A while ago I wanted to add new content to the site - you know, freshen up some of the imagery, give it some more life, etc. I thought that the site was missing a view of my products in context. I have loads of photos of my frames, but none of them are on a table, or beside some books for example so that my customers can easily imagine what my frames would look like in their homes. I decided I wanted to add that to my site. The only problem? How to do that within a budget, and without owning any set lights or impressive cameras. Here's how I managed.
Step #1: Set Up
First step was to find a flat surface - I used my coffee table :) I knew I wanted the pictures on a white background so I laid a white pillow case over my coffee table and pushed it up against my white wall. White background - check! If you don't have a white pillow case, a white table cloth, towel, sheet, or even t-shirt could do the trick!
Then I scoured my place for any fun props that would give context to the size of my frames, and would also photograph well and not look too random. I ended up gathering up some books, a few plants that I had around my flat, a sketch book and pencil, and some other little odds and ends.
Step #2: Staging
Now is when it started to get really fun! I staged the coffee table in a few different ways and took pictures of them all to determine which were the best set-ups. I tried not to overcrowd the frames too much - I wanted to establish context, but still keep the focus on the frames. I also tried to get a few set-ups that were distinct from one another - so that I could get a variety of photos that would resonate with different customers. I went back to the set-ups that I liked best and took some test shots with my frames in the photos to make sure that everything fit together perfectly before I started my photo shoot!
These were staging options that I felt were too busy and I thought took the focus away from the frames.
These were winners that I ended up using!
Step 3: The Shoot
Now is when I started to feel like a professional :) I took a bunch of different shots - taking multiple shoots of the same set up from slightly different angles each time, or with slightly different lighting/ positioning of the props and frame. This was so important - I broke my shoot into the 4 or 5 different set-ups/ stagings that I wanted to capture and just kept rotating my product in each. I didn't stop when I thought I had the shot that I was after either. Kept on shooting so that I had a few options for every final shot that I needed. Could not have been more glad that I did that because there were some shots that I thought were perfect, that turned out not-so-perfect when I looked at them later.
Step 4: Editing
So fun to view all of your photos from the shoot once it's complete! Before my photos were ready to put live on my site, I went through them all in photoshop and adjusted the ones whose lighting needed to be altered slightly, or needed to be sized differently, etc. Just fixed any imperfections and ensured that all the final shots that I was going to use looked as uniform as possible so that they all felt like they belonged together on the site.
And here's some of the final products :) Was a lot of work, but I think the new shots really give my site that extra bit of life that it needed. You might recognize this shot from my homepage :)
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