I've got a secret for you: photos like these don't just happen:
|How To Recover Vintage Train Cases|
Props: rustic chair, notebook, stamp, lip gloss, watch, clothes pins, tin, pens
My life doesn't look like my blog pictures. My photos are staged.
Don't be surprised. Every good blogger does it.
|Yellow Herringbone Chair|
Props: rug, planter, driftwood, bunting, stuffed monkey
And honestly, it should be no surprise that my blog contains staging-- I'm a dancer.
I basically live to get things "stage-ready."
|Picket Fence Baby Soft Block|
Props: distressed dresser, gerber daisy, handmade bunny, vine
In my earlier blog posts, some of my pictures are pretty bad. Case in point, look here and here. I was working with a blurry iPhone 3, and was just eager to get my info out there. I've never claimed to be a photographer, and don't really have the desire to get some huge camera and figure out all it's settings. I'm now using my iPhone 5S and fully content. All this to say, I think there are some secrets for amateur photographers to keep in mind to make sure your photos are at least presentable.
Tips For Staging Your Photos
I try to shoot outdoors, before 9am or after 4pm. Sometimes you need to get creative when direct sun and shadows get in the way. (Hence, this ridiculous green sheet hanging up. Direct sunlight was hitting my shot!
|Look how close the shadow line was, even with the sheet up!!|
The best background is usually white. That's what people are drawn to. I've dabbled in using our wood dining room table for my Etsy Shop products, as well as a green fence over at my parents' house. But in the end, I prefer the white fence that was right outside our Maui house, even if it was a little dirty. (I've yet to find the perfect place here at our new house!) You've probably noticed I like to use this grey rug a lot. Way better than exposing the gravel and weeds it's concealing.
|Elephant Ear Dresser|
Props: driftwood, natural foliage, gerber daisy, handmade bunny, DIY Mason Jar Votive
Style your photos. I like to create 'moments' in all aspects of my work, both onstage, and off.
Here's an example of a moment I created for the stage:
|We Bought A Zoo|
Photo by Elizabeth Yee
Props: benches, lighting, gobos, costuming
|Black-Washed Antique Side Table|
Props: rug, doily, creamer cup, vase, natural foliage
|All this, just to photograph the Dr. Suess bunting!|
|Well, the Elephant Ear Dresser and the Antique Scallop Chair were also photographed that day. :)|
Post-photo shoot, I edit in iPhoto. I use it to crop, adjust exposure, shadows, saturation, etc.
Here's an example of the same shot, before and after editing:
|Before - no photo editing|
|After - with photo editing|
Black Chalk Paint Vanity
Props: globe, doilies, lamp, teacup and saucer, vase, mason jar, wooden color block spoons
This was actually a really good day of shooting for this vanity-- great lighting, so the editing was minimal. I know eventually I need to get into photoshop, especially because watermarking your images is essential, and I don't do it nearly enough as I should, but honestly I'm just not ready for that commitment yet, haha. This is a hobby that brings in a little bit of income. I need to be realistic about the time I spend on it. If someone steals my image, I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
5. Clean Up
And then you have to clean it all up! Seriously, clean it up immediately, otherwise your house looks like one of my Reality Show posts, you feel completely unorganized, and your husband gets agro from the mess!
Don't count on your dog to be any help.
Godiva just likes to sunbathe while Ivy and I do all the work…
...except in the case of the photo shoot that my pro-photographer friend, Ajja, did with Ivy and I. Godiva was ALL ABOUT participating! I think it was the comfy rugs and pillows. We couldn't get Godiva out of the shots!
|Photo by AJJA Photography|
|Photo by AJJA Photography|
So, collect your favorite objects (heck, we made a teepee and busted out the ukulele up above!) and start staging your photos! Remember these tips: