A Very Useful Collection (aka Thrifting For Photoshoots)
Amongst the many things I collect, I have a special place in my heart for pillowcases. I make a bee line for the textile section of the charity shop and often leave with 2 or 3 - at 29p each - its hardly an extravagant spend. While, vintage cases do bedeck our pillows, I have to admit to hoarding the best of them in my office for use as backgrounds for photos for the blog and my work as a product photographer - a tip I learned from my awesome stylist for the book. I can spend ages artfully arranging yarn or exactly positioning cufflinks. Working with models is great as well, but I like the quiet of simply placing and photographing in my studio.
It can be really tempting to take photos of products or crafts on a white background for shops or blogs. This can be nice on shopfronts like Etsy where white is the culture or if you need white cutouts for magazines, but truth be told, the images can look a bit flat and they can be hard to do well with white often overpowering the images (and throwing off your exposure).
Adding fabric can really change the colours of the objects - bring out the hues and highlight certain colours, as well as fabric can add depth and movement to the image and create a mood. They can add a sense of luxury, or a sense of fun.
Fabric can be hard to get perfectly flat, so that is where I use my other collection - tea trays. These are great for a perfectly flat background that is really portable. I often set them on a stool near a window, just the perfect height from photographing from above.
I also use painted wood and even our chalkboard for backgrounds. The black of the chalkboard can really set off light items and there is always the fun that is adding writing to the image - either by hand or in photoshop.
So, see Kevin? That pile of "stuff" I keep IS super useful and not clutter at all*! Yarn is from Libby Summer's soon to launch yarn line. Its scrumptious, I tell you. Scrumptious.
*its totally normal to use one's blog to finish household arguments, right? RIGHT?!?!!?
(interested in Product Photography? Capturing Childhood is running workshops in Edinburgh and London this autumn on how you can Rock your Product Shots).