Sunday, November 28, 2010

Setting up your Macro Photography Studio

I don’t know about you but when I first started with my Etsy shop, I was a little….wait…very intimidated by the other shops’ photos. How could I every make a sale over all of these other fabulous shops? Their photos were so clear, the colors were fantastic and most importantly, how did they get so close to the image? How did the camera get so focused on the item and the background was blurry? Were they all professional photographers?  I wanted that, but how!? I didn’t have a fancy camera and I didn’t have the money to get one.  I had to stick with my borrowed Canon Powershot SX110IS. So, I began researching photography and discovered macro photography.

After my research, I discovered that macro photography requires a few things that are not hard to find:

1.       Camera set-up:
·         A digital camera with macro mode (the setting with the tulip)
·         aperture mode
·         low ISO setting (200 or so)
·         AWB (auto white balance) mode to make your images white and not so yellow or you can use Tungsten {see your camera’s manual for AWB}

Before White Balance
After White Balance
·         Camera dock/stand to prevent your camera from moving and getting blurry
2.       Lighting, lighting, and more lighting:
·         Lighting is the second most important thing after your camera settings.
·         I’ve learned through research and trial and error that you need as much light as possible focused on your image  at all angles (diffused lighting works best…more on that later) to reduce shadows. Oh and turn off all other light in the room when your studio is in use. Photography at night or in a dark room works best for me!
·         Clip desk lamps are perfect to attach to your table top and bend into the direction you want (cost $5-$10 at Wal-Mart)
·         I like to use natural white light bulbs opposed to traditional bulbs that can make your images look yellow….anything to get your image looking whiter is best.

3.       An actual macro “studio” (see below for instructions):

4.       A good photo editor
·         I use Picasa because it is free and easy to use.
·         I like to use the “I’m feeling lucky” mode to make my images brighter, tuning with shadows and highlights, crop, and sharpen my images.

Before Editing

After editing in Picasa
How to make your macro studio box:
·         Box large enough to fit your item to photograph
·         White Velum or white cloth
·         Scissors/box cutter
·         Tape
·         White paper that isn’t shiny big enough to fit in the bottom and back of your box
·         Background paper—this is the paper that will be shown into the photo
1.       Determine how you want your box to be positioned; open one end to use as your photo dock station where you will be situated to take the photos
2.       Using scissors or box cutters, cut rectangles 1” smaller than your velum paper size into the top, left, and right sides of the box (and back too if you want to add extra light). My velum is 8”x11” so I cut the rectangles approximately 7”x10.”
3.       Tape velum paper to the outside of your box.
4.       Place white paper into the bottom and back of your box. If you are not using the back section of the box for extra light, be sure to get a piece of paper that slides all the way into your box and covers the back section. It’s best to use one long single piece of paper so that you can slide it in and there will be no seam of where the papers meet showing in your photos.
5.       Place your desired background paper on the bottom and begin using your macro studio using all of the above tips!

And at last you have your professional looking photos ready for your online shop!

By no means am I a professional photographer, but I just thought I’d share my macro research with others in hope that I can save you time and frustration when you are starting your own home business journey! There's always room for improvement. I'm still trying to update all of my old photos in my Etsy shop with my new techniques. Please feel free to leave me suggestions and tips to improve macro photography or if you have any questions!

BIG THANKS to fellow bloggers

I have to give a special thanks to three ladies who have displayed my Robin's Egg Nest rings on their blogs. Thanks for bringing business my way girls and doing a nest giveaway! They are:

Go to Rachel and Jenilee's websites to register for a nest ring give away!

Friday, November 26, 2010


~*~HOLIDAY SALE~*~ Of the Earth Jewelry

All items are 20% off starting Black Friday (11/26) and ending Cyper Monday (11/30).

Enter the code BFCM10 at the time of checkout and receive an additional 20% off....that's 40% in savings plus FREE SHIPPING!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Welcome to my first ever blog post! Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Let me start by giving thanks to my wonderful boyfriend, Laurent, for seeing me for who I am and to my family for always supporting my creative spirit.

I'm starting this blog in an attempt to share my creative insight to those in need of a little artistic guidance. What can I offer you may ask? I can offer project ideas for your home, yourself, and others with a whimsical flare and a handmade touch. I like to invent in many mediums like jewelry, painting, interior decorating, and floral design to name a few.

Recently I've really jumped into pursuing my jewelry line, Of the Earth Jewelry, while holding down a full-time job as a Speech-Language Pathologist. There's not much time for anything else, but I manage. I just keep looking at the BIG PICTURE...happiness. I take it one day at a time and continuously ask myself, "what makes you happy?" Being creative and sharing my ideas with others makes me happy (among other things like my cuddly little doggies sitting in my lap). More to come on my pursuit to happiness....

Happy Thanksgiving!