Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Take Great Pictures

I've been on a quest to learn to take great pictures for my Etsy shop. I've still got much to learn, but wanted to share what I did with my lighting. Somebody on my Etsy team sent me some information about building a light box from a cardboard box and I gave it a try.

I realize the picture of the light box is not a great picture. But the pictures taken using the light box are dramatically improved.

I actually used two boxes and just pieced them together with a lot of glue and a glue gun. As you can see from the photo, the main idea is to have the sides framed in cardboard and they lined with white fabric that will let the light shine through. The top is also framed and lined with white fabric, although I haven't arranged a light on top.

I'm using the light from the window, which is south facing and seems to work best in the afternoon when I can open the curtains and get light without direct sunshine. Then I turn the halogen work lights on. There is one on each side. Although they heat up pretty quickly and I've been nervous about them being that close to the fabric. I only keep them on when I am actively taking picture and staying right there. Once I did all that I was getting pretty close, but the pictures still weren't quite what I wanted. I was aiming for that white background that makes the item pop. I asked a photographer friend for some help and she added a flash. I'd been doing everything to avoid the flash. But with all the other lighting I'd added, it seem to just eliminate the rest of the shadows without washing out the item. Ususally. I'm still playing with it. But I've managed to take some pretty nice photos with it.

Take a look at this.

Here is a picture with just the light from the window.
This one is with the window and the flash.
 And this one is with the window, the halogen lights and the flash.

 What other ideas do you have or tricks do you have to make your photos the best they can be?


  1. great tips. i need a new camera, then i think i'd take better pictures, lol.

  2. That can make a difference. But I've been surprised that with this setup I think my pictures look as good with my little Kodak Easy Share as what I can get with my daughter's nice SLR.

  3. Thanks for the tips! And thank you for linking this up at Simply Creation's Link Party!