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Shelly X

Sunday, 3 February 2013


Technology has not been my friend this week - not only does my printer not like dealing with card, but I am still having trouble with my photography.  I made another butterfly frame, this time bigger, and in my opinion, better than any frame I had made before.  It will be just in time for mothers day, and I was anxious to get the ball rolling early this year, seeing as Mothers Day completely passed me by last year!!

But when I took my snap, this is what happened ...

It was a really flat, grainy image, and just does not sell my work.  The most frequent comment I get back in customer feedback is that the photos don't do my work justice -and its frustrating. I am sure its losing me sales and sending customers to other FB businesses who have the photography cracked. I am getting better though, and my new camera is certainly helping, but I still have a ways to go.

I happened to air my frustration on the I run a small business forum ... as I have mentioned before- its a great place of support, and a place to talk about your business which keeps it away from your customers! (And I am sure that Mr.T is pleased that I don't whitter on all day to him about it either!!)

Anyhow, within an hour three of my irasb friends had taken my photo and tweaked it to show me how they could improve it!! (Told you they were a great bunch of people!)

Firstly Jennifer who runs the handmade cake topper business Twinkleballs ...

Jennifer used Picasa to do the editing ... I have not got to grips really with Picasa, but I am sure that once I took some time on it I would find my way around.  What I especially like about this is that Jennifer managed to get rid of the black marking where my cardboard back finished!! I am DEFINITELY going to be figuring this out!

Next is Julie from the gemstone jewellery company,  Treats & Trinkets

Julie used Pic Monkey which is what I use.  I like how Julie really got the overall colour brighter, and without too much over glare.I have found, out of the photo software I have seen, Pic Monkey the most straight forward and user friendly for me.    I like the text options they have as well, and I intend to use the text I used for the watermarking of the pictures, for all my website banners etc.

Lastly, Caroline, who owns Candy Parade (if you want bespoke bedding that you will find nowhere else, go here!) used Corel Paintshop Pro ...

Caroline really got the definition between the frame and butterflies, I like how they are the main feature!

I had one really thought provoking comment though from Jon, from Round Partner, who told me to play around with the shutter speed! So simple, to go back to the equipment and try different settings .... but I hadn't even thought of it.  Sometimes I think I am in such a hurry to get my frames and cards photographed and up online, that I forget to play around with the camera.  Considering during my training,  I covered a  module in photography and developing, you'd think I'd have thought about it.  I think it shows me that I do need to pay more attention to what I doing, and how I go about doing it.

Some of the irasb bunch have also been playing around with their photography ... its been a theme over the last two months.  Light tents have been popular, and on the whole very successful.  Here are some images that demonstrate peoples development with the light tents:

Carolyn of CoolJoolz did a whole selection of photos that shows off her handmade bespoke wedding rings ... the image which had the consensus of being the best was the bottom right ... and this one used a light tent.

Jennifer of Twinkleballs did a really tricky bit of photography- her cake toppers in a clear plastic ball.  The glare is hard enough to deal with, but using her tent she managed to get the detail inside the ball.

Fiona at little dragon jewellery did some experiments with the tent and using the lighting from different angles. You can certainly tell the difference.

Lastly, and really interestingly is this photo by Anastasia from Jelly Bean who used a terrapin lamp to light the item... and its fab!!  The light tent she used was the tent that I had, but didn't get on with. I am glad to see that it has gone to a good home and is working well for her.  

I think it is so important to play around, and see what works for you, from equipment to software, and also to not be afraid of getting rid of what doesn't work.  The tent didn't work for me, so onto new experiments and trials. :)  If you fancy visiting my FB to give moral support.. feel free!!!! www.facebook.com/evelynmaedesign

This is my starting point: 

One daylight lamp (i dropped and smashed the other one), a raised surface infront of the window to get the most light, and a white card backdrop to spread the light.  My next plan of action is to replace the broken light, create some tin foil reflective surfaces, and play around with the settings on my camera.

I will report back soon!!!

Lastly, after venturing a few months ago onto twitter...(https://twitter.com/ShelAtEvelynMae) ... More and more of the irasb group are getting on there, and we are all beginning to link up and network   If you fancy hearing from the others  search for the hashtag #irasb and you'll find us!

Right, time to cook stir fry and put the kettle on, and maybe crack open the stash of smarties!!  

Thanks for stopping by :) Shelly X


  1. really good blog, good luck with the experiments :-)

  2. This book's fab - I got it last year......
    'Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos: Fool-Proof Techniques to Make Your Handmade Creations Shine Online'.


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Love Shelly X