Pictures, pictures, pictures!

If you have ever sat in on one of the shop critiques at Etsy or had to sit in the hot seat for one…There is one thing you will always hear. Pictures, pictures, pictures! You often hear Michelle yell it, last week Mary even sang it. It is one of the most important issues with selling something online, especially at Etsy. You want to make your items so beautiful and interesting that someone will click on that item to take a closer look.

Good lighting is essential in taking great photos. I thought today I might share with you how I get the photos for my shop. I made myself a lightbox a few months ago. You really don’t have to put any expense into this, I happened to have a large cardboard box, some poster board and 2 pieces of large card stock. I tipped the box on it’s side, taped the 2 side and 1 bottom flaps open and the top flap back then tape in the paper. I use this in 2 lighting set ups. When there is enough light I open the blinds and use natural light.

natlightboxsetup.jpg

With any set up you will probably have to adjust your white balance on your camera. You will usually find the white balance in your cameras’ menu. Test this by changing your white balance options until your white background looks white. If your not using a white background simply put a white sheet of paper in your lightbox while you are adjusting. When the paper appears as pure white you have found the right balance setting. On my camera the best setting for natural light is the open shade setting. Here is an example of a photo of Macadamia Squirrel using my natural light set up.

squirrelnatlight.jpg

There are some days when it’s just so gloomy outside that you have to use artificial light. I went to the hardware store and bought an inexpensive shop light which I have clamped to a tripod.

tungstenlightboxsetup.jpg

Whatever you end up using for a lamp, you can always adjust your white balance for the best color quality of your piece you are photographing. My light happens to use a tungsten bulb and my camera has a tungsten setting in the white balance menu. This is the example from using this set up.

squirreltungsten.jpg

My last tip today for getting a great photo of your items is to use the macro setting so you can get in nice and close to your subject. The macro setting usually looks like a tulip on your camera. It is the best way to be able to get in close to you item and get a nice focus. I don’t think I photograph anything for my shop without the macro on.

I got this shot playing around with the girlsavage plush family in my lightbox this past weekend.

plushparty.jpg

Now get out there and start shooting beautiful photos!

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6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    zazazu said,

    Really cool tips on lighting and really cool etsy store that you have. 🙂

  2. 2

    Angie said,

    thanks for sharing! I know with my artwork, I just scan my peices – but you never know; maybe one day I’ll create something that requires photography – and then I’ll know how – thanks to you! :o)

  3. 3

    Brigitte said,

    Helpful! White balance is *not* my friend, I’m not sure why, we just don’t get along!

  4. 4

    katie said,

    You are so brave! I would be scared to bits to have my shop critiqued by the bigwigs! I read all about it in the storque… so, now, you’ve fantastic tips… & you’re famous!

    =^.^=

  5. 5

    Rachel said,

    I N-E-E-D to make a light box. It just doesn’t do to wait for the perfect natural light, especially when I work all day.

    Thanks for the demo!

  6. 6

    Angela said,

    I love the last “group shot”! Your work is fantastic 🙂


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