Thursday, 27 February 2014

Photography Styling

Recently we've been trying to improve the photographs we take for our She & Me Vintage Etsy store, and of course by extension the photos we use here on the blog.

Vintage Agee Pyrex dish  Photo Styling By She and Me Vintage

I often become frustrated with photography and know that we need to make quite a few changes before I will be halfway happy with our photos. For me its a little like illustration, my hand never seems able to capture the view I had in my head.And the resulting picture is far from my expectations.

At the moment though the number one problem hampering this improving effort is,
I really dislike our camera!
Its a point and shoot Olympus FE 4000. It doesn't matter how often I use it or how many times I refer back to the manual, our photos just don't have the lighting or crispness I would dearly love.Now occasionally I do produce a photo I`m happy with, and since that's probably the rare time I actually get the settings correct I shouldn't blame the camera. I`m sure in the right hands it would take wonderful photos.

Vintage Agee Pyrex  dish, Photo styling by She and Me

This means until we can afford a DSLR camera that can produce good photos even at the hands of amateurs,we will have to make the most of the tool we have and do the best we can. So we will keep working at that one.
The other current problem is that She and I clash when it comes to our ideas of what makes a good product shot.

I take my photos with the intention of showcasing the beauty of the form, style and function of our vintage pieces. She wants to make photos that are whimsical, different and fun. She believes that unless our photos are noticeable and catch the eye, they will be passed by without a second look.
Of course I want out photos to be noticable as well, just in a different way.

She thinks that that prospective customers pass by my photos because they are borrrrrr - ring!
I think that her photos are too kitsch.Yes they definitely catch a persons eye, but then they are left wondering what we actually sell!

Vintage  Pyrex and  Vintage Avon bottle

I don't say this because I think my style is better, that's even if I have a style which I don't think I do as yet. Because I keep changing what I'm doing in the hopes of finding something that I believe looks correct.I just want to show our vintage items at their best and have a store that looks cohesive.

In case your not familiar with the Etsy layout, I will explain (or you can pop over to our store for a little look - see!) There is one thumbnail shot for each item showing, when you click on an item you are taken to that first photo in a larger version. Then there are  four other photos you can click on with different views of that same item.

So far I have tried to fill the first four spots with what I class as normal product photos (mine). Then one of She's quirky pictures at the end. My thought process here was that this adds a little humour and gives the prospective customers a small surprise, that will hopefully help them to remember our store.

But She thinks her photos should be out the front in first spot. Her thought process is, people will notice them and stop because her photos stand out in the crowd, and this will bring people to our store. Her other thought is that my photos are so bland only the rare visitor will ever get to the last photo! (hers.)

So after she distracted me constantly with her nattering thoughts on the subject. I placed some of her photos up in first and second spots to see if I could notice any increase in traffic. But when I placed them there all I could think about was how mixed up and un - cohesive  our store looked!

If her photos enticed anyone to our store I was sure they would soon leave again. Because our photos side by side make a strange patchwork view together. Only highlighting our mixed up clashing back and forth medley of styles, that I was certain would only repel customers. Arrggghh!

It isn't that I think my photos are better, its just that I think her style puts all the emphasis an her (models) as She calls them. She says that her photos highlight the emotions that each model is feeling about the products! And this should induce a customer to feel the same happy thoughts about our vintage wares.I think if they are smiling after viewing her photos its because they realise that she's well.....  slightly special.

At the moment I can't seem to find a middle ground that works for us.
I'm sure with trial and error and more work on our photography we will eventually come to some sort of amalgamation that works.

Recently we have found this wonderful blog about photography by the very helpful Helena that we are sure is going to be a great help for composition, lighting and so much more.

We may need a different type of professional help to work out the differing views between She and Me!

In the meantime I thought we could put it to you dear readers....
Can you think of a better way we could combine our styles?
Should we use She's quirky style to gain attention?
 Let us know your thoughts.Or if you would like to share any good photography or styling links and tips,we are open to ideas, suggestions, critics.

Well maybe not quite .......       the critically crushing kind :{


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