Monday, March 28, 2011

Pitching a Big Fat (Photo) Tent

I've been selling work on etsy for a few years now. If there's one key I've discovered to successful selling on online marketplaces it's the quality of your photos. Like many of you probably have, I've had to improvise most of my shots and improving my pictures is always a work in progress. By which I mean a tear inducing nightmare of creative frustration.

I've sweated in the blazing sun, down on my knees like the hardest working of groupies, just to pull off framing a cute teapot on a grassy knoll. Behind every idyllic, photo-fairy wonderland is a grunting artist with onset arthritis. Regardless of joint pain and emotional duress, I had to use the resources and settings that were available to me until I could improve my equipment. After the last bout of grass stained knees and gnat bites, I resolved to crawl out of the primordial photo ooze and onto dry land once and for all.

Last year I purchased a Panasonic Lumix point and shoot digital camera and my ability to pull in close for macro shots improved by about a million percent. I could have kissed the camera, and maybe I did, that's really for me to know.

This year, I was determined to create a small indoor studio to provide my work with the best possible setting. I put a tremendous effort into conceiving and creating art and I was tired of tired photos minimizing my work. You wouldn't snap shots of Bettie Page under flourescent lights in front of a stained bed sheet if she was your model, would you? Those of you who read this and said " why yes, yes I would" are free to leave the blog.

After reading as many etsy photo tutorials and threads on the subject that I was able to get my greedy eyeballs on, I was ready. I purchased a photo tent, a studio light set and a tripod. The tent is large enough to accommodate almost all my smaller 2-d and 3-d work, but small enough to easily set up on my desk.  The tent allows the most flattering, diffused light which easily illuminates the work without shadows or glare. Using halogen or full spectrum bulbs keeps the color true in a way that is nothing short of miraculous. If any of you has ever tried to take shots of your work outdoors on a sunny day, you know how depressing the bleached out results can be. It's like washing hand-me-downs in Cheer and hoping it'll brighten up the colors just a little. No such luck.

My photos look like another person took them, which is usually my litmus test for knowing I've succeeded at something. Just take a look at the glorious results!

Cuckoo's Nest Barrette by QueenofQueens

Evil Eye Sunflower-Original ACEO Watercolor by QueenofQueens

I'm so happy with this change it's a wonder I don't start photographing every object in my house for the sheer glamorizing effect it has. For that matter, it's amazing I don't climb into the tent and try to take a self portrait.


AlliesAdornments said...

The pics look great!
Super blog post!

Janet said...

Your photos (and items) look great!

Michelley said...

Allie and Janet, thank you so much for your sweetness. I seriously had to learn this the hard way, ha!

Julia said...

Hello from the EUC team forum. i really like your art. You have a great blog. I followed =)

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