Friday, January 15, 2010

The photography challenge

In my previous life I art directed photos shoots at some mega studios; multiple professional shooters, strobes, light meters, studios, prop assistants, construction crews, textile stylists, professional retouching, etc etc. Well now it is just me and Sasha, my mannequin, a corner of the loft, a window, a ten year old digital point-and-shoot camera and the world’s cheapest and least sturdy tripod shooting my reconstructed sweaters for my etsy site. And that is just fine with me! Because it is about creativity as much as it is equipment!

We (Sasha and I) wait for a semi cloudy day and late morning or early afternoon to shoot. That way the light is diffused and coming from the window as well as the skylights on the other side of the room. Right now there is a snow covered roof right outside the window that helps diffuse the light nicely. A giant piece of white cardboard or a large piece of mirrored plexi serve to throw a little extra light on the subject if needed. (First I set the timer, and then run to hold the cardboard to reflect the light on just the right spot).

Sasha patiently endures having her limbs unattached and reattached as we slip sweaters on and off. She pivots and pirouettes to show off the garments in the best light… and never complains! She is a lot skinner that me and most of my customers, sp some of the shots move over to the “blue lady” - my dress form, so that the garments can be seen on a variety of sized frames.

About half way through the process, my camera battery (remember it is 10 years old) will run out, but that makes for a great time to go check my convos and emails while the battery recharges.
Then it is time to download the photos, use my Gimp freeware on my PC laptop (and I used to swear I would never use anything but Mac and Photoshop) and adjust the color, crop, and resize the photos. Okay, so the photos aren’t always perfect - after all my background is directing not shooting - but hopefully they give my customers all the visual information they need and help set the tone for my shop.

My photography has evolved over the last few months and I am sure will continue to do so. Who knows - maybe I will break down and get a new camera, tripod and a light or two… but in the meantime Sasha and I am enjoying the challenge!

At left are examples of two looks at the same product (Moss2day) - one very "informational" and one more "inspirational".  I am working hard to find the right mix of the two!!


FairyFiligree said...

Working from home is a bit like that - you improvise, you schedule, you restructure your time. But at the end of it, it's great fun to be so flexible with your life and days. I enjoy your products - lots of inspiration for fantastic colour combinations - how do you manage to come up with so many and all of the time?

jill said...

work, work, work, plan, plan, plan.

Emjay said...

Your photos AND your creations are wonderful! Nice work.

dogdazzle said...

It was fun to read about the creative process!

janet said... that's how you do it!!!!