Emily + Canon = BFFL

For months now, I've probably thrown my camera at the wall about sixteen times. A few weeks ago, my friends from K&K Photography in Clearwater (just over the bridge from Tampa) came over (with their ADORABLE son Blythe) to help me figure out product photography lighting. They brought some amazing equipment that I plan to purchase in the coming months. But they also walked me through using natural light to photograph my products as well. Here are a few tips I learned.

Natural light is always best. I'd had issues trying to use photography lamp type things and light boxes - bottom line is, they're way too fancy. Overcast weather is perfect for product lighting - especially indoors near a good window. The clouds filter the light so that you don't have sunbeams coming in on your products.

If you don't know how to use your camera (ahem... me) don't be embarrassed to set it on "P" (I think this means "programmed" or something like it). It's the auto setting that decides all the settings for you based on your environment.

Custom white balance is key. Figure out how to use your camera's custom white balance feature. This makes sure that the "white" you're photographing actually turns out white in your images - rather than blue/white or yellow/white.

When in doubt (of Photoshop), use iPhoto. I know, I know - all my photographer friends just cringed. I'm an Illustrator girl myself, so Photoshop intimidates me a bit. Until I learn Photoshop, I'm sticking with iPhoto - and it does a pretty decent/quick job.

Buy a GOOD SLR camera. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars, but invest between $600-$1,000 on your camera and consider buying additional lenses. I have the Canon XSi and three lenses - the standard lense, a 1.8 lense (that gives you the "dreamy" feel - where certain parts of the image are blurry and certain parts are not depending on where you're focusing), and a macrophotography (perfect for stationery designers; this lets you photograph small features like type very easily).

Here's my favorite photo from my mini-shoot today. I took these phot lense os on an antique wooden table near a window with great overcast light (not BRIGHT light, just enough) and used a few cute props for added personality.


LLH Designs said...

Great post. Y to keep it simple. I place my stationery on a pine stool next to a window...and often use an iphone (gasp!). I have a fancy camera, but my iphone is just so convenient. And after I photoshop it, you can hardly tell it was a phone camera!

Hope you're loving your full time stationery business!

P.S. I use that same Nellie flourish a good bit. Love Tart Workshop!

LLH Designs said...

Meant to say WAY to keep it simple! Typing fast!

mary kathryn said...

good tips that i am definitely in need of right now. if you want to do a lesson in person (since i actually have things to photograph!!) i will make you and the ley family dinner... :)