The hows and whys of photographing the things you create
When you’re an artist or a crafter, it’s always a good idea to photograph your work. If you’re going to sell your finished pieces, it’s even more important.
There are many times that I wish I’d taken photos of the work I created when I was younger. For so many years I created paintings and various crafts, and now I have nothing but fading memories of them. If I had photos, I’d be able to share my past work with people more easily.
Having a visual record of the things that you’ve created is one reason why you’d want to take photos of your work. Having high-quality photos of everything you’ve created is a good way for you to see what you’ve done, show other people what you’ve done, and have something to remember if a craft item is sold or destroyed. After many years, I finally learned my lesson, and now I take a photo of every item I create and keep digital copies in a folder on my computer.
If you’re selling your work, it’s even more important to have photos so your customers know what they’re buying. If you sell in person it’s not as important, but with so many people selling their art and crafts online these days, a photo is an essential part of making a sale. No matter how much detail you can put into a text description of an item, a picture says more than words ever can. With a photo, a person can see quality, style and form a personal opinion on the product.
If you’re taking photos of your items to put online as a selling aid, it’s important that you take really good photos. Get a good digital camera, and set it to the highest quality possible. You can always make smaller copies of the images later, but to start you want the highest DPI and pixel size your camera is capable of. You’ll also want to make sure that you have a good setup for taking your photos.
The best thing to do is have an area set up with good lighting and a plain white or black background. Don’t take photos of an item sitting on your cluttered coffee table or hanging on a rod in your closet. It’s best if there is nothing in the photo except the item itself, and possibly the model if it’s clothing or jewelry. Make sure you have good lighting so your item won’t look dark and you won’t need to use a flash, which can cause glare on shiny items.
Make sure your images are clear as well. No one wants to see a blurry or grainy photo. If you don’t have really steady hands, invest in a tripod, or brace the camera on a stepladder or other item to keep it steady while you take your photos. If you’re going to take top-down shots of items like jewelry, you can brace the bottom of your camera on the edge of a box to keep it from moving when you take the shot.
Whether you’re taking your photos to help you sell items or just to have a memory of the work you’ve done, I suggest taking photos of everything you make. In the long run, you’re going to be happy that you have those images for later use.