How I photograph Oriental's crafts - my first-time-ever trial

August 21, 2012

This is my experience of taking a craft photo. One month ago, we decided to open Oriental on Etsy, my main mission is photograph and Pr for our shop. I’ve searched and read many tips on Etsy seller handbook  about photographing.

But when we finished our product and I took picture, I still had difficulties. It likes you have studied not enough.So I searched again and again on internet, on utube, to improve my skill. The more I practice, the better my works are. I want to share with you my tips, my experiments, and also some fails I got. By the end of the day, I had a lot of funs with this photographing!

I used my Nikon D80 with lens kit AF-S Nikkor 18-70mm f.3.5-4.5 G ED to take photo.

1.    First time: I tried to take a photo with a reflector like the photo, I simply thought that, a good camera is enough. But, this is one of my first studo. With the light is too hard and no diffusion. I’m not please at all with the result.
1st studio
2.    Second time: This is the first time I got acquainted with still - life photography. It's really interesting to know how they set up the light to have the diffusion. I followed the tutorials which I found on Utube and also on some blog. I made use of all equipment I have at home, to make my own "studio": A piece of remaining tracing paper since I was in university  to diffuse the light, the aluminum paper in the kitchen like a reflector, my drawing table to stick the aluminum paper etc. How happy I am when I saw the lighting effect when I use this way. The result is quite good with a lot of help of photo editor software. But I’m not totally satisfied because of the complicated setting I’ve made. It takes time. So I tried to search on internet with key words "how to photograph craft or jewelry or products" and i found the "light box" which will make my work easier.
2nd studio

3.    Third time: Voila, this is my 2$ dollar lightbox, maybe you don’t believe but it’s true, because I took a wooden frame on the street, somebody spited, then I enclosed it by bag plastic, which easy to find at your home with clue of 1$ and sticking plaster which cost 1$. So, 2$ for a lightbox.
And here are the photo I’ve made with my "hand-made" studio and one with a lightbox.
With a little help of computer software, so It’s done!!!
$2 lightbox
I will not write about the photographing techniques, about setting up the light, I won’t repeat because you can easily find on internet, I just want to share you my lessons after my trip to craft photograph success.
The sence
1st time without lightbox &white background
And my lesson is:

  • There are many tips on internet you can learn from them like:  Etsy seller handbook or Product photography 
  • You can watch illustration on You tube or Google by searching some keywords like: still-life photography,  product photography or still-life light setting, etc.
  • Then list all the equipment you need and think about how to get it.
  • Then, you can learn from others' photos which has been taken that you found beautiful or worth learning from.
  • 2nd time without lightbox
  • The point is that: you shouldn't just watch/read, you need to give a hand on it, practice photographing! Don't just keep researching. My advice is to practice and learn from what you've done so far. While practicing, you understand the mechanism of craft photographing and find it more interesting, especially when the result is reflected in your photos which are obviously better.
And that's my own experience. I will continue to search for tips on the internet as I might not learn all what forerunners want to deliver.
3nd time with $2 lightbox


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