Friday, January 27, 2012

Product Photography

Today, my husband Matt helped me take photos of me holding a bunch of the newer plushie designs. It's hard to tell exactly how big the stuffed toys actually are by looking at the photos I took in the light tent with the plain white background, so this is something I'd been meaning to do for a while. I also ended up cutting my hair short today, so he also took a few for this blog, which you can see in the sidebar and the page about me that is linked there. Here are some of the pictures!





I'm hoping to eventually find a happy medium between the white background and these pictures of me with the plush toys, but I'm not really sure what that is yet. I like how detailed and clear the photos in the light tent turn out, but these new ones communicate the size and context in a much more understandable way. It's also more time-consuming and requires the help of my husband to get these done, so I can't take them right after finishing a new design. I also don't have as much control over them because I can't physically take them myself and it's tougher to light them.

Lately, Etsy has been putting out tips on improving your shop and product photography seems to be one of the most important things to focus on. Because my plushies are colorful, I need to make sure that the background can help to unify all of them without clashing with or distracting from any of the plushies. I'd eventually like to put together some kind of set that would fit inside my light tent and communicate the relative size of each item. I'm not sure what that means just yet.

Plush toys in general kind of tow the line between wearables that require a model for the pictures, such as hats or sweaters, and small items that require well-lit close-ups with plain backgrounds like earrings or polymer clay sculptures. Which type of product photography helps you to get a better idea of what you're looking to buy, especially in this case?

15 comments:

  1. Personally I think the pictures of you holding them make it easier to tell how big they are and how cute they are but the close up pictures do depict the details. You upload more than one picture of each on your Etsy shop so just use a combonation. :) I love your plushies!

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  2. I like these new photos because we get to see how big they are in your hands. That to me is all I would need to see to make a decision to buy. The pictures are really well done and I just want to mention I love your hair cut!!

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  3. I think I prefer the setup with the plushies by themselves, because they do a really good job of showing the detail/colors/design and just keep the focus all on their adorableness. With a model in the picture (especially a cute one like yourself!) it distracts be a bit and I'm simply not as taken with the plushies because it feels more like I'm looking at someone's personal pictures online and not a product. The photos you have here with just your hands or torso are a good compromise though, I think. Maybe compromise a bit more & wear a white top or something to have as a nice, neutral backdrop while still being able to demonstrate the plushie sizes?

    Good luck! :)

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    1. That totally makes sense and I'll keep it in mind for next time. Thank you so much for weighing in on this! You guys are so helpful and awesome.

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    2. You're welcome. :) I really like the cute ruler idea too, and btw--Riley looks awesome!

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  4. Why not do both? For a lot of online products, there is a picture of the whole item in context and then close-ups of particular details. This may be more time consuming, but I think that it would give your website are more professional feel.

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    1. That makes sense! I'll probably just stick with what I have now then, since this new photoshoot has left me with a combination of both for each item.

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  5. If you could, put a pillow in behind, pillows are a standard size and they communicate the size of the object very well. I love the plushies and once I get enough money saved for leakycon, any extra money will go into buying one of them :) I also agree with the comment of doing both, do the shoot by yourself then this one once you have time, but if you don't feel like doing that, a pillow is a pretty standard size.

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    1. Ooh, that's a good idea! Unfortunately, I don't think a pillow would fit completely inside my light tent without squishing it. Definitely along the lines of what I was thinking about though. Thank you so much for the suggestion and the love! <3

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  6. I really don't like seeing people's faces in product shots that haven't been taken commercially, maybe because it is very difficult to light a face properly, or maybe it's because I then focus too much on the people in the shot.
    I agree with Katie, I think the plush toy in the hand idea works well, this way you can take the photo yourself with the camera on a timer to avoid camera shake. The white T-shirt compromise will also give the light something to bounce off which will avoid some of the really dark shadows.
    Because the design of these toys are quite simple and graphic, maybe you could create a cute looking ruler that they stand beside, almost like a snazzy mug shot that lets us see their height in measurements.
    Catherine.

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    1. Wow, what an awesome comment! Thank you so much for all of the great tips. I originally didn't wear a white shirt because the wall behind me was also white, but I didn't think about it in terms of the light (and I've got other wall color options in my house anyway). The ruler idea is awesome too! Thanks again.

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  7. I love these! I really like seeing the designers in Etsy photos for some reason. however, I also really like to see handiwork up close and tend toward products that show me the work is quality up close. I agree with Anonymous above who says to do both! :)

    I love you! And I'm glad you're getting use out of that blue dress! And your haircut is great and just ::HUGHUGHUG::!

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    1. Aw, you are so wonderful. I like seeing the designers in photos too, but I also tend to follow them on twitter and Facebook and read their blogs so they are heavily connected with their handmade work in my mind already. I'm definitely going to keep doing both, and hopefully just improve every time I take new ones.

      I love you too! Thank you so much, Nina.

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  8. Mr. penguin is beautifully taken using a DSLR camera. Digital cameras today can really accentuate colors and make pictures alive.
    digital cameras

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