Behind The Scenes

Nicole has been working on an anti-trafficking employment pilot program. Meaning it’s still really small and we aren’t sure if it is going to work or be sustainable. But she has had a few women in the Kenet knit different items to try to sell back in the States.

I have been doing product and stock photos for her. This may come as a surprise to you, but I do not have a studio I can work from. So do I attempt to get professional quality photos without a seamless background, controlled lighting or any other fancy stuff? I make do with what I have: a sheet, sunlight, some pillows & photoshop.

If you have these and are intentional about how you shoot the products (being aware of wrinkles when your iron doesn’t really iron for example) and you are familiar with Photoshop and know what you can and cannot do with the program, you can do a lot with a little.

You can see what I did

Or you can read what I did:

I ironed as many wrinkles as possible out of a white sheet.

I used natural sunlight coming in from my left when I was shooting.

If I was shooting on top of the product, I just had to worry about the wrinkles and shadows. If I was shooting at an angle to the products, I had make sure you could see white all around the product This makes it so much easier in Photoshop and makes it look a lot more natural. This is also where I use the pillows to prop the sheet up as the background.

The other thing I did was make everything a bit brighter than I normally would, either by opening the lens or using a slower shutter speed. I wanted the sheet to be a bright white because this helps the smaller wrinkles blend in without any post work. I also know I can burn the product in Photoshop to get the colors back to a more realistic shade and not be so blown out.

I also know, in this case, the final project images will be in a square dimension or wide and short (for websites). Therefore, I need to keep in mind the cropping that will take place afterwards in photoshop when I’m framing the shot. If I get too close, I might not be able to show the whole product. It’s better to leave yourself more room than not in this case.

The last thing I did was play around. Move the products around. Mix & match. You can’t make any mistakes. I often find that I struggle to get into a rhythm until I get several less than ideal shots out of the way. So I just start shooting to check the lighting, wrinkles and the background before I start focusing in on making sure the composition is good.

Once I have the images I want,  I start the editing process in Bridge (it doesn’t change the RAW files) before heading to Photoshop where I do the major edits. After these two programs I am usually finished!

Below is the photo straight off my camera.

It’s a little dull and flat so I made the back drop a bit brighter and took out most of the wrinkles. I also warmed it up just a bit before and making the colors pop a little before getting to the final cropped image!

Finished website

It’s now ready to have text added! Be sure to check out this image and learn more about [re]sourced when the website launches later this week!



Filed under Albania

4 responses to “Behind The Scenes

  1. Been waiting for it to open had wondered about jacob taking some stuff back to sell in the uk? Thanks for the instructions but still think my images wouldn’t be that good!

  2. I can’t wait to read more. Followed on Twitter a few days ago 🙂

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