Any professional photographers on the board? A few picture questions...

  1. As the bulk of what we sell are handbags and clothing I'm thinking this is a good place to ask. A few questions: what's the best way to light items such as handbags? I really strive to achieve a natural look and somewhat natural lighting in my photos but it's not always possible. Flash, no matter how I bounce it, etc, seems to render a harsh, unnatural look. It may be that I haven't fully mastered the camera yet.

    Also, how do you shoot items such as pants, shorts and slacks? Currently we show them on a hanger but I HATE doing this. It doesn't show the cut of the pant and doesn't show them in their best light at all. How do you feel about using models? I've considered having my wife put each pair on and taking pictures of her from the waist down to show the fit. Do you find that showing clothing items on another woman is a 'turnoff'?
     
  2. .........try and shoot your handbags right next to the window, between 9am to 3pm for the best light.....I take at least 6 shots of each angle & then choose the best pic, it takes longer but is well worth it.....it is trial and error but you'll soon get used to the camera and taking pics...to avoid the flash going off, try to aim the camera higher into the light, this usually works.

    ...regarding a "real model" yes I think its a bit of a turn off, especially if the clothes are new, why not invest in a mannequin?.......I bought mine off eBay for around £32, which was a very good buy, and I use it every day for taking pics of clothes.
     
  3. Good question -- I have a heck of a time trying to take a photo of date codes in hard to get places in my LV bags?
    sometimes getting a good pic of the interior has been difficult for me too and then I see auctions with fantastic pics and have often wondered what the heck I'm doing wrong?
     
  4. That's what I've been doing thus far, taking pics by the window... I'm afraid at this point if I want better I'm going to have to go for "real deal" lighting! The flash I have no trouble turning off, it's that sometimes even with the window open, etc, there's not enough light or not light where I need it (PURSE INTERIORS!) OR the light isn't falling right/isn't the right type of light (cloudy day, etc etc). I just want to be able to shoot without relying on natural light and get good results! I don't think I explicitly stated that before...

    We have a mannequin but only for the top... as much of an eBay slut as I am I didn't even THINK to look there for a mannequin. *slapping forehead* THANK you.
     
  5. ..........you can anything on eBay lol!........for the lighting, maybe a photographers reflector screen? ....not sure exactly what it is called.......but I had been thinking of getting some sort of extra lighting, maybe bright lamps and screen.........but depends on how much it is.
     
  6. Try using the macro function on your camera.
     
  7. ITA the macro function does wonders with datecodes and heatstamps...and with any small marks you might need to show.
     
  8. I am sorry to say that my photographic skills are so poor I have not a useful thing to add to this thread, but I did want to say thank you for the question - it is something I have pondered often! Back to those photographic tips now . . .
     
  9. i only take pics outside. my house is too dark otherwise. if you don't want a full manni then get a half manni. thats what i have and she makes her clothes look nice. i bought a dress form too (actually i have 2 but one does not have a base) and its harder to dress and undress. my half manni is my bff. lol.

    macro is also my bff.
     
  10. Macro and such aren't a problem. I have good lenses and am fine with all that. It's really lighting that I struggle with and as I'm looking around what I've come to realize is that it's not just the lighting but also the background that's critical. Accurate color reproduction (or as close as possible) is vital to me. Nothing drives me more insane than a very light mint green handbag that simply looks white or worse off-white because the lighting is off or the white-balance on the camera was thrown off by the background, etc.

    This looks pretty cool. The dome itself would solve a ton of lighting problems except that most of the items we deal with are too large! The inifiniti boards, however, look just perfect for handbags at least.

    On clothing, I think I'm going to have to get a drop cloth or two (white and black, only using one at a time, obviously) for use behind the mannequin. That plus some better lighting.
     
  11. A light box or plain background is a great idea also.
     
  12. Hammacher Schlemmer has a tabletop photo studio specifically for those who want to photograph for online auctions or insurace records. It is 20Hx20Wx20D, and flattens for storage. It's $79.95, but might be worth it for those who does a lot of online auctions.
    Tabletop Photo Studio at Hammacher Schlemmer
     
  13. We use a manneguin for all our clothing, and to show hhow handbags "fit." (And yes, we found it on eBay =)

    What do you all think of environmental shots? We like to show our handbags in an appropriate setting. . . .a golf course or something that conveys the lifestyle that seems to go with the potential buyer.
     
  14. This is a great tip! Thanks!
     
  15. Also, sometimes using an 'external flash' (e.g. Digital camera external flash) is better than the flash on the camera itself. You can bounce off the light in different direction rather than directly onto your item of interest.