Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How to put Your Best foot Forward

I thought that a good discussion would be about photos ( the bane for many of our existence) for selling on line.

I spend hours taking pics to get 10 good ones for 3 items LOL!  I have gotten better over the last 4 years with the help of others and I am ALWAYS looking to improve.  It is great to stay teachable.  It will help one develop and evolve  with the technologies that can be over whelming.

the photo is what draws people into your studio ( if they find you on TheFind or googlebase) which are shopping  sites.  All of our items are submitted to these engines.  So I think to myself, how am I comparing to some of those pics?  well, truth is, that I don't compare well enough.   If you ever sneak a peak at the back section of my studio cctexan3, you will find some awful pictures. Until one day some wonderful person told me about

I had been using my MSN pic Manager for editing, but it just isn't the same when you try out a better editor.  what do you use?

Also, you might learn your camera and how to use the macro button, the white balance and how to open your shutter ( or close it).  I'm still struggling with that stuff too.

Sara did a thread on photos here:

tony has one as well: Photo Q and A

 let us know what you do, or what you are struggling with, maybe we might all learn something new! Love and Peace Yall!!


  1. I take the majority of my pictures outside and I use Picasa if I'm trying to be quick. Otherwise I use Photoshop. Still trying to get used to the fact we get so many pictures on Artfire as opposed to other venues.

  2. Photos are such a HUGE issue with online selling since people can't actually pick something up and touch it. I use Paint Shop Pro, which has way more options than the simpler programs like Picasa, Paint, and Irfanview but not *quite* as much fancy stuff as Photoshop. I've been using it for years and love it. I try to use natural lighting but I also have a couple of daylight bulbs from Ott that I put into some clamp lamps so I can do a quick studio set up with some pretty good lighting when I need to. I LOVE macro and frequently change my white balance but.

    My biggest problems are backgrounds. I used to do very plains, switched to doing settings but am seriously thinking of going back to plain backgrounds again.

  3. I just finished putting together a collection for a ArtFire Maven project so I can tell you just how important good pictures are. I surfed through page after page of lovely items, but pictures that just didn't "work".

    I have a lot of trouble getting good pics, too. Still learning how to use my new camera.

  4. I have an uplight as well ass the clamp things from lowes with ott bulbs in them.. I still get shadows on my long necklaces though. heck I cant even find busts to really show them.

    I went to a consistent look just lately and switched all my pieces to busts or display for bracelets instead of my first pic being etsy artistic.

    hehe I can do great up close shots on Lampwork beads, but if they are gems, sometimes you can see the small inclusions in them that even the naked eye couldnt see,.therefore I am learning to back it up a bit.

    I love the page manager so I can put white busts with white and black with black

  5. Cindy, have you seen those instructions for making the milk jug light box? There's also some out there for making a simple light box with pvc pipe and a sheet or small piece of white fabric. The milk jug works great for small, shiny pieces since you had the frosted jug in between the lights and the item--gives you plenty of light for the piece but takes out the glare.

  6. So I used the suggested white box that Artfire instructed at the very beginning when setting up your studio. It works fine from a standard point of view, however, I've found the lighting I have isn't enough. So I have ordered a new lamp that will hold a higher wattage. In the meantime, (since we have so much sun in Texas), I have moved my photo studio outside and surrounded myself with nature. I'm still working on upgrading photos to a number of my active listings.

    I honestly didn't like using the tools to modify the brightness. I felt it dulled my colors. So natural light is what I have chosen for now.

  7. My mom and I invested in a professional set up and split the tiems and price... she got the two standing lights that sit on the table ( thats what I really need)

    I got the bigger box which is really a nylon tent. I can even take pics without the camera reflecting ( too much trouble to figure that one out though)

    I also got the uplight the tripd and the front facing tripod lighting.. very good for highlights, sometimes too much so.

    I struggling with the white balance and it is rare to get one that doesnt need editing of some sort. But thanks for the suggestion LA, I might do that if I do outdoor shots at the new place. I have a patio that faces east on the new place, whereas I am facing west now. anything out there after 3pm has a blue tint to it.

  8. Love being able to go outside and use natural light, I can never get good lighting inside it seems but also have not made any investment in good lamps either. I do use Photoshop, and feel free to contact me if you want something special done for ArtFire, I'm not cheap! I am free (for you guys)