One Writer’s Journey

October 28, 2014

Staging Photos: How to take a better photo of your craft

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:01 am
Tags: , ,
This piece of string art is one of the craft activities that I've done for Education.com.

The crocheted fruit has nothing to do with the string art but the display more interesting.

A close up and an interesting angle.

A close up and an interesting angle.

One of the most difficult aspects of craft and activity writing is getting a descent photo.  I don’t mean the step by step photos.  Those are actually pretty simple because the entire focus is the craft item.

When I submit crafts and activities to Education.com, I have to include a photo that illustrates . . . whatever.  Sometimes it’s a craft like this string art initial.  Sometimes it’s an activity like dying a carnation.  What makes these pieces difficult is that this is for an online market.  When I take photos, I need to think Pinable.  Yep, everything I send them needs to be Pinterest worthy.

Fortunately, for me anyway, it feels like a game.  What can I do to make this photo attractive an interesting?  In short, how can I stage it?  Sometimes I simply include other related items such as Halloween decorations for a Halloween craft.  For a writing or drawing activity, I might include pencils and pens or markers and crayons.  I also play around with angles, shooting up and down at things, or lighting that creates shadows.  One of the basic rules that my editor gave me is to use a white background.  A writing activity on white paper disappears into a white background.  That’s when I pull out a tablecloth, blanket or placemat.  I’ve also had to learn to stage food — placing grain products (ho hum tan) in colorful dishes, adding a dash of cinnamon or some colorful fruilt.

I’m not going to claim that I’m always successful.  In the middle of one food related shoot, one of the cats decided to sample and I photographed her paw.  I’ve also discovered dust, hair and other bits of ick clinging to whatever.

If you need to stage photos, gather a variety of backgrounds and props.  Experiment with set ups but remember what the focal point of your picture needs to be.  Once you have a set up you like, play with angle, lighting and distance.  Close ups often make more interesting photos that shots taken at a distance.  You aren’t going to get every photo in one shot but it is a lot of fun playing until you get it right.  Just don’t leave the recipe unguarded while you photo edit.  Cats are opportunists.

–SueBE

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