Friday, January 2, 2009

Picture It

I think that one of the most important aspects of online selling has to be photography. Unfortunately, it can be a difficult skill to master. I certainly do not think I've mastered it at all, but I have come a long way since I first started selling online.

I wish I could find some of my very first photos but I think I've hidden them. =) I do have some earlier photos though and I want to share those so you can see that I have come a long way. At least I think I have.

This one wasn't so bad, or at least I didn't think so ... but you can see in the corner where there is a background distraction and really the outdoor lighting is too harsh.

This one makes me a little ill to my stomach. The gray looks terrible and the green frame around the photo is distracting. Plus my attempt at a watermark is ridiculous.

Here you can see my failed attempt to take a quick photo inside. The yellow tone is because I was just using indoor lighting and nothing else. I didn't yet have a photo tent at this point.

Now that I do have a photo tent with lights I don't have to wait until it's bright and sunny outside to take my photos. Which is good since I live in Washington State and those days are few and far between.

Yesterday I took a few hundred photos - yes a few hundred. It takes many attempts to get just a few good pictures. So I thought I'd share the untouched attempts and the final edited results.

Here are a few samples from the 17 pictures I took of these earrings. If you want to see all of them in greater detail you can check them out on Flickr.

As you can see, some are blurry, some are too bright, others too dark. There's almost always some sort of fuzz or hair floating around.

I admit to being a lot more lazy lately when it comes to my photos. I should be using my small tripod - especially with the earrings are hanging. It's nearly impossible to get a clear and crisp shot just holding the camera.

My final results aren't that great but you can see what simple editing software and a few minutes can do to improve ghastly photos.

I was really trying to show the flash from the Labradorite since it is gorgeous, but it is tough to capture. I ended up with 7 photos that are decent, though imperfect. Looking at them again I can see a piece of red fuzz that I missed. Oh well.

And I can only use 5 of them in the Etsy listing. So I'll try to pick the best 5 and go with it. They are a simple pair of earrings so I'm not too concerned about attaining the *perfect* photo. I have so many other pieces of jewelry that spending too much time on an inexpensive pair doesn't make a lot of sense.

I hope this post was somewhat helpful. Photography matters a LOT when you sell online. People can't touch, feel, smell, or sense what you are selling except through your photos. They need to be all they can be. =)


Julia said...

And I thought taking pictures of my kids was difficult. Obviously jewelery is harder.

SpeakDog said...

I have some labradorite pieces that I won't list on Etsy because I CANNOT get the photos to look pretty. It's such a beautiful stone in person, but the in the photos it just looks so .... gray.