Newsflash

I don’t have a huge amount of advice when it comes to taking product pics.

Alex has a really good eye for it and for photography in general. Some of the photos she’s taken of the kids over the years are amazing. She finds angles I just can’t.

Orlaith and Elias

I love the lines she found in this photo, between Orlaith and Elias’ eyes, even though they’re looking in different directions.

I struggle to figure out things like angles, lighting, how to position the bags, etcetera, etcetera ad infinitum.

So as you can see, I am not a photography guru in any way, shape or form.

But there are a few things I have learned from bitter experience which I can pass on:

1. Turn off your flash. Use natural/ambient light wherever possible.

With flash. Sharp edges but weird awkward shadows and bleached out colours.

No flash. Softer, no funny shadows. More accurate colours.

2. For close-ups of small details like fabric or beads, the macro setting is your new best friend

Fuzzy, wuzzy

With macro. See how the edges are that bit sharper?

 

3. Sheets of plain white printer paper, taped together, stuck to a box and laid on the floor make an awesome substitute for a light box.

White paper reflects light. Plus, neutral background so the bag stands out more.

 

A box, some white paper and hey presto!

See how easy it is? It’s literally some tape, some paper and a box and it works just like the  backdrop cloths that professional photographers use when they do those portrait pics. I need to make a slightly wider one for the Giant pouches so I can get a squarer image for Folksy.

4. Edit your photos.

I’m not talking about photoshopping the heck out of them because really, that doesn’t look great. But try cropping. Look at that last photo. It’s not one I would ever use for promoting my work because there’s mess in the background, the focus is all over the place when I want it on my bag.

But with a little bit of cropping:

Same photo, just cropped.

Now the focus is on the detail of the bag. All I did was crop the edges and I have a useable photograph.

The best tip I ever got was from my friend Gina.

She pointed out that my images were sometimes a bit murky or overexposed to see details and suggested I download Picasa.

Which I promptly did and haven’t looked back since. I’m not peddling Google as a company and I couldn’t care less which editing software you use (Actually, for re-sizing images Paint or Microsoft Picture Manager work even better) but Picasa’s quite a nice one and it’s very much point and shoot style software. Plus, it’s free! Always a nice extra touch.

And maybe I have learned something from watching what Alex does when she takes photos of the kids.

Heh. Esme's looking at Orlaith, Orlaith's looking at Elias, Elias is looking at the slice of bread.

Maybe not.

Sometimes it’s just about watching for the right moment and a bit of luck!

 

 

 

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