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I’m not being biased when I say the items I have for sale in my store really are beautiful. The vibrant colors and rich textures of the clothes and jewelry are magnificent. The unique items I’ve selected for Home Decor are eye catching and the list goes on. All of this gorgeous inventory really should be seen in person to capture the true essence of the product. But, alas, I have just begun this journey so a physical storefront will have to wait.
“Take great photographs,” seems to be the running theme of advice columns on opening a webstore. If you want people to buy your stuff, it has to look appealing, they advise. Makes perfect sense to me. Here’s the issue, though; I can write about rich texture and describe exquisite elegance all day long-writing is second nature to me. If you follow my blog, you remember “Vandelay Industries.” I really am Elaine and I really should have written for J. Peterman. But, I digress.
We’ve already established that I can’t afford to have professional photographs taken of over 600 items at this point in the process, so I have to do it myself. How hard could it be? Oh, dear, you have no idea. I have gotten ever so slightly better by buying some helpful tools like a steamer, and a bust( not for me sillies-for the jewelry display!)
My first and biggest problem is lighting. Oh, Lord, you have to move things around 25 times to find the right light and still it isn’t ever quite right. You can’t adequately capture colors, textures, and fine details without the perfect light. So, lots of items don’t pop on the page like they do when you are staring at them in person. Next, is placement. A few really light items need dark backdrops which I can manage. Most items, though, require white. So, I take ten minutes primping and propping and taking the picture. Not bad….wait, there’s a mark on the wall behind it. Ok, primp and place in a different spot on the wall. Take picture. Not bad….Oh my God, is that a dead bug between the edge of the carpet and the wall? Ugh, I need to a better job cleaning(as soon as they add another two hours to the day). Try one more time…got it….steady…..”MOOOMMMMYYY , where’s my iPod?” Oh, you really have to be kidding me. So now it’s been like twenty minutes since I started trying to take a picture of this ONE cool item and it is still not done. Ok, try one more time. Move the item again because now the sun is causing a reflection in that spot. Alright, move it slightly..no marks…no bugs…no kids…and…..Lola decides to plop down and chew a bone just as I’m clicking the camera button.
Yes, folks, my pictures need work and they are far from perfect, but when I say I’m trying and learning so much every day, it is not an understatement. And as for the kids and the dog distractions, there’s no action required there- I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. By the way, Olivia, your iPod is exactly where you left it-