How to take better pictures


Take excellent photographs of your Art or Craft

  

NEED A PHOTO THAT STANDS OUT FROM THE REST?!!  First impressions are very important and the better quality your photos, the more interest you will generate in your items.  


THE GALLERY PHOTOGRAPH
First impressions are everything and the first photograph that a buyer sees needs to be well-taken and impressive.  When your listing appears alongside many other similar items, YOUR PHOTO should be the one that encourages the most viewings. 
Your photos can speak volumes about you and that is why you should make every effort to take professional-looking shots.  There are many great  items which never get sold because of out-of-focus, dimly-lit objects, messy or untidy backgrounds or rooms, even items that need dusting! 
The first photograph on a listing should usually be a complete shot of your item, showing it in it's best light and best angle.  You need to think carefully about background and lighting.  Have a good look at everyone else's photos and see which photos stand out better than others, or which parts are best to photograph. 

LIGHT SOURCE - Indoor photographs
The best time to take photographs is with natural daylight, so only take photos at night if it simply can't wait until morning.  Photos taken with flashes can look very unnatural and washed-out and generally this is not a good idea.  If it is a dull or rainy day, this will also affect the light and you may not get good results. Don't try to take photographs with fluorescent lights on, or desk lamps, as this gives a warm orange tone to your photographs.  The middle of the day is usually the best time for taking photographs indoors as daylight is at it's premium.  Small objects are difficult to photograph outdoors as the daylight can be too bright.
When shooting indoors, place the product on a table next to the window so that it will be illuminated by a soft window light from the side.  This technique gives excellent results and can produce results as good as artificial studio lighting.


LIGHT SOURCE - Outdoor photographs
If you are taking photographs outdoors, then avoid direct sunlight.  The best times are between 9 and 10am or 4 and 5pm.  Cloudy days are actually better for taking pictures of objects.  The clouds act as a filter for the strong sunlight and soften the photo.
The weather and time of day affects not only the exposure but also the color and the mood of your image.  When photographing original art paintings with texture for example, try taking photographs under direct sunlight.

It creates shadows with the pant texture. As small is the angle between sunlight and surface of the painting as big are the shadows. So you underscore the texture and avoid glare.

Paint texture can also be made more interesting by shooting from different angles. Close-up details of a painting can be made very abstract and appealing. Your camera should have a setting for taking close-up photos, called macro. This setting will focus on very close shots, picking out every detail.  If there is no Macro setting, you should have a setting for objects or portraits which will have similar settings. On Macro, the flash isn't usually necessary as the shutter adjusts to let enough light in, but if the flash comes on automatically, try to turn it off manually as flash pictures do not usually come out very well.
Try to never use the camera's built-in flash, as this creates harsh shadows.

 

BACKGROUNDS
As a general rule, try to use plain backgrounds with nothing else in the picture.  A busy background detracts the focus from the main object and makes it hard to see exactly what you are selling.

Most items will photograph well on a white sheet but if your items are quite pale, then a black or dark background will show them up much better.

Some items will benefit from a more interesting background.  For example, if you are selling  jewellery, a silk or material backdrop would really set the jewellery off and make it look very exclusive. 

PREPARE YOUR ITEM
Make sure your item looks at it's best.  You wouldn't have your own photo taken without brushing your hair, so make sure you present your items well.  If you are selling a painting or an ornament, then give it a dust, if you are selling some clothing, make sure it is ironed! 

ANGLES
A tripod helps to keep your camera steady but is not crucial as long as you have a steady hand.  Take lots of different photos from different angles and move your objects to face different directions.

When taking pictures of reflective items, such as oil paintings, take care to shoot from the side, to avoid glare.
In general, take one or two full frame shots and then take close-up shots to pick out details.  Depending how valuable your item is, will dictate how many photos you need.  If a buyer is going to spend a couple of hundred dollars on your item, he needs lots of photos to ensure he knows the condition of what he is buying.  If your item is worth less than $20, then one or two photos will suffice.  If there are faults on the item, it does help to pick these out on at least one photo, otherwise your buyer may be disappointed when he receives his goods.

CROPPING & SPECIAL EFFECTS

Cropping is very useful and all software packages should have these options.  If you are selling paintings, prints, postcards, pictures etc. we would recommend cropping off all the background to ensure your object is as large as possible on the screen. 
 

FINALLY, enjoy yourself,       be creative, let your imagination flow and try out lots of different ideas!

If any further question about your photos please contact us.

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