Don’t you just love the beautifully photographed images on Etsy’s front page? Ever try to take one of those pictures? Easy? No. Intimidating? You bet. Etsy photography is what sells…
Now, I have always fancied myself a photography enthusiast, at least back in the day, you know, when there was actual film in cameras! Digital cameras have come such a long way since their introduction and offer a stunning array of
super complicated nifty features that enable just about anyone to take amazing shots. Well, provided you are willing to invest in a Master’s degree in imaging… or maybe not.
Luckily, you can make your photos look like they were shot by someone who has a clue. And today I want to show you some of those simple strategies that will improve your photography skills instantly – I promise.
Turns out you can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear! Yeah! I will let you in on some very basic and fairly fool proof secrets that anyone can use. You can read my first post about it here. If you are looking for more advanced tips, sorry, not today, but I would sure love to hear from anyone who can add to my suggestions.
Do you need a fancy, expensive camera with tons of features and all kinds of bells and whistles? Nope. As a matter of fact most of the images I will show you in this post have been shot with this:
My trusty little Nikon S6000 coolpix camera. And I have even dropped the poor thing on it’s head a couple of times – not proud of that:(
Okey dokey. On to the hall of shame. Some of the very first pictures I took and listed (oh the horror!) looked like this:
While it is probably not as horrid exposure wise as some of my other
humdingers attempts, well there is lots of room for improvement. My heart was in the right place!
Then I decided a white background was the way to go…
White with a bunch of undesirable shadows that is! After consulting the interwebz, I decided to build this light box, or really more of a white box. And I also came to the realization that direct sunlight might not be all it was cracked up to be – and neither were lamps! Up the white balance I was told and came up with this washed out and over-exposed example. I had reached my “Oy vey” phase of this project!
But, I don’t give up that easy! White background, indirect, filtered sunlight, a TRIPOD… now we are beginning to see the light – pun totally intended. Maybe white wasn’t the way to go after all. So I hopped on over to Home Depot and scoured the tile isle for just the right materials. I came up with four different styles of tiles:) Black granite, white marble, white oversize subway and a tile with a wood grain look. And I liked what came out of my little camera after that!
For this bracelet I decided to stick with shiny black – and that was the picture that finally sold it!
So, what are the most important tips I want you to take away from this?
Here’s a list of what I always do when I shoot my jewelry:
- use a tripod
- set a 2 second delay on my camera
- use the macro setting that is a feature on most cameras these days – it’s usually the setting with the flower symbol
- shoot in filtered daylight
- pay very close attention to any shadows
- change perspective, usually your images will look much better if shot from a lower angle
- play with my white balance until it’s just right
- use the editing software on my computer to crop, improve brightness, contrast, etc. or take advantage of free programs like pixlr.com
- optimize my images – try imageoptimizer.net, it’s free to free up storage space
I recently purchased an actual DSLR camera. While I am still busy trying to figure out this much fancier contraption, I know that all of the things I mentioned above will work with it just the same, and that I need to save my allowance for a macro lens;)
Let me know if any of these tips help, and even better, if you have some of your own. This is something that will always be a part of the sales part of my jewelry business, so stay tuned for regular updates! I can’t wait to show you all the fancy stuff my new camera can do, as soon as I figure out how to work it…
P.S.: The picture at the very top was taken with my new camera just a few days ago!