Monday, 9 February 2015

A photo shoot for a new greetings card.

So I've been procrastinating on a few things recently, mostly to do with my perceived hate of doing still life/product photography, don't get me wrong- I love looking at pictures once they are created (even better if someone else took them!) it's the process that just seems so laborious and painstaking. Anyway enough moaning, on Saturday I finally got motivated to get out my camera and went about shooting a new image for a greetings card that I have had on my 'to do' list for a long time.

I had the idea of a card showing an image of vintage knitting ephemera; including the pretty pastel coloured knitting needles from which I make my jewellery, a vintage beehive wool holder that I absolutely love and some knitting needle gauges and row counters I have gathered over the years. I got together my props and my trusty reflector like this very reasonably priced one here:
 I set up against a blank wall and near to my window, the light was bright outside but there wasn't direct bright sunlight on the space I was using; ideal conditions!
I wish I took photos of the whole space with my reflector included but that's hard to do when you are the one holding the reflector! Anyway I have this photo here where you can roughly see how I was working:

I held the large disc reflector to the right hand side of the camera and fiddled with it until the light from the window bounced off the reflector and onto my props. I knew I didn't want to get rid of all the shadows as that can make things looks really flat but I didn't want harsh shadows, I also wanted to create a bit of a 'pop' in the shiny items so natural light and a reflector is all I needed.

Here is the image I created:
I wasn't happy with how the background looked grey and the fact that the vases natural yellow colour wasn't contrasting enough with it, so with some post work in photoshop I gave the background a bot of a colour wash and added some saturation to the vase and here is the result:
I like the way it has a real vintage feel because it reminds me of the hand-painted black and white photographs popular in the mid to late 19th century.

Whilst taking the photographs I really experienced some creative flow, which I haven't felt for ages, ideas came rushing in about extra props to use and different things to try, I was excited by the images I was creating which then caused more ideas to come, time flew by and soon the sun was disappearing so I had to stop, but not before I fitted in a couple of shots of my jewellery using the same set-up.

I realised later that evening that although I say I hate product photography I really don't, it's just the idea of it, and when I make time I can actually enjoy it. I need to learn to stop procrastinating as it isn't always as bad as the task first seems!


  1. Fabulous post! Maybe I need to get myself a Reflector!

    Thank you!


    1. Thanks Karli, they really are useful- great for working with people too! Bigger the better!

  2. Ooh, very pretty photos!!

    I hate product photography. I mean, I actually do, hehe. Maybe it's because I haven't figured out a fun way of doing it yet. I'm also very jealous of your camera. Is it a DSLR or a cheaper model? I think I need something better than my phone...

    1. Aw thanks Victoria, it is a DSLR yes, I do a bit of filmmaking apart from my jewellery so it's from that really. Through doing these photos I seem to have found an easier set-up for my product photography so I'm very happy!