Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Photo Project Woes and Tips

This past weekend I started a project to redo some of the awful photos in my shop. As with many people photos are a constant struggle with me. First they are too dark, and then they are too bright. Even after adjusting the settings on my camera and creating a light box, I still have to open them in Photoshop to adjust the brightness and contrast. It is a never ending, vicious cycle! Although I’m still not 100% happy with my final product I thought it would be helpful to pass along some tips that I’ve learned since starting. Please take them with a grain of salt as I am by no means a pro!

  • Create a light box (or use natural light) – my apt doesn’t get too much natural light so I created a light box. Do not be lazy like me and put off creating a light box. It was the best thing I have done and it only took about 20 minutes!
  • Learn about the manual settings on your camera – after I learned what the exposure and white balance were, my pictures naturally came out nicer.
  • Use a tripod with a timer – if you have problems with blurry photos I recommend a tripod. I got one for less than $20 at Target. Even when using the tripod, use your camera’s timer. Even on a tripod, snapping a photo can make the camera wiggle. Using a timer prevents camera shaking resulting in crisp, clear photos.
  • Position your items in a fun, eye-catching way – I found that this can be difficult when using a tripod. Luckily my camera has image stabilization so can get by without always using my tripod.
  • Use a photo editing software – even after I adjust my camera settings I always need to edit my photos. I typically crop, adjust brightness and contrast, and resize my images.

Customizable Hand Stamped Silver Charm Bracelet

Wire Wrapped Beaded Heart Pendant Necklace


  1. I LOVE the colors of the African Opal bracelet!!! It is so pretty! All the other pieces are beautiful too!

  2. I think your photos look great! I'm finding that a combination of my homemade light box and natural light in a window works pretty well. I've got a small tripod that I should be using though!

    I wanted to also thank you for your comment on my blog. I'm glad you're going to check out Hearts for Haiti - it really feels good to know you're contributing, even if only in a small way. No way is too small, really.

  3. great tips!

    we've definitely had quite an experience figuring out how to get the photos 'just right' and even now they are still not quite there.

    we sell a lot of vintage clothes as well, and put them on (human) models so for us utilizing off-camera flash will be a huge help as well. we did this with our last photo shoot and the pics turned out on a whole nother level (none listed on our etsy site quite yet) -- an amazing resource for off-camera flash is

    thanx again for the tips

  4. I second you on making the light box. I made mine in about 30 minutes using a large cardboard box with the sides cut into big windows, and some parchment paper taped over the holes. I think it cost me about $2.50 total, including the tape.

    I also have found the macro button feature on my camera makes a HUGE difference. Thank for the great ideas!