As a small (make that tiny!) business owner, I wear a lot of hats. Jewelry artist, bookkeeper, marketing specialist… And on and on… But one of the more important hats as an online business person is Photographer. On Etsy, you only have 5 pictures to show your products to their best advantage.
My journey as photographer has had it's ups and downs. I started with a video camera that also had micro stills capability. It was a little cumbersome but it took great close ups. Now I have a Canon that I couldn't live without! It takes great shots of everything, from earrings to polar bears at Sea World.
My next challenge was the setup. I think I started on the walkway to the front door of my house, using natural light. Challenge: I had to keep the camera angled so I didn't get the street, foliage or other houses in the background. I moved onto a PVC pipe frame with a white bed sheet thrown over it in my workroom. Challenge: yellow walls, which made the colors weird and hard to fix on the computer. Now I have a lightbox that I love. I set it up on sunny afternoons near my front door:
My light box is from Cowboy Studio, through Amazon.com. It comes with several backdrops but so far I’ve only used the white. And even though I don’t let the kitties near it, I have to keep a roll of tape nearby, to remove cat hair!
I just got the small black table so I could have a mobile workspace if I want to watch a movie on my computer, where there isn't really a lot of flat space. Before that, I had the lightbox on the floor--ouch, my back!
One other thing that I've changed is one of my key props: I used to use a wine glass to hang earrings. If you look at the glass, it looks clear but I suspect there's really a lot of very subtle green in it. I used to think it was picking up color from the yellow walls but even when I switched out to the living room, I was getting strange color, so I bought a white mug with pretty details around the rim and that's worked much better.
So, now, there are items that I want to reshoot because as I look through my Etsy pages, it's painful to see some of my earlier photography. Here's a prime example:
I better get to work, rephotographing some of my earlier pieces so I don’t have to cringe when I go through my Etsy pages!
Do What You Love!