August 20, 2013

Blogging Skills for Dummies: Photography 101

When I started blogging, I never thought about all of the skills I would need to learn.  I guess I thought it would all be about jewelry making - which is something I'm doing anyway.  But, eventually I realized it's also about hosting decisions, domains, layout, SEO, keywords, social networking and - having worked my way through that list of items, now I need to learn how to take better photographs!

As much as I hate to admit it, I don't think my I-phone is doing as well as it needs to.  And then there's my kitchen counter background.  And ambient window lighting.  I guess I'm lucky that my kitchen counter is neutral.

So, that's where I've been.  Watching some helpful product photography videos on Etsy, reading my Nikon manual, setting up my light tent and taking pictures in the morning, afternoon and before dusk to see which has the best lighting.  Which leads me to the question - are my I-Phone photos really that bad?

Here are some links that I have found especially useful:
On Etsy, I enjoyed this video that analyzed different shops and recommended improvements in the pictures.  It really made me think about how I would like my items to look.
The Advanced Photography Chat, also a video on Etsy, gave practical tips to taking good product photos.
There are a couple of other videos there too - but after those primers, I made some notes and moved on to my camera manual and light tent.

And yes, a lot of this work is not just for my blog, but to support the upcoming Holiday online sales.  I'm hoping I'll be posting pictures again soon!


  1. Hey, Lisa. If you want your colors to be true, don't photograph morning or dusk, because light is passing through the atmosphere and will tinge your photos with a reddish or yellow cast. It's great lighting for outdoor nature or people, but not for products.

    I photograph my beads in a homemade light box against a gray card. I set the white balance on the surface. Then I use Photoshop Elements to "remove color cast" from my photos using a picker against the gray card. Then I erase the gray card from the photo. I get pretty true colors that way.

    I'm envious you have a Nikon.

    1. I shouldn't have said dusk. It is really late afternoon sun, just as the west facing patio goes into the shade (around 5:00 lately), but dusk is really after 7 this time of the year.

      The Nikon takes beautiful photos, but it's so heavy!! Too heavy for my tripod... I know people say use a stack of books, but I think I really need a new tripod to use that camera. I'm hoping to have time to work on pictures again this week, if the weather cooperates. It's been super hot here lately!