imogenwilsonjewellery

Walk with me, every step of the way as i try to grow my teeny craft business into something sustainable… watch this space!

Photo Editing for Beginners

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For the last couple of weeks I have been glued to my computer. As with everything I have been attempting recently the simple task of editing my Ex Libris product shots and photos from the photo shoot wasn’t as quick and easy as I’d anticipated. Looking back, I made it far harder on myself than it needed to be.

hmmm

Sneeky looking close up of Gen. No detail is too small!

I spent several weeks waiting for my photo shoot to occur, ready to launch Ex Libris except for those pesky photos. Once the shoot was over I was left with 766 photos to sort through. After my first sweep through turning them the right way round and doing the cursory delete of obvious atrocities I was down to 619. After sleeping on it and going through once again I only managed to delete about five- holy crap this was going to be harder than I thought. I was scared of deleting something that I might need later (story of my life) so I kept that folder as a back up and copied them all to my desktop where I could delete with gay abandon and no chest pains and ‘what ifs’. I got it down to 150 almost instantly.

Now that I had a manageable quantity it was up to me to up the quality. The shots were great, I loved them all (hence my reticence to delete any of them). My photo editing up until this point was pretty preliminary, the odd crop, brightening, lightening, the occasional contrast fix. I decided to up my game on these ones though, a professional photo shoot calls for professional photo editing. A bit of playing around and I realised it wasn’t that hard to get the effects I was after. A bit of ‘that was never there’ with the stamp tool and some blending with the band aid tool (otherwise known as the healing brush tool for those not up with my lingo).  It was incredibly time consuming, but very rewarding, I had so much fun doing it and am quite chuffed at the results.

before and after

Two examples of before and after my Photoshop magic. Now you see it, now you don’t

Then I realised what was missing from my impending launch- product shots. I had been so amped up about the photos of my products being worn by someone I had forgotten the fundamental product on crisp white background shots. While I‘d been sitting idly, twiddling my thumbs waiting for Genevieve to get back from Europe I could have been doing them. Some more twiddling of thumbs ensued while I waited for the weather to clear up so I could take my light box outside for optimum light… then it was on. Nothing could hold me back, or so I thought.

Some of the shots were easy, the items easy to photograph. Some a bit trickier, interesting angles were employed and composition went out the window. Half the photos would need a good crop, by the end I was all about the colour, the angle, the product looking good- screw what you could see in the background. My new ‘I’ll fix it in post production’ ethos came through a little too heavily for my own liking.

I took far more photos than I needed, like always. What can I say, I just can’t help myself. If there is a photo to be taken I will take five where there needs to be one. The preliminary once over and first cull was easy. But as so much cropping and editing needed to occur before I could tell which were the best shots, the next several days were spent glued to Photoshop touching up, lightening and cropping photos that would later be culled. I know, I can hear you say it, and I agree- what an idiot.

screen after screen

After cropping, photo editing and several deletes I was left with screen after screen like this

After spending so much time attached to my computer I was excited to be finished editing. Photo shoot, check. Product shots, check. Sadly all the remaining steps needed to complete the launch are also computer related, so even though the editing is over I am in no way done at my laptop. Next is listing them on Etsy and Felt and pitching them to shops and my newsletter. Sometimes it feels never ending, but the end is near and I’m so excited to get everyone’s reaction to it all!all of it!

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