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Product Photos - the story of a work in progress

Rob puts a great deal of work into finishing each piece with a smooth and shiny surface that looks wonderful in real life. In an image, however, I don't think I quite capture that feel very well. I read that using a wood background would help enhance the grain and figuring, so that is what I started with. I found that it swallowed some woods with a similar tone, and could take focus off the piece in other woods.


Wooden box setup outside with natural light

So I tried fabrics with varying tones that enhanced the woods, but that lovely glossy finish Rob works so hard on gets reflected onto the piece, masking the beautiful figuring. Recently, I settled on white, because while it reflects at the edges, it captures the beauty of the wood a bit better.


Fabric pattern reflecting on the wood

I really love natural light, so I started off trying to take pictures with the natural light, but it is a bit too bright most of the time in Colorado, and rapidly changing. So if there was good light, I would get setup and try to take pictures outside. First sitting on the ground is uncomfortable, and makes angles difficult. Next problem is I see myself reflected in each picture.


Trying to get that beautiful natural light

I tried putting a little tent (a white sheet over some chairs) over my setup, but it was even more uncomfortable, still super reflective, and takes even longer to setup. I have also tried photos of pieces in the home. And I wasn't sure of the results, or much of my own home I was comfortable putting out there, but we still welcome visitors to see and hold each piece.


Pieces in the home



So I recently bought a product photography setup from B&H Photo. It has reflective sides, zips up completely, and it stays setup. I miss the natural light, but this is working out much better. I can take pictures when Rob finishes pieces, instead of letting them pile up into a mountain of dread at the work that needs to be done. I also think the result is much, much better photos.


My current setup for product photos

The best way to get a feel for the pieces is to hold them though. I really need to get them into a gallery, and we are looking forward to craft shows this fall and winter.

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