I have to admit, as a lover of lomography and the Holga, studio photography doesn't come naturally to me. My style is more shoot from the hip than carefully planning precise shots. Law of reciprocity? What's that? There are two shutter speeds on a Holga: B, and clickety clack. The f stop function is laughable. So, needless to say, the most difficult part of opening an Etsy shop has been taking high quality photos. I want the people who visit my shop to feel like they are holding the item in their hand, not confused about what they're even looking at.
I needed help, and luckily my brother-in-law Ian is a fantastic photographer. He really knows his stuff, and he has a lot of experience doing the types of studio-quality shots my shop needed as he carefully catalogs his ornament collection. He also takes beautiful photos when my husband and I travel with him.
Wow, did I learn a thing or two (or three, or four). I learned that it's handy to put the camera in full manual mode to have full control over the shutter during these types of shots, that f8 is "the aperture setting of the gods", that it helps to take a sample shot of something white and to adjust the camera's white balance according, and that it's important to adjust the light source placement to control shadows cast on your subject.
I also learned that my new favorite thing is to look at these behind the scenes shots from our photo shoot. There is something exciting about seeing the scene behind the Etsy shop photo. It hints at the process behind it all.
There are stories behind these shots. My Etsy visitors don't know that I used a broken pan handle to prop up this little panda catnip toy for his very first photo. They don't see the camera, the tripod, the lights.
Now every time I look at a photo on Etsy I will wonder...