Friday, January 28, 2011


Back in the day when I first started sharing my projects on my blog and in my shop my pictures looked like this:


I was attempting to achieve a white-out background and failing miserably. I honestly remember thinking, 'I can't imagine what I am doing wrong?'  Little did I know, I was doing EVERYTHING wrong. Clearly, I was clueless at photo basics.  I hadn't learned that outdoor lighting was best. On top of that, I took most of my pictures inside, at night...wait for it...with a flash.

Oh. How I have learned.

In comparison, I've redeemed myself with photos like these, not perfection by any means, but much better:



 {much better}

Now you ask, how have I made the transition from this:

to this?

The answer to your first question is,  'No'. I do not have a fancy smancy camera. One day I hope to own one, but that day is no where in the foreseeable future. All I have is a simple point and shoot camera.  However, I've learned how to make that point and shoot camera feel like it is fancy smancy camera. (Note: I am not a pro.  There might be are far better ways to photograph handmade items. Nevertheless, these are the things that work for me.)

1. Meet my background. A simple foam art board purchased from Hobby Lobby. I think it cost me a grand total of 3 bucks. I shoot all of my pictures on this. If you want to improve the quality of your pictures a great white background is a must.  (I usually take my pictures closer up, but if I was going to use this picture, it is a little too dark,  I'd just crop out my cute lil' toe and my patio. No one would ever know...)

{Sometimes I use a piece of fabric or pretty printed paper on top of my background if an item needs some contrast.}

2. I shoot all my pictures outside. If I can't shoot outside, I place my background in front of a VERY sunny window. Don't shoot at night with a flash....spare us. But don't worry we've all been there and made that same mistake. :)

{Both pictures were taken inside infront of a VERY sunny window.}

3. I learned that sunny skies aren't the best for photography. Yep. You heard me right, cloudy days or slightly overcast days are the best.  If you are like me in live in a climate that is sunny 95% of the time, head for some shade.

{Both taken in the shade on a very sunny day. Since my item was too big for my background, I just used the grass. Which turned out to offer some great contrast. }

4. I take a lot of pictures. I usually take about 3 - 4 pictures in each angle. Then I eliminate.

5. I got comfortable with a photo editing program. You don't need to sell an arm and leg to purchase Photoshop. (However, I do use Photoshop and I love it.) There are many other fabulous and AFFORDABLE or FREE options such as:
Photoshop Elements - runs you about $70 - $80
Picnik - homemade by Jill uses this quite often and has some great tips
iPhoto - for my fellow Mac users

Even still,  sometimes I want a perfect 'white out' background, not all the time, but sometimes. Even shooting outside you still get shadows. And again, because it is always sunny here, I always shoot in the shade. Sometimes the shade is too dark or whatnot. So then my photo needs that extra 'kick' to make it have white-out background.
{Almost white-out)

A perfect white-out background is almost impossible without a professional photo studio and/or ninja photo editing skills. Both which I lack. However, the other day I made a discovery called FotoFuze. It is a free online site that helps achieve a perfect white-out background. It is geared to Etsy sellers, but you do not have to be one to use the site. All you do is upload your photo, highlight the area of focus (your item and surrounding shadows) and it 'fuzes' your photo to have a white-out background. (There is a tutorial that automatically loads after you sign up.)

It took my almost white-out pictures to this:






I know you can do this in Photoshop, but I haven't taken the time to learn. Plus I know many people out there do not have Photoshop but want the look of a white-out background. So if you sell handmade items and are looking for a solution great! I hope this helps. Or if you just love to show off your handmade items online, use this to give your photos that professional touch.  An important note. To get the results above you MUST use a solid white or black background. Preferably you want it to be flat as possible. So think art board/poster board instead of a sheet. It helps to cut down on unnecessary shadows. 

So there you go! Some photography tips for you all. I love being able to show my work off in its best light. Again, I am not a pro...but when my photos have gone from this:

to this...

....I feel, just for a moment, like a photography genius.

Happy Friday,



  1. interesting article .. in accordance with my studies .. thanks
    best regards from Indonesia

  2. Thanks for the link! I might have to hire you to take our pics :).

  3. Thanks! You've given me hope for my point and shoot :)

  4. I love you. Seriously. This is just what I needed!!!

  5. I just got a new point and shoot - am improving, but now I KNOW I can get some good pictures. This is soooo valuable, and I thank you bunches for sharing!


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