Friday, July 27, 2012

Photography 101 Part 1

Photography 101 – Part 1                                           Jen Kiaba

Being a handmade business owner means that you wear a lot of hats. You lovingly spend time creating your product, but finishing up the project is only the beginning! Not only are you the artist, you're also the marketing firm, the accountant and the photographer. And in order for your business to succeed, each of those roles is very important.
In the online handmade community, unlike at a boutique or a craft fair, customers don't have the opportunity to fall in love with your products in person. If you make soaps, they don't have the opportunity to smell them and be transported by the perfect combination of relaxing and invigorating scents you've blended. If you create knit products, the customer doesn't get to touch the yarn and feel that you're using a a deliciously soft blend of yarn.
The way to overcome this is through your written description of the items, and your photography! But even if you write the most appealing description ever, if your photography is lackluster, then the likelihood of customers sticking around long enough to ready the description is slim.
It takes a split second for someone to decide if they want to give your product a closer look. Photographs can make or break that decision, so learning to take better photographs is paramount in the running of your handmade business. So consider these next few days as your Photography 101 course for your handmade business at The Craftstar.

Grab a cup of coffee and get to know your camera better!

First a little confession: my first photography class made me want to run, screaming down the halls. It all looked like confusing numbers and...MATH!  I was 90% convinced that I would never be able to figure photography out (but it was the other 10% that kept me going!) Several years later I run my own photography business and have had work published worldwide. So don’t get discouraged!
We'll take it slow learning the basics. Even if taking photos is your least favorite part of the business process, there can be ways to make it fun! And once the process is demystified a little bit it will seem less like a chore!

To begin, let’s get to know the camera a little bit better. I think it is important that everyone who works with a camera understands exactly what the tool is, what it does and why! All too often people who are baffled as to why their shots turn out too dark or blurry. But if you understand how your camera sees the world then much of that mystery begins to vanish.
More than anything else, photography is the study of light. When you begin to look at light, then the photographer inside of you is born. A camera is basically a light-tight little box. You tell the camera how much light to let and in and for how long. The word camera comes from Latin and literally means “room” – so from here on out start to think of cameras as little dark rooms.
Now, again, photography is working with light. Or to be more specific, it is the regulation of light. We have three tools to regulate light with. The are the ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. For today I want you to take a look at the below chart from Pretty Presets.

Don't worry if it doesn't make sense to you yet. Drink your morning coffee or tea slowly and spend a little time with it. Notice how it keeps talking about light?

So before you pick up your camera , spend some time during the course of your day looking at light (not directly into the sun or anything!!!). Notice where it's coming from. Look at the color of the light and how it shapes objects.

Also take a look at the crafts you've created. Look at how the light hits them and defines texture, shape, size and color.  And that's your assignment for today! Tomorrow we'll begin talking a bit more in-depth about the terms below. But for now I just want you to look at the chart, think about light and smile!

A great poster to begin familiarizing yourself with photography terms!

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