Monday, March 19, 2012

Change the Way You Think About Small Object Photography - Part 1 of 3

reposted from my other blog:

My guess is that you found my blog via part 3 of my guest author posts over at the fabulous community and e-commerce site: Meylah (Haven't heard about it? Well, if you like reading blogs, buying /selling handmade work direct from the artist and/or maybe even an artist yourself, you should do yourself a huge favor and check it out!)

With permission from the awesome folks over at Meylah, I'm going to jump start the party by reposting those three blog entries here! (Thanks Meylah! You're the awesome-sauce!!)

Small Object Product Photography for Your Online Shop
Part 1 of 3: Change the Way You Think About Small Object Photography
If you’re like most people with online storefronts, taking better great photos of your small objects is number one on the list of things you need to do to improve your shop. You’ve read the tutorials, turned off the flash, set up near a window, purchased a fancy light-tent pop-up contraption and perhaps even upgraded your camera and still, your results have been less than spectacular.

What more do you need to do to take an amazing photo?
The difference between a good photo and a great photo, particularly with small objects, can be subtle. Composition, lighting and clarity all work together to create a visually appealing photo that gets the viewer up close and personal with the item – giving them a chance to emotionally connect, click and ultimately purchase it!
To achieve this kind of “visually tactile” imagery, it is necessary to approach your photography from your customer’s point of view. For instance, they might wonder:
  • ·         What is the piece made out of?
  • ·         How big is it?
  • ·         How heavy is it?
  • ·         How wide is it?
  • ·         What does it feel like?
Now you might be thinking, “How in the world do I show my customer what it *feels* like or how *heavy* it is if it’s just a photograph?”
This is where you start using that creative brain of yours! Yes, the same one that created that fantastic item you are photographing – and start playing:
  • ·         Try taking photos at lots of different angles.
  • ·         Go extreme – get down to eye level with your work.
  • ·         Learn how to use your camera’s manual settings to manipulate your photos.
  • ·         Play with the depth of field (sharp focus in front, soft focus toward the back) to create visual movement within the frame.
  • ·         Be daring and let part of the piece fall off the edge of the photo.
  • ·         Take super close up (or crop your photos) to highlight the texture of the piece.
Having trouble visually conveying the size of your piece? Use one of your shots to:
  • ·         Take a photo of the piece in or on your (or a friend’s) hand
  • ·         Place it next to an everyday (internationally recognized) object like a drinking glass, pencil, leaf, stapler, a pile of thumbtacks, a lemon…you get the point.
  • ·         Important: Be sure the object you are using for comparison falls off the photo’s edge so it doesn’t compete with your item!
The photographs we take are much more than a record of what we make. They are quite literally the gateway to a better understanding of you, your work and your business. Make the most of them!
Next up:
Part 2: Change the Way You See Your Work (Composition)
Part 3: Change the Way You Use Your Camera (Technical)
More about Meylah:
Meylah is devoted to building an online creative community for individuals to learn, share and support each others business growth online. We know how hard and time consuming being an entrepreneur can be, but with the proper skills at hand, we believe anyone can succeed!
Learn more at


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