9 Photography Tips for Crafters

We are halfway into our March Lightbox-along, and I wanted to provide you with some photography tips, just for fun.

I know you don’t come here for my amazing photography skills (and I am often more interested in sharing good ideas than great photos), but I do know a couple helpful things about blog photography. You don’t have to have an expensive camera, especially if you pay attention to some of the details.

Here are the photography rules I live by:

  • Avoid the flash. The hard shadows that a flash creates are usually never flattering.
  • Instead, use natural light. Indirect sunlight from a window is usually great for craft photos. (But once you get a lightbox, you won’t have to worry about good light!)
  • Add light if necessary. If you’re shooting a quick photo at night, increase your chances of a decent photo by adding light. Bring your object to a lamp, or bring the lamp to the object. You can also add light (which will help your camera take a clearer photo) by adding light-colored surfaces like placing your object on a white sheet or near a white wall.
  • Make sure you focus the camera on your subject. It seems like a given, but a lot of blogs feature blurry photos. (I know sometimes it’s hard to get a clear photo if you don’t have natural light, or if you are just shooting quick process photos while you craft, or if you use an inferior camera like the one on your phone, but you can always take time to focus the camera.)
  • Use an unobstructed background. Avoid background clutter. A lot of times, I put things on a clean table or floor and shoot them from above.
  • Get close. You usually don’t need to show the background, so step closer and fill your camera window with your object.
  • Staging helps a photo. If you can show your object in use (preferably with attractive props), it can make for a more compelling photo.
  • Shoot a few different angles. Take at least three different photos from three different places, including “odd” angles. You never know what might make your object look its best.
  • Take more than one photo. In this age of mostly-digital images, there isn’t a reason to skimp on exposures. Take a safety photo or twelve just in case. Your camera’s viewfinder usually doesn’t tell the whole story. What might look crisp on a one-inch screen can easily look blurry at a regular blog size.

I have a lot of other tips for using photography in your blog that I’ll post next week.

Additional resources:

  • Photography tips and more photography tips by great craft blogger and photographer Sonja at Craft-Werk
  • A few photo tips by Disney at Ruffles and Stuff, who takes excellent craft and fashion photos for her amazing craft tutorials
  • How to Photograph Your Baby, a book by Nick Kelsh. Don’t let the “baby” part of the title scare you. This book has a lot of great basic info for beginning photographers, and will drastically increase the quality of your photos. Also, it’s a nice spiral-bound book with lots of big pictures and easy to read text. Definitely more friendly than scarily technical. (Sidenote: there’s also a book called How to Photograph Your Life which might have more info on object photography, but I haven’t read it, so I’m not sure. I do like Kelsh’s books, though, and it has five stars on Amazon.)
  • 133 Photos Lit By a Single Candle on Gizmodo. Just for fun, see the amazing results some photographers were able to get by lighting with one single candle.
  • Photojojo has a lot of fun photo tips and activities
  • Inspirational photo craft blog: Leethal
  • Inspirational photo crafter: Jek-a-go-go
  • Inspirational crafty photo mom: Katherine Marie Photography (she also has a great article on 10 tips for photographing newborns)

Other posts in this series (coming soon):

*all these photos are by me :)

About Croq

CROQ Zine is a print zine devoted to hip crafting and indie business. Our first issue went to print in Summer 2005.
This entry was posted in Projects, Tutorials and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.