Little Squish has been in business for about 18 months now. I am absolutely not a business expert, but I’ve been asked lots of business-related questions via social media recently, so I thought it may be useful for me to share some tips and things I’ve learned along my journey. This is a four part weekly series, this week focusing on…
Taking Awesome Photos
You’re all set up and ready to go, hurrah! But, before we start, here’s my disclaimer: I am not a photographer. I had no interest in photography at all until last year, but I think if I’d made more effort at the beginning, it would have reflected in my sales, social media followers etc. Photography is so important to a business selling something handmade, especially if you’re online only.
“But I don’t have a decent camera!” I hear you cry. Well fear not my friend, because neither do I! (Well it’s ok, but it’s at least 10 years old). Don’t worry, you can totally do this with your smart phone.
You absolutely do not need to go out and buy a new camera. One thing you do need to invest in is a tripod. This is the best photography advice I’ve ever been given! Why a tripod? Simple, it’ll make your photos sharper, because used with the self-timer on your camera (or phone!) the camera won’t move. Don’t spend a fortune, here’s a simple one that’ll do the job. Oh, and if you’re using your phone, you can still absolutely use a tripod, you just need to buy one like this (this is the one I bought for my iPhone) and then you can unscrew the part that the phone sits in and screw it onto your proper tripod. Ta-daah! Genius right?
I think the best thing you can do to find your “style” is to look at the kinds of photos you’re drawn to. Go and have a nose on Etsy or similar and see which photos you like the best. What’s good about them? Colour, props, theme? Make a list and give those things a go! I’m still finding my way with my style of photos, but I do love simple photos with a white background, like this one. I feel like if you’re not sure about props and stuff, it’s probably better to leave it uncluttered.
I haven’t edited the colours of this photo at all. The white background is my trusty IKEA coffee table, and I took the photo outside using my tripod of course. Here’s the behind the scenes shot:
I know getting outside to take photos isn’t always easy, but natural light really makes a difference so you at least need to find the brightest spot in your house/studio.
I think it’s also important to make sure your photos have some sort of cohesion, so if you’ve decided on a white background stick to it, don’t go taking a couple of random shots on a wooden background, for example.
I’m still learning lots about photo editing, and you could honestly spend hours on it. I use Paint Shop Pro and generally all I do is make sure the colours are bright enough, and then I edit the size of photo depending on what it’s for. Sometimes I use a white sheet as a backdrop, so for these photos I also smooth out the background a bit. Nothing too fancy and, for me, that’s enough.
If you’re taking photos on your iPhone, or I guess any other phone, here’s a tip you’re reeeeally going to appreciate… Did your iPhone will store data on which way up you held the phone as you took the camera? No? Neither did I! Cue me sending out lots of upside down photos, but only upside down if they were viewed on an iPhone. I honestly thought I was going mad; they were ok on my computer and then not on my phone. Anyway, what you need to do is turn of the EXIF information. If you’re using Paint Shop Pro, click on ‘save as’ and then ‘options’ and uncheck the box that says EXIF information. You’re welcome 🙂
I appreciate that was a real whistle-stop tour of photography but, like I said, I’m no expert! I recommend you check out Photocraft, Lyndsey does lots of mini tutorials which are worth checking out and also runs the longer 100 lesson Photocraft course (which I’m aiming to do at some point, it looks fantastic!). I’ve also pinned a few photography tips on Pinterest you may want to have a look at too.
I hope you found that useful! See you next week for some social media tips!
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