Product Photography

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I’ve been busy inventorying and photographing my ceramic jewelry stock the past few weeks – to be honest, it’s tedious and a bit time consuming to photograph, download and then edit the photos – not to mention the process of listing work on Etsy (or any other online sales venue). When I started the process, I soon realized that I needed a workflow that I could follow to maximize my efforts and minimize my time.

I checked out a few of Etsy’s tips here, and then jumped in. While many potters use a seamless graduated background, I have chosen to have a stylized set up with a white background for a contemporary feel for most of my small items (jewelry, mugs, and other similar items). Even though I shoot outside in natural light and use a white background, my photos still have a gray cast to them. I found the following video on Etsy and even though I consider myself an advanced photoshop user, I still learned some new tricks and made my workflow much easier.

Ollibird Etsy Dodge Tool Demonstration from Ollibird on Vimeo.

I’ll admit that my photos still need work and I need to be a bit more creative with my background props, but I’m happy with the way they’re turning out. It no longer seems quite so overwhelming to photograph, edit and list work for online sales.

Fellow potter, Emily Murphy wrote a post last fall on her photo set up, along with helpful links to other sites which I have found incredibly helpful. I’m in the process of planning to  renovate my garage studio in the coming months and would love to install her collapsible photo setup for photographing larger work all season long.

Meanwhile, I committed to a ^10 soda firing in mid April at the Colorado Potters Guild and am making pots again (wheel and hand building). I’ve never participated in a soda firing and mostly fire to ^6 oxidation, so this has been a learning process to use new clay and think about what kind of a surface I want. I’ve chosen to use some Dover White stoneware and B-Mix – hopefully, I’ll have a few turn out that I’ll be proud to sell at our spring show.

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