Monday, February 1, 2010

Photography Tips

As promised, I will share some of the tips I learned from my friend, Bruce, who helped me take pictures of my products for etsy. The one thing I know for sure is this: The more I know about taking pictures, the less I know about taking pictures!

1. You need a neutral background and/or a light box.

2. You need two good lights, daylight photo bulbs, preferred. I used one compact flourescent, one incandescent bulb and the natural light from my window. One light is directed at a 45 degree angle to the product to cast shadows and the other is for ambient light, but not to overpower the first light.

3. You need to experiment with your camera, learn the settings, how to change them and what they mean. You also need to use the timer to take the pictures, otherwise you(me, too) will shake the camera and make the picture blurry.

4. You need a tripod!!!!!

That's the equipment.

Camera settings: Go to menu, and click through the different settings. Each camera will be different, some are definitely the same.

You should have aperture which is how wide the lens opens. In simple terms, 2.8 is the widest, 8 and above are small openings.

Make sure you have your camera set to the best picture taking pixels available. This will allow for better quality.

Photometry is whether you are using one spot light or more.

White Balance allows for the camera to automatically balance between values.

Focus--Put on auto focus.

Sharpness or clarity is set for hard. (Two other settings are normal and soft.)

Flash is set at zero.

My camera allows for manual selection of aperture settings, shutter speed and manual setting of both on a small round dial.

As I was taking photos yesterday, I paid attention to the background, the position of my lights, and I played with reflecting more light onto my product with foamcore. I learned to make sure that my shutter speed was 100 or above for the light I was receiving yesterday.

Next, you need to use a photo editing software of your choice. I crop my photos, I adjust the color, and whiteness of the picture so that it closely matchs the product color. Did I say that I dumped a bunch of photos that I had taken because they didn't match my products? Well, I did and so will you. If you have questions, leave a comment. Other people may have the same question.
I don't profess to know it all, but I am determined to take the best photos of my paper as I can so that maybe one day my paper will be on the Front Page of Etsy!!


  1. using mirrors or foil can be pretty handy in your lightbox too for bouncing light if you're not using a flash... and if you do use a flash you'd be good investing in a speedflash or making a diffuser of some sorts to soften the glare :) good work with your lightbox, its always handy to try out these things and get advice too, your products will look amazing as a result!

  2. Thanks, moonangelnay! And yes, that is a mirror on the bottom of my box.


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