For our product we selected beautiful ceramics from Lara's own range of LH Objects. Lara also brought along her kit of trusty props and backgrounds. All images were shot in my hotel room on a table pushed up against the window. I was squashed in the gap between the table and the wall. The weather was rainy and overcast, which provided a perfectly softened light through the window. I shot three photos of each product: 1. Appealing, 2. Less Appealing, and 3. Setup. I used the same straight-on angle for the 'appealing' and 'less appealing' photos to keep one thing consistent and show the changes to the background and styling. We had little time to shoot and limited space in our presentation, so we shot only one 'appealing' photo per product. (Normally, of course, you would shoot several, including close-up detail shots.)
Today I'm going to share with you all of the photos and some of the thoughts that Lara and I had about them on the day. I hope that this is helpful to crafters out there who didn't get to come along to our workshop at the event, but who want to get started with, or learn more about, the basics product styling and photography.
We started with a delicate little Mushroom. Lara styled the shot with a slim rectangular cutting board and a white semi-transparent paper garland. The background is a piece of card in a soft mint green colour and the base is textured white wallpaper. The shot works well because it's simple and the product is the focus, and the styling elements compliment the look and feel of the product. In addition, the soft lighting creates soft shadows and a gentle feel to the image overall. Looking back, I probably should have used a smaller aperture to gain greater depth of field to show the little dots on the stem in clearer focus. (To compensate for the smaller aperture - a less wide open lens - I could have increased the ISO or decreased the shutter speed.) Camera settings: shutter 1/100 sec, aperture f/4.0, and ISO 200.
Banded Bowls. Lara introduced the wooden crates (cheaply sourced from eBay) that she had painted white. One crate became the background and the other as a prop to add height, texture and interest, along with a vase and twig set back in the frame. Here, Lara introduced her 'style in threes' tip. Camera settings: shutter 1/40 sec, aperture f/5.6, and ISO 320.
Feather vases. We changed the background to a sheet of thin plywood. Lara stuck three white paper circles to the plywood. This time, a round cutting board acted as another base to raise up the two smaller vases. Another thing to note about the props in general is that they are all in the style and tone of Lara's ceramics, and, therefore, nothing looks out of place. Certain props, perhaps those brightly coloured, patterned, or high-shine, would have been out of place with these muted and sophisticated ceramics. Notice again the grouping of threes: the vases and the circles. Camera settings: shutter 1/40 sec, aperture f/5.6, and ISO 200.
Take a look at the Etsy Blog for the video of the event plus more tips.