Tuesday, 18 June 2013

GUEST POST: 10 Easy Steps - Inexpensive and Simple Etsy Product Photography

Welcome to the first of my series on how to better your photography of products for Etsy (or any products for that matter). Today we are going to get right down to the nuts and bolts of how to set up and take a photograph of some fairly small jewelry.

Here we go! 10 easy steps to set up an Etsy product shot using window light and reflectors.

1. Find a North-facing window with a windowsill lower than your table.

2. If you don’t have a North-facing window, place a translucent white (not off white) bed sheet or velum paper across the window to block direct sunlight. NOTE: If it’s a cloudy day any window will work. Just remember that there must not be any direct sunlight streaming through the window. The velum/white sheet diffuses the light making it much softer.
    3. Pull a table right up to the window, keeping the table height higher that the height of the windowsill and away from any window frame that may block the light or throws shadows.

    4. Place a large clean white piece of paper on the table so that it sweeps up in the back allowing you to shoot different angles and still have a white backdrop.

    5. Create a reflector card using clean white foam core or by taping and sheet of clean white paper to card board or by using a clean white matt board.

    6. Turn off any room lights. This is very important. Most room lights will photograph as a warm yellow and will defeat the purpose of using the natural window light.

    7. Place your product about 1 – 2 feet away from the window and arrange.

    8. Place a reflector card on the opposite side of your product (from the window/main light) keeping it very close to your product and just out of the camera frame. Move the reflector card around so that it throws light back into the product to reduce any shadows.

    9. Double check to make sure the light is even across both the product and the background.

    10. Compose your shot and press the shutter*. If it is a bit to dark to hand hold the camera without shake, use a tripod and set the self-timer on your camera to 10 seconds.

    *Remember - If the white background is the dominate color in your image you must over expose the shot by 1-2 stops in order to get the proper exposure otherwise the camera will photograph the background as grey.

    Join me every third Tuesday for more photography tips that will help your product stand out from the crowd. If you have any questions or topics that you would like to see covered send me an email at scottboardphotography@gmail.com.

                 Written by Scott Board

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