Friday, July 16, 2010

the old wall becomes the perfect backdrop

I always try to take nice pictures of the stuff I make. Lately I've been posting lots of vintage items on Etsy. Just because I'm not making it doesn't mean I don't take pride in my photos. So many people seem to not care about how they photograph their vintage items. They simply toss them on the old plastic dummy and fire away. Take a look below to see how I use what's available at the time to shoot my vintage items.I'm working in a small office upstairs from a cute antique shop. My room is full, and quite small. There is a second room that's in pretty rough shape and off limits to customers. The shop owner was kind enough to let me shoot in this room. As you can see from the picture above, it's rustic, rundown, and full of unique beauty. It's the kind of beauty that escapes most people, but I saw it right away. This full garment shot give you a pretty good idea of what the room looks like. What you can't see are the stacks of chairs, buckets of silverware, large dusty wooden furniture, glass table tops and 100 degree heat.

Close cropped shots are the best way to class things up. Here you see the name brand dress form and just a touch of rusticity with the exposed boards. Had the boards not been there this would have been a very bland shot that could have been taken against a paper backdrop. The focus is still on the garment - just a much smaller area. This allows the viewer to see the buttons, ruffles and fabric texture. It's so much warmer that a sterile white catalog shot.

This black Oscar De La Renta blouse was a real pain to shoot. The sheer fabric, intense afternoon light and high contrast between black and white really toyed with my camera settings and photography skills. I tried everything I could think of to get a nice pic to show the tie and gathers, but nothing worked. Finally I stepped outside the box and used the objects in the room to beautify the piece I was shooting. In the back you will see (blurred out) a vibrant 70's couch, an old table, a bed frame, a gold framed picture and a ton of dust. But your eye concentrates on the garment.

I can't tell you how to take your pics. And I can't make you take your time and take pride in your work. I can't even tell you how to find beauty in what you have at your disposal, I can only tell you that it's there if you look.

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