Behind the Scenes: Product Photoshoot

Since I just re-vamped the listings at SoPupuka, I thought I'd share a little bit about the product photoshoot because my method changed quite drastically.

This time I tried something different. I used the wooden box and easel my Dad made for me as my backdrop. I love the wood grain for some interest while still keeping things clean and simple. The deep color also contrasts well with my products. Normally, product photoshoots (especially for notecards) involved me hunting for a cool background, putting the card on the background, standing above it and taking a picture from above. It worked fine, but there was really no depth of field and so images were a little flat. This time I decided to stand my cards up (stand everything up really) and place the camera in front of the items rather than photographing from above. This proved challenging, until I made this amazing discovery:

IMG_4102

One of the unexpected goodies that came with my camera was a Wu-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter (horrible name, I know) - a tiny device that plugs into the camera and creates a small wifi signal.  I downloaded the free companion app and made sure my phone was on that wifi signal. This allows the camera to communicate with my smartphone. When I open up the app, there are two options: view photos and take photos. At first, I had only been using the app to view and download the photos to my iPhone (I was plenty impressed with that, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.) When I started taking product photos, I decided to try using the "take photos" option. When I tapped that button, it took me to a window with a LIVE VIEW of the subject. I could place the object exactly where I wanted it to be by looking at my phone. Here's a screenshot of what I see on my phone. As you can see, my hand is in there moving the card around. I see all that happening in real time.

IMG_4098

I could also change the zoom and the focus on the camera and see the result very clearly on my phone's retina display. The app also has a remote trigger, and once the photo is taken it shows me a preview and downloads it to the phone which automatically gets sent to my computer via Photostream.

This made things SO MUCH EASIER. It meant I didn't have to be behind the camera. The wooden box I was using wasn't very tall. I had the camera on another box of similar size a few feet away so if I wanted to take pictures the old fashioned way, it meant I'd have to be lying on the ground. Could I have put everything on a table? Yes, but it was really humbug to break it out. Each time I wanted to photograph another product, I'd have to get up, walk over to the product, switch the product, walk back to the camera, lie down on the floor, try to get it into focus and take a picture, only to download it to my computer and realize that while it looked ok in the camera preview, it actually wasn't that great. MAJOR HEADACHE.

IMG_4099

But with this magic little device, I could sit comfortably in between the camera and the subject, make sure it's positioned perfectly and in focus by looking at my phone, making adjustments to the camera or the product simply by reaching over and moving it, and then take the picture without touching the camera. MAGIC.

Blue Aloha card closeup

Needless to say, a part of my work that was kind of a pain is now a lot more fun. With better results. WIN!