophie.  

Here she's helping with lighting checks and setup.  

Sometimes she likes to help when I'm out of the room.  

My sister snapped this photo of Sophie checking the strength of my photo box.  She's a very helpful assistant.  Sometimes she even does quality assurance for me.  

So, that's the primary process of taking photos and set up.  I'll delve into it deeper in another post.  Have a great day.  :)


No comments:

Post a Comment