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Thursday 12 June 2014

Easy tip to improve your product photography

I'm no photographer, but one thing I do know if that if you want to sell your craft items online, or want people to return again and again to your blog you need great photos! Some blogs have fantastic photography for example A Beautiful Mess  (they do have a photographer though!), Coco Rose Diaries, and Slugs On The Refrigerator (Kat is a pro-photographer) that keep you going back time and time again.

For me, I'm just pleased if I get a photo that looks half decent. However, in the last few months I have been exploring ways of improving my photography. I.....

  • Got a DSLR for Christmas- its just fab- I love it! I'm still learning and not quite brave enough to go full-out manual but am getting used to playing with different settings and am slowly seeing my photos improve.
  • Learnt to use Photoshop Elements- this is a paired down version of Adobe Photoshop but still has plenty of scope for improving your pictures massively. 
  • Read a great book - 'The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos' - this book is brilliant for a beginner and covers all aspects of product photography from using your camera to how best to photograph different products. Now that I know my camera better I think its time to re-read it. 
  • Have been working on my composition and trying different backdrops. The tree stumps in my garden are becoming a firm favourite! 

One problem I always have though (and is hard to completely remove using Photoshop Elements) is shadow. From the above book the general rule is lots of shadow =bad. No shadow at all can make your products look like they are floating on thin air but it is best to remove as much as possible. 

Shadow is created if you  photograph your product perpendicular to a light source such as a window. 

In this picture of a crochet heart the window (the light source is on the right). See the shadow on the left of the heart? 

In most cases you do not want this. In this next picture the light source is still coming from the right.....but the shadow has virtually disappeared! 

What's the secret?

Its not really a secret and is a technique pros must use all the time- a silver screen on the left reflecting the light back across the heart thus eliminating shadows! 

To make this 'screen' I simply covered a piece of card in tinfoil and folded it a bit in the middle to make it stand up. Voila! If only I had known this little trick earlier!



  1. The foil thing is simply brilliant.

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