Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere to share the ups and downs of starting a craft business, with plenty of tips, mishaps and the odd glass of wine!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

More Photo Editing

Okay, so now I feel a bit daft... but since my last post I've discovered that there is a MUCH easier way to get your photos looking better... without so many stages and ending up with a better looking photo... it's called Fotofuze

It automatically imports your Etsy listings:

And then in one simple move you can take a picture from this:

to this... IN ONE STEP!!

It does turn some of the pictures a bit doolally though:

A little bit more attention required on that one me thinks!

Monday, 17 September 2012

5 basic rules for taking product photos... and more!

Last month I took part in a shop critique on Etsy and the one point that all participants agreed on was that some of my photos need improving.

This wasn't a big shock to me as I know that my photos aren't the best out there... although not as bad as some ;-)

Here are the basics rules:

1. Don't use your flash - EVER!
2. Take photos on a cloudy day (as opposed to a bright sunny day) and take them outside if possible.
3. Take photos of your products on a plain (preferably white) backgroud
4. Use the 'manual focus' button on your camera to get good close-ups
5. Don't take photos with the lights on - use natural daylight

And lastly....
Don't use your flash! (Important enough to mentioned twice!)

However, even when following these pieces of advice, there are still some tweeks that you can do on the computer to help enhance the photo (this isn't cheating - it's just making the most of your photo)

I'm very new to this digital editing of photos, so I had a play around and I'm happier with the results (although I think I still have a way to go and a proper white backgroud would definitley have helped)

First of all I played about with the exposure of the image, taking a photo from this:
to this:

And then I change the contrast, so it looked like this:

At this point it looked a little washed out and I was wondering if I shouldn't have changed the contrast, but it did make the next stage look better, when I started changing the colour saturation:

And then finally the temperature gets a little tweek:

This image above was actually shot on a pale greeny/blue window sill inside on an overcast day, but the editing has still helped the end result.

As a lot of my orders are custom made pieces there won't be an overnight change to all my shop photos, but over time, now that I know I need to spend a bit more time working on them, hopefully they will continue to improve!

PS. I made these edits using the Google+ editing tool on Chrome - have a look at some other photos that I've edited on my Google+ page

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

How to get started with your Google+ Business Page

I've just set up my Google+ Grace's Favours page and to be honest, I've found it a bit baffling, so I thought I would share my thoughts and do some research to see what other's suggest

In a lot of ways it's very much the same as setting up a business page on Facebook, once you've chosen the type of business that you are, you add profile pictures and some basic information. There's a very good explanation here on Craft Blog UK

Then you need to start getting your page known. I have found this bit harder on G+ than on Facebook as I rarely use G+ for personal socialising, so I don't have the same network on here as I do on FB to promote my new page.

So I started by searching on G+ for pages with the term 'handmade' that immedaitely yielded a number of results. So I followed a number of relevant looking pages and then had a peek at who's in their circles, which lead me to other pages.

However, I want to get my page seen by 'real' people, not just other similar business pages... I've not found any miracle ways to get this done, other than starting to use G+ a bit more frequently, link up with more people I know in real life and get them to do some promoting.

I have been toying with the idea of offering a giveaway but I'm wary of them as every man and his dog seem to run them and I think you probably need to have a relatively good fan base initially.

Good luck to anyone else setting up a page and I'll keep you posted about how I get on!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Updated Website

I've been trying to decide how to go about posting when I've not got much new to share with you... no-one likes a boring blog post, but I've realised it doesn't always have to be about new things that I'm making.

Today I thought I'd share with you my updated website:

I am so much happier to have pictures of all the things I've been creating over the last 10 months as opposed to the old holding pages I originally set up and never got round to changing!

I will probably need nudging though to keep the images fresh, so you'll have to shout at me if I don't do it from time to time!

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