Most days at my shop Gather Goods Co you will see me with a camera in hand documenting the products that come in before I add them to the website. And while the intention is for the photos and the space to appear lovely and effortless, the photography is indeed a skill that has been honed that requires a balance of technical know-how and an intuitive sense of what works.
First and foremost, lighting is key. One of the things I really like about the new Gather Goods space is the glass double doors my Dad and husband installed that stream in beautiful diffused light all day. Even still, I also turn off any additional light sources and bounce light and oftentimes style the product as well. I switch lenses depending on what I am shooting and the look I am going for and how much I want to show in the frame. I remember to keep enough negative space around the subject so that I can crop it into various formats, for instance, into a square for the website. Then, I upload the images onto my computer and then edit them to tweak the lighting and other subtleties that can sometimes get washed out or donâ€™t pop enough. All said and done the process can and does take hours for each shoot. Shooting on an iphone is easier because you can shoot, edit and upload all on the same device in mere minutes but while the quality can be great (and improving every day) itâ€™s ultimately not the same. Still, even with an iphone I shoot with the same technical concepts running in the back of my mind at all times.
We offer two different classes that we host on various dates at Gather Goods Co. to help you improve your own photography, the first is on product photography & styling which I teach and is less about how to use a manual camera and instead on how to take better photos on any camera and tricks for shooting products specifically. There is technical information in this class but not as much as our Cameras and Cocktails class with Annemie Tonken of Megapixie Photography.
Annemieâ€™s next class at Gather is next Monday May 9th at 6:30pm and true to the name mimosas will also be provided. Annemie is a wonderful teacher and explains how she got to where she is today with her photography business and of course what she learned along the way in terms of taking photos. She also spells out specifically all the things you will need to know to take great photos on a manual camera as well. I love being a fly on the wall at these classes and always learn something new either through Annemie or the students and the questions they ask. You can register for that class here. As far as the product photography & styling class, even though the space has now been relocated for six months, I am still in a transitional period of getting settled, but I hope to ease back into teaching more soon.