Do you want to know more about product styling and photography? A few days ago a reader commented on my most recent Etsy Take Five Tuesday column expressing frustration because she has a hard time taking good product shots for her store, and as a result felt overlooked by bloggers (like me) who are so particular about the images that we share on our sites.
I really appreciated hearing her thoughts and I felt bad because I know how it feels to be in that position as years ago I had no clue how to take photos and while I’m still not a professional, I have grown tremendously in this area in comparison to my humble beginnings and I wanted to let her in on how I made progress. I then thought that her frustration may be what others are feeling out there but who are too shy to say something — especially when their favorite blogs won’t feature their products due to photography that could be a bit more professional looking without breaking the bank. Truth is, I think anyone who has a home-based business, a computer, and a camera (point and shoot, DSLR, doesn’t matter) should pay attention to the photos that they are taking of their products because that is one of the major factors that can make or break their business. And it’s SO easy to quickly make improvements in this area… so why not try it?
In fact, in the class I am currently instructing with Leslie Shewring is covering many blog-related topics and one just so happens to be photography and styling for photos that appear on your blog (or web shop). Leslie does a beautiful job explaining things and students in our class seem to be gaining more and more confidence in their abilities to pretty-up their photos as the weeks go by. And though I cannot spill what we’ve been sharing in class, I can share some links that I’ve found personally helpful.
Some of these focus on food styling but that’s not the point, you can replace food with any object you’d like – the point is to examine the techniques shown. I want everyone to take pride in what they are sharing online, whether in their Flickr account, on Etsy, on their blogs, the point is that when you feel confident about the work you are presenting others will want to share it, too. So if you are frustrated and wonder about photography, styling, how to create a budget home photo studio for your small business then these links are for you:
- Etsy: Shop Makeover Series — Feature Friendly Photos
- Etsy: Shop Makeover Series — Are Your Photos Frontpage Worthy?
- Food Photography Setup: Part 1
- Food Photography Setup: Part 2 Compact Camera Food Photography Tips on Food Photography (that can be applied to your products not just food).
- Etsy Seller Tip: Present Yourself to the Press How To Brighten Your Photos
- Staying Sharp: Achieving Clarity and Crispness in Your Photos
- Give Props: How to Style Your Photos
- Making It Lovely: Product Photography Part 1
- Making It Lovely: Product Photography Part 2
- Homemade Light Box DIY
As far as magazines and books are concerning, I can’t direct you there as much because quite frankly, most feel wayyyy over my head and bore me to death. But I just started reading Digital Photographer magazine and find their tutorials super helpful and perfect for all levels. It’s a British title that I think is available at large booksellers in the states because I first found it at Barnes & Noble, so check it out!
Hope these links help you! If you know of some other great websites, online tutorials, books, magazines… please share them with us because I’m sure lots of readers would be grateful for as much help in this area as possible.
(image: holly becker for decor8)