24 November 2007

A crash course in photography.

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A favourite of mine taken by Dave.






I have increasingly become aware how important good photography is to a business such as mine - in fact, I can't imagine a business that doesn't benefit from good images of their products. In this day of digital cameras it would seem anyone can take a wonderful photograph....not so. I can vouch for the lie in this claim, having a huge folder of somewhat dire images of my own stored away on the computer. It never used to be the way; back in the days of yore, when cameras were peered through and held to the eye, I was something of a nifty photographer though I say so myself. Now, I am the mistress of the 'quick snap', those endlessly uninteresting, badly lit shots of people, their presence vying for focus with a plethora of Things I Forgot To Move...yet again. This is a bit of a problem when it comes to taking photographs for the website. Funny how a beautifully embroidered bag doesn't quite seem the thing when a microwave is perched noticeably in the background; depressing when a picture of a delicately sewn cloth of finest cotton should reveal the soft, woven signatures of an heirloom cloth and yet actually reveals the junk piled high on the dresser behind the table.

And so today I am having a crash course in photography with Mr Dave who knows about such things and took all the gorgeous pictures for the website (albeit with my endless demands for how they should look ringing in his ear). Already this morning I have discovered da Vinci's Rule of Thirds and applied it to a number of things; I have found the button to press for the grid with which to apply this rule, considered close ups and macros, waxed lyrical on lighting and where it should fall and, to my shame, found I already knew most of it as back in the even darker ages I trained as a florist and the same basic concepts apply. Ahem, well we'll gloss over that eh?

Small businesses can rarely afford the high outlay required for a professional photographer and I am no different, yet the phenomenal time it takes to set shots, photograph, work on the images, etc means I feel unable to 'use' Dave for this side of the business even though he clearly is skilled at it. He holds a demanding job of his own and, highly supportive though he is, it feels wrong to use his entire weekend in such a way. I shall learn and apply what he has taught me and somehow fit this in to the myriad other tasks involved as so many other businesses have to do and if sometimes my blood runs cold at the idea of cramming anymore into this rather full life then I shall take a deep breath, hold the thought and focus; after all, I like a challenge - Click....





And here's a not so good one by me - click to enlarge and it improves a bit, but still much to learn!!!

8 comments:

Faith said...

Photos ARE so important. They are what make or break a sale. I imagine that when we buy some little thing like a lavender bag from an online shop such as yours, really we are buying into the lifestyle that maybe we wish we had - If you see what I mean. Anyway, I'm sure you will quickly learn and the photos on your site are delightful.

Elizabethd said...

You are right Faith. That's why we enjoy the super magazines on sale...they take you into a lifestyle for a short time.
Pipany, can we see some of the funny ones!!?

ChrisH said...

Good point, Faith. Best of luck with the business, Pipany - well done.

UN PEU LOUFOQUE said...

Oh P I know how you feel I used to be a dab hand at photos with teh old SLR camera adn even developed my own, then I got lazy adn find that wiht digital I really am not as good as I should be but it is faster!! You think photographing fabric is ahrd try tiles you get glare everywhere!!

Casdok said...

And i can see you are going to rise to the challenge very well!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

you keep going girl ...you are doing just fine .....just think how far you have come since this was just an idea! Congratulations and much clapping from up here!

Cowgirl said...

A picture tells a thousand words doesn't it? At least with digital it is so simple to practise your heart out without huge costs! Love the bag! Off to look at your site!

LittleBrownDog said...

I wish I knew what that rule of thirds was - is it just dividing the image into equal thirds, or is it more like the Golden Section (although I'm not really sure I know what that is either...) I'm a lousy photographer and have zillions of bad pictures of people with red eyes and fuzzy pink shapes in front of the lens. Oh, and microwaves in the background in virtually all of them.

Your bags look amazing. Wherever do you find your gorgeous fabrics?