Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hobby photography

I will admit that I am at times quite envious of people that have excellent photography skills. I can take pretty good (and at times great) photos of people but miniatures of all kinds give me a lot of trouble. The really annoying part of the whole thing is I know what at least some of the problem is. I have really horrible lighting in my house. I can't take indoor photos after dark or even on cloudy days because it is just too dark inside and the lighting is pretty yellow. It doesn't make for a good photo. Outside photos are a tiny bit better. Overcast days I can sometimes get some pretty excellent shots and I can get some decent shots when it is sunny. I don't have a super place outdoors to take photos though. The outside table is meant to be an outside table. It slopes down slightly from the center to the edges. I am assuming that is to make sure rain water runs off so you don't have standing water on your table. The kids have a big swing set but the ladder steps are sloped and even the "tree-house" floor is slightly tilted. I end up taking most of the outdoor photos on a saw-horse. Not the best thing to get a nice picture.
Inside photos I have a bit more for flat surfaces but still not tons. We have a serious lack of space in here ☻. I even have one of those cool collapsible photo cubes that pros use to get nice product pictures. But I have lighting issues. I have one florescent light that I saves from a fish tank and a couple of incandescent lights I got with the photo cube. But those lights should probably go because they heat up quite a bit and very quickly. I should probably look into some more florescent lights, I can get pretty good photos at live shows.

I also need to get some more patience. The doll group photo I have is nice. I am pretty proud of it. It took me a couple of hours to get that shot just the way I wanted it. I set the dolls up one Saturday morning and took a series of shots. Then I uploaded them and studied the dolls. I moved heads and legs a bit here and there so they would look more like people and less like dolls. At one point the back row fell over and I had to set them back up. The end photo looks pretty good in my opinion. The dolls don't look like plastic people and it is not to light or too dark. However it took a couple of hours, lol. Another problem I have is my camera. I finally have a nice camera that I know is fully capable to taking really excellent photos. In the hands of someone who has a clue what they are doing, it takes really excellent photos. I learned how to use my Dad's manual film camera for my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary (no pictures from that day, sorry) and then used it to do the photos for my friend Annie's wedding. Those pictures came out really nicely. But my camera is a mystery to me. I probably should get out the book that came with it and see if I can figure it out a bit more. Then I need to work on getting good photos in less than a couple of hours.
So all in all, I know at least part of the problem I have with getting nice photos. There are probably some key points I am missing that would help me out immensely with getting nicer pictures. And nicer pictures not only are better for the brag book but better for selling your work as well.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Working away

The backlog is done and most of the official customer orders as well. I am not totally stop taking custom orders but I think I will take a break from advertising for custom orders. I ran 2 sales recently, one in December and one in January and while they brought in business they also cost me a lot. That and the donation doll I already have done for the Mary Kay foundation (totally worth it, she brought in $230 for the foundation!) and the several donation dolls I have in the semi-near future...I need to stop giving everything away I think, lol.
So this is the newest doll to come out of my studio. She's fairly simple to reflect the current trend in the show ring. But still sparkly because I like that sort of thing :) I think I will also have a couple of saddle seat dolls for sale in the near future. They can be a lot of fun.