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Extremely low budget photography for craft sellers

I still take all the photographs using my iPhone 4,

&

Use natural sunlight

&

Rely on my one & only $100 plastic mannequin to model my pieces
* * * * * * * * * *

Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade Handmade Silk Floral Hair Fascinator Silk Flower Clip Salmon Pink Iridescent Green Photography independent designer etsy seller

Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade handmade silk hair fascinator silk floral clip headpiece red fuchsia hot pink raspberry iridescent green shantung taffeta photography fashion style indie independent designer

* * * * * * * * * * *

So many people (even some fellow Etsy sellers) asked me where I got my mannequins …

(They seem to think that I own more than one mannequin)

I actually got my mannequin from a liquidated store.

This is how “she” used to look like:

I used COPIC Markers (not in these exact colors) to contour her cheeks and to make her eye makeup more dramatic

Because the markers are alcohol-based, I used alcohol swabs to blend the colors and to erase some mistakes (hey, it was my first attempt after all)

Then, I glued 3 layers of false eyelashes on “her” top eyelids …

Since wigs can look very plastic, shiny, & fake on photographs, I powdered the wigs I bought for my mannequin with talcum powder. And to make the wigs look more natural, I made them look less perfect by brushing them [not-so-gently] with my synthetic circle hair brush.

Some of the synthetic hair broke & got stuck on the brush, but the acquired imperfections cause the wigs to look much more like humans’ hair.

Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade hatinator handmade silk hair fascinator silk floral clip headpiece red fuchsia hot pink raspberry iridescent green shantung taffeta silk organza photography fashion style indie independent designer

See … there’s nothing good make-up & good haircut cannot fix.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Now … let’s talk about the photographing process

I took most of my product pictures against a white 3 and 1/2 feet (or approx. 1 meter) wall behind my house.

Most of the time, I only use her torso, arms, & head and keep her lower limb in my garage.

I like to take the pictures when the sun is shines quite brightly (but not too brightly) & when the sunlight falls at an angle. I usually do a light check using my iPhone 4’s screen. If the sunlight doesn’t cast too much shadow & if the colors of my mannequin & my handmade items are not too distorted, then I know that it’s a good time for me to take the photographs.

>>> The key is to ignore what’s right in front of you & focus only on the image you seen on your iPhone’s screen. If you use a digital camera, rely on your digital camera’s screen or viewfinder instead <<<

Then, use the screen to find the mannequin’s best angles. Ignore the mannequin itself, and only look at the screen and keep on moving till I find good angles to shoot the mannequin from.

Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade Handmade Jewelry Jewellery  Beaded Stackable Chain Maille Bracelet in Antique Gold & Blush Beige - Gridlock Byzantine Beaded Stackable Chain Maille Bracelet in Antique Gold & Blush Beige - Gridlock Byzantine   Beaded Stackable Chain Maille Bracelet in Antique Gold & Blush Beige - Gridlock Byzantine Beaded Stackable Chain Maille Bracelet in Antique Gold & Blush Beige - Gridlock Byzantine Beaded Stackable Chain Maille Bracelet in Antique Gold & Blush Beige - Gridlock Byzantine Beaded Stackable Chain Maille Bracelet in Antique Gold & Blush Beige - Gridlock Byzantine Beaded Stackable Chain Maille Bracelet in Antique Gold & Blush Beige - Gridlock Byzantine Nickle-free & lead-free.  Vintage-inspired.  The handmade chain is constructed one metal link at a time.  Made with meticulous attention to detail.

To take this type of photograph, I lay a white foam board on the ground, at the spots where I get adequate sunlight. I use my iPhone’s screen to find the best spots & the best times to take the photographs (again, not too much shadow, no significant color distortion you can’t fix with simple photo-editing software)

* * * * * * * * * * *

To take this picture, I laid a foam board on top of a small table, & pose my mannequin on top of them.

Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade hatinator handmade silk hair fascinator silk floral clip headpiece red fuchsia hot pink raspberry iridescent green shantung taffeta silk organza photography fashion style indie independent designer

And, to take this picture, I laid a faux-fur throw on top of the same table.

Angelica Brigade AngelicaBrigade Handmade Silk Floral Hair Fascinator Silk Flower Clip Salmon Pink Iridescent Green Photography independent designer etsy seller

Then, I moved my iPhone around till I find great angles to take the pictures from.

Once I arranged the mannequin on top of the table, I did not look at it (not even once!) and when I fix her hair or re-arrange the mannequin, I also rely on my iPhone’s screen to show me how I should do them.

So, what do you think? Wanna give it a try?

If you have any question, please feel free to leave me a comment :)

@k_joyz of Angelica Brigade

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Extremely low budget photography for craft sellers

  1. Your shots are awesome! I love the last one… Kind of has an art-nouveau-mixed-with-anime feel to it.

    Posted by Mel | November 17, 2012, 9:53 pm

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