I'm no Photographer but...
Hey folks! Today I wanted to talk about how I take some pretty awesome photos (in my humble opinion) of my calligraphy and art. As the title states, I am definitely no photographer but I am good at following directions :) So after a little bit of research, I have been able to take my photos from meh and frankly downright terrible to some beauties that make me burst with excitement. So lets get started!
When taking photos I will use either my iPhone 7 Plus (the new camera is a dream) or my Nikon J1. As you can see, nothing fancy. From there I will narrow my tips down into five simple categories...
First one is LIGHTING! So so so important. It's almost impossible to take a good photo in a dark room. So when searching for a good spot to take a photo I always go near a window that lets in a lot of natural light. In my house that is usually in my guest bedroom (also known as my dressing room). This one particular window gets good natural light so I can take quality photos even if the sky is overcast. As you can see by the photo (cringing) even if the room is a mess you can still take a good photo if you set your space up right.
Next category is the BACKDROP. That white board you see in that picture? A science fair project board! Crazy right? But it works. Just a simple white foam or poster board works awesome for taking good photos. Sometimes I will even lift the trifold arms on the board to reflect more light. Works like a charm and is super cost effective. Now, if you are looking for something a little more snazzy, check out minibackdrops.com. The offer small sized backdrops (60x60cm) in vinyl and/or paper with patterns of wood, metal, & stone (think white marble). I haven't tried any of them yet myself but I plan to snag a couple in the near future.
Third category is YOUR BEST WORK. I can't stress this enough. I know there is a lot of pressure to post things on instagram and other social media but if it's not your best then don't post it. And when I say best it doesn't mean it has to be perfect. Just make sure that whatever you are photographing is how you want your art and your brand to be represented. It would hardly make sense to photograph something that you aren't proud of. And don't worry if you are still evolving in your art and style, just be proud!
Next up is ACCESSORIES. One of my favorite parts of photographing my work is getting to style it! Silks are all the craze right now, and they should be. It's insane how one little strand of silk can add such class to a photo. I like purchasing from Honey Silk Co. They offer a nice selection and even sell other fun little accessories like old fashioned scissors. Plus their customer service is on point which is always a bonus. But if you are on a budget you can still style the sh*t out of some photos! I like to use unique items from around the house. In this photo to the right, I used one of my scarves, lipstick, lipgloss, necklace and voila! So seriously, search your house high and low. You may find some things that add a neat element to your pictures.
And Finally, EDITING. This is where a knowledge of photography may come in handy, but again, I'm no professional and I still make it happen. I upload all of my photos into Adobe Lightroom. It helps to see them on my computer screen so I can analyze them in better detail. I pick out my favorites pics with interesting angles that highlight my lettering. Then scrap all the photos I don't want. I tweak things like the highlights, shadows, & clarity. Personally, the brighter the photo the better as long as it doesn't wash out your subject. Once I am happy with the final result I export them back to my desktop and get to posting!
Whew! This was more detailed than I originally thought but hey it's totally worth it. If you'd like even more tips check out these two articles:
These were what I used when I started realizing I need to up my photo game.
I hope you enjoyed reading and as always if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!
**All website/business recommendations are mine alone and did not sponsor any of the content in this post, I just think they're cool :)