How a Cardboard Box, a Tripod, and a Digital Camera Made a Huge Improvement in My life

The pictures on my Etsy site were what my son would probably characterize as “meh”. I was aware of this problem for a long time, but didn’t think that I had enough photography know how to make a difference. After reading an Etsy Success newsletter about improving shop photos, I scoured the internet for ideas on light boxes, and white lighting and a bunch of other stuff that I have since forgotten. I learned that:

  1. a white shower curtain placed over  a window  with sunlight streaming through would create nice photos
  2. cropping an image greatly improves the look
  3. a (inexpensive) digital camera and a $15  tripod are a necessity – good pictures require a steady hand and u never realize how shaky yours is until you compare the two versions of your pictures
  4. what a difference a cardboard box can make (thanks to my DH the Woodchuck)

I have had some trouble with lighting still and believe I need better /different bulbs. Mostly I just use my room lighting (I have a lot of overhead lights in my studio).

Now for some examples.

Gray Fedora Before

This fedora is not dark gray

Gray Fedora after

Wow, what a difference

Multicolor cap

Too light, too bright,not focused and way too much going on in the background

multicolor cap after

Now you can see the colors in the cap, the design etc

colorful hat before

I used to think this was a great picture

colorful hat and scarf after

Now I know better

To have good pictures, one must take good pictures- lots and lots of them. I take 10 to 20 pictures of each item even though I only need 5 or 6 for my Etsy and Artfire shop. I use Picnik.com to crop and correct my photos- I don’t have an account or premium membership but I’m thinking about it since I’m on there just about every other night.
I learned how to  make the lightbox :

From Strobist and also Darren Rowse although I didn’t know he was a photographer did u? This is one I have not done but may do a large version of because I want to photograph larger items. I also watched quite a few YouTube videos – it;’s true almost everything you want to know about anything is on the interwebz already:)

Now to fix the pictures on my Artfire site….

 

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