09 July 2010

A Few Great Posts on How to Get Your Photos Front-Page-Worthy

Once upon a time, I asked my sister to take pictures of EVERYTHING for me because I believed I had missed out on inheriting my father's photography-savvy gene (as he did it for money, at one point). My sister, Sarah Cortés, currently freelances in photography & graphic design for a few clients & aspires to be one of the Visual Merchandising Elite for Whole Foods Market in Downtown Salt Lake City someday. She's a gifted artist and has always had an eye for some-kind-of-amazing in subjects, along with a sense of style.

A picture of Sarah Cortés at the Sutro Baths in San Francisco, CA
Photo taken by Steph Cortés January 2009

But this post is remarkably not about her. ;D

When faced with opening an online shop in a VAST virtual marketplace, one can quite literally be overwhelmed with the remarkable amount of things that are suddenly (and quite automatically) put onto your "To Do!" list. I mean, if my plate was any fuller, my table might topple over!

But no matter how many things we have shoved onto our proverbial platter of responsibilities, the most discussed topic in getting customers (and hopefully -sales!) into our online shops is... PHOTOGRAPHY!

We may all be creative & craftastic, but not all of us were born photographers! An unexpected task such as taking media-quality pictures with a minimum of 300 DPI is quite a daunting task!

And what the heck is DPI, for that matter?

I've never been a great photographer, but I'm a lot better than I used to be. This was a long process of taking time to research, read & practise what I had learned.

Before & After
Pictures of Weak Sauces that I'd made, taken with lamp light in the middle of the night versus a picture of Gilbert the Grape Weak Sauce taken with chicks at a picnic using 2 PM natural sunlight, props & macro mode.

Seeing as how I've never been a patient person, I was doubtful that taking time to research cameras and photo tips would be helpful. After all, most of the people I knew just took pictures & filtered their items in Photoshop. But since I didn't know how to do a dang thing in any photo editor but Microsoft Paint (*sigh*), I resigned myself to learn the basics.

I've learned that playing with your camera's settings and a few tutorials might help things along a bit. They sure did for me. :D A few tutorials that I've recently found relatively motivating were found in the Etsy Success emails! Here are some quick links to a few posts, along with some descriptions of what they contain so that you can zone in on what you might be needing the most!

A bit by bit feature on what little settings in your cameras do to your pictures. Helpful with lighting & experimenting with different modes.

As mentioned before, photo editing programs can end up tweaking a "good" picture to a "I'll have what SHE'S having!" picture. ;D Read about a few specific moves you can use with a variety of photo editing programs to give you just the right edge!

  • A 2-Part Featured Blog Series by a Photographer in the UK: Part 1 & Part 2
UK Photographer, heidiadnum, shares tips on how to make your camera & your environment work for you with details & sample examples! I highly recommend this series if you're a learner that absorbs best if you read & THEN see what it is you just read about.
Highlights in Part 1: Know Your Camera, Colour, Light, Reflection and Translucence

Highlights in Part 2: In Depth on Backgrounds, Props, Composition, Scale & "..Possibly Upgrading"

I took a long time putting this list together so that we'd know that there were some REALLY awesome quality tips that can help us get our item's pictures Front Page-worthy. :) I can personally attest to the fact that researching, reading & practising what these professionals preach is totally worthy our time!

I'd love to know how these articles have affected how you take pictures for your shops or if you have anymore amazing finds that might help the less-than-savvy photographer rock that lens!

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