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Every other month our blog posts a tutorial showing how to take at home the pictures we create in the studio. If you have a question about our suggestions please don’t hold back - write to us.

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I am an advertising photographer in NYC. My pictures help large corporations sell more and keep their brands looking fresh. I am also the founder of Via U!, an online studio dedicated to creating photography that helps people selling in Etsy increase their sales too.

12. March 2011 14:45

Photographing a Dress on a Mannequin

Here is how you can use daylight and some aluminum foil to take pictures of garments that makes them pop from the background.

When taking pictures of bright and dark things together a camera can’t make both look good. Here is how you can use this limitation to create pictures that separate your dress from the background.





Set up in a place where daylight is blocked making one side of what you are photographing look very dark. I took this picture at the edge of a covered terrace. The entrance to a garage, a doorway, a window will work well too.








Reflect light to brighten the dark side. Put one card at a time, try different angles and look at what difference it makes. The closer you put the card to what you are photographing the brighter it will get. I used two cards in this picture but sometimes using one looks better.





  

The aluminum foil helps put light on the dress but the background still is a lot brighter. The camera will try to make a good picture of everything is has in front -  we want a good exposure for the dress only.




 

Start taking lighter pictures until you get one that makes the dress look good...












...  and then the background will become very light.














To make a dark background turn the mannequin around. Now you have light on the mannequin and not much light in the background. Yin-Yang!


Dress: a loan by Rocka in Santiago, Chile.


The amount of light on the dress and the background is too uneven for the camera to handle. Take a picture that makes the dress look good and the background will become dark!








 

I used the aluminum cards to make the sequins dress look shiny. The thing you are photographing may not need cards at all.







 

The Aluminum Cards:

To make the cards I flattened a cardboard box and glued the inside to make it stay closed. I then glued layers of these flatten boxes to make them rigid. They feel like they might stop a bullet!

More information on how to make an aluminum card?

Every new month we post a new product photography tutorial showing how to take at home the pictures we create at the Via U! studio.
Strong Thumbnails Brings More Traffic to Your Shop

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4. March 2011 21:05

A Strong Thumbnail Brings Traffic to Your Etsy Shop

Product Photography: Same shirt, two very different photographs. Use an engaging thumbnail to get attention to your shop and additional pictures with an exact description of your product to avoid client disappointment.










 

Do your best to forget that you are photographing to sell. Have fun, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, try new ideas, be open-minded. This is a photograph of light passing trough fabric, not a picture of a hanging shirt. Isn’t using a camera like doing magic?










 

I took about 10 pictures. I started with one that was way too light and changing the exposure I ended with one that was very dark.

I felt this one made the shirt look great. However, it is impossible to tell how the shirt really looks like.




To give a better description of it I moved the shirt closer to the window. I turned it around looking for the angle in which light gave the fabric sheen and created shadows that showed the folds.










 

 

At the end, photography is all about how light makes things look.


Shirt: a favor of Rocka in Santiago, Chile.




Every new month we post a new product photography tutorial showing how to take at home the pictures we create at the Via U! studio.
Sometimes It’s All Smoke and Mirrors, Making a Bottle Look Bright

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