This week I will be telling you all about the struggles I have with product photography for EV Designs. And how I overcome these challenges.
For this I usually take a selfie, or set my tripod up and put a timer on my camera. As more often than not, I am the only one in. It can be really tough to get a good quality photo this way, as with selfies it can be hard to get the whole design in, and with the camera and tripod it’s hard to focus the camera on the t-shirt properly.
To get the best lighting for my timer photographs, I usually set up outside, with a brick wall as my background. This works quite well, except sometimes there isn’t enough light on my face, due to where the sun is at certain times of day. I solved this problem by getting a clothes horse and tin foil, and I created my own light reflector. This was surprisingly successful!
Another part of timer photography that I struggle with, is getting the camera to focus on my t-shirts nicely. As when I set the timer, I am not in frame for the camera to focus on. To solve this, I usually make the camera focus on the brick wall, and stand almost right up against it. This makes the photographs to look focused enough. But I know that if I was able to purely focus on the camera side of things, it would be much easier to get the shots I am looking for. Being both in front and behind the camera does make the process take a LOT longer!
Photographing the items alone:
For the photographs of my t-shirts alone, I tried by putting the items on hangers and hanging them in front of a white(ish) wall.
But they came out dark, funny shapes and frankly unappealing.
Honestly, this got me down. It can be hard sometimes, working alone. As you don’t have that support and idea bouncing that you do in a team.
Some people make t-shirts look amazing and effortless on hangers (as I have seen on Pinterest!), but I am clearly not one of those people!
So it was just me and my crappy photographs and I felt stuck.
Luckily I moaned about it to my friend Zoe, and she set me straight. With her help I got back on the right path, and my mood was lifted. (I told you she was alright!)
So I tried laying the t-shirts on the floor. This gave them better dimension, due to the angle of the light coming through the window, as it gave a nice shadow.
It also made my life easier, as I wasn’t fighting with gravity, trying to get the t-shirts to lay nicely.
The only problem was, that my carpet is from the 70s and a bit odd looking. So the images didn’t look very professional.
I then ran around looking for a white background! Eventually I taped together 15 pieces of white paper and laid them on the floor in front of a window (a good source of natural light). I then laid the item in the centre and smoothed out all the creases on the garment (sometimes using an iron, if the creases were really bad!). Using my camera I then took the photographs (usually just on AUTO, but I manually focus the shot).
Once I had taken the photographs, I put them on my laptop and edit the images on Photoshop (as shown in my video below).
This is the first time I have used this method of product photography, and so far I am very pleased with the results.
Right. The funny thing is. That I do photography for my friend Zoe (Glow Galaxy Art), and the photographs she requires seem much more complex than mine. As for her’s we need a progression of images getting darker, with the paintings glowing. So we play around with the shutter speed and ISO, etc. until we get the images perfect. But I find this 100 times easier than my standard, daylight images! We usually take a few minutes to test out the settings, but once I have sorted out what settings work for the room, we are off and usually get the photographs straight away!
But that took a whole day, and I feel bad asking for a whole day out of people’s lives.
Never the less, this year I will arrange more and get a variety of images for social media and my website!
If you are interested in modelling for us (unpaid), please contact us.
That is the struggles I have encountered so far, but I am sure there are plenty more struggles to come!
Next week’s blog post will be about Why Custom Design Clothing is the next big thing in 2018!
If you missed last week’s, please click here.