DIY Photography for Your Small Business Part 5

As a small business owner, your goal is to sell your product. With the tips I’ve provided over this 5-part series, you should be able to create amazing images to do just that! In Part 5, I’ll share images I’ve created for clients and reveal techniques I applied to help best capture each item.
I got a sheet of translucent white Plexi and placed the violin on top. The Plexi reflected the violin, which added a nice touch, but more importantly reflected light into the shadows. My light source was diffused white light place overhead between the violin and me. 
The lamp was pulled 6 feet from the white background. I used a light on the background so it was brighter than my subject. I metered and exposed for the white lamp shade ensuring there would be detail in the white of the shade and no detail in the white of the background.
The black wood absorbed the light while the lightwood reflected it. In order to have both equally exposed, I metered for the knob and used Adobe Lightroom to bring detail out of the blacks.
I have a NIKKOR 105mm F/2.8 lens that allows me to get super-close to my subjects. This micro lens captures amazing detail shots and works well to capture small objects are tiny details on items you’re photographing.
I used a cluster of three Nikon SB speed lights in a softbox for the subject’s face and one unmodified Nikon SB speed light behind the model to create a rim light on her hat, hair and shoulder. My camera was set to Aperture Priority and I used TTL (Through The Lens) technology to simplify my shoot. 
I shot this bent from a variety of angles until I found one that showed the top details and the legs. By moving around the subject and getting high and low, I was able to find the optimal position that best showcased the item. 
I do not use on-camera or pop-up flash. It creates terrible, unpleasant shadows. If you can use a flash off-camera, go for it! If you can’t, then just go with natural light. Be sure to remember your exposure fundamentals – ISO, F/Stop and Shutter Speed. 
Flat, front light is not that way to go if you’re trying to show an item’s shape. This silver goblet has fine detail that could only be showcased with angled light. I situated the goblet in front of a piece of black foam board and put a Nikon SB speed light on either side. The shadows from the angled light revealed all the delicate details in the etchings. 
I treat all my animal subjects like I do people. I’ll bring light, perhaps pop a little color, dress the set, choose a nice background and I always focus on the eyes! I photographed this chick with a NIKKOR 85mm portrait lens and a Nikon SB speed light.

DIY Photography for Your Small Business Part 4

For all you small business owners, the tailors, cobblers, innkeepers and bakers this photography education series is for you. In Part 4, I’ll talk about how to edit and use your images in creative ways. 
Your images can be displayed on your business walls, in ad campaigns, on social media or online stores. You can create graphics out of your pictures that can be used in clever layout and designs. You’re only as limited as your imagination. 
The font, or typeface, you choose can make or break your design so choose wisely. Serif fonts like TIMES NEW ROMAN have little bars on top and bottom and are perceived to be more clinical, professional and stately while san serif fonts like ARIAL are slick and clean and thought as more relaxed, hip and cool. For this series, I used a custom san serif font called LEAH GAVIOTA BOLD that I purchased through the graphics licensing company, Envato. 
You can create symbolic images like the one in this example that’s universally recognizable employing the tips I shared in Part 1 and 2. From there, you can convert those notable silhouettes into graphics in a few easy steps. This example logo took under ten minutes in Adobe Photoshop. I set my color swatches to magenta and white, launched the Filters Gallery, applied the Stamp Filter, added type and saved. Something like this could be used on mugs and t’s. 
Editing suites like Adobe Photoshop are very robust and can be intimidating at first. There are several resources online that can walk you through step-by-step so you don’t get overwhelmed. Check out Kelby One and Creative Live for online tutorials (note: these cost money) or you can check out Adobe Photoshop, Terry White, Glyn Dewis and Dave Clayton on YouTube. 
By photographing and isolating an iconic tool of your trade, you can incorporate it into a memorable marking tool. This eyelash curler image is now duo toned and can be printed on Plexiglas, lit from behind and hung on the wall in the salon as a graphic art piece. The eyelash curler can be further isolated and used as a character, aka letter, in a marketing campaign.
Objects often have shapes that mimic letters in the alphabet. In this example marketing campaign, an eyelash curler silhouette takes the place of the ‘Y’ in yes. A simple hand-sketched eyelash is added to give the curler a human appearance and a font that matches the curler is used. 
Self-generated campaigns don’t have to be complicated or involve computer work. Nikon cameras can connect to your smart phone via Bluetooth where you can select and download images using SnapBridge. From there, you can use image-editing applications you’re familiar with like Snapseed. You can use apps like PhotoGrid to ad type and graphics too. It’s so easy and fun!