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Topic: Help with photography and shipping  (Read 867 times)
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spydyrgrrl
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« on: July 16, 2008 10:02:14 AM »

Hi all! Grin
Sooo I'm working on my Etsy and need some advice on taking pictures of my items to use on the website.  I have a 14mp DSLR camera (that I'm still learning how to use), but I've tried pictures in several parts of my apartment, inside and out, and I can't get a really good, clear photo.  If anyone has any hints or suggestions, I'd appreciate it!
My other question is regarding shipping.  Shipping can get expensive fast, so I was wondering if there was an option that saves money.  I'd like to ship everything USPS Priority Mail, but to charge enough to cover that for a $6 pair of earrings seems ridiculous.
All input, advice, and help is welcome and appreciated!
Thanks!

Update: I just wanted to add that I'm photographing small items (jewelry) and clothing as well, in case that helps.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008 10:03:35 AM by spydyrgrrl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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jennyandcharlie
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2008 12:39:37 PM »

I haven't sold too much on my etsy but I know that when I was shipping some lightweight spoons I had sold on eBay, it was only 3 or 4 days for First Class Parcel and it was very reasonable. I'm not sure how fast it is to everywhere but that was always half the time of Parcel Post and half the cost of Priority Mail. You'd have to keep it under 13 ounces I think it is but earrings weigh nothing near that I would hope!

I know that I shipped a set of spoons from Missouri (here) to Wyoming and it was 3 days. I shipped once to New York and it was 4.
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itscribe
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2008 01:00:39 PM »

Keeping in mind that I still don't understand all them thar' buttons on my digi; I had good luck placing the items on a piece of solid-colored fleece. I draped the fleece over a chair, couch, or something that held the fleece in place. Depending on the item, keep the fleece flat or make it lumpy. The texture of the fleece doesn't really show up but does add a bit of depth. I've used denim as well.

With earrings you could drape your cloth over the backrest of a stuffed chair or couch and hook the earrings on or use a small pin. That way you would see the dangling effect.

I'd also do some Googling for things like 'photography tricks', 'macro photography' and 'digital photography techniques'. There's tons of sites out there that share wonderful tips and techniques on getting better pictures.

Maybe have menu pricing for the shipping? That way your customers can decide whether to pay more to get it fast or save a bit and wait.

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smittenheart
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2008 01:04:55 PM »

learn to love your macro button(the tulip/flower button on your camera)..its for taking up close photos..daylight and creativity with your displays..I know people love the white background,light box thing and I think there is a time and place but I love a different background for my stuff..nature,outdoors stuff..

I have no idea about shipping..but photography I am all over that..


good luck..
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AndreaDeniell
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2008 01:48:48 PM »

I'll throw my 2 cents in on the photography as well cause I don't know much about the shipping.

For getting small things in focus there are 2 important things to consider. Lighting and don't get too close!

if it's too dim where your taking the pictures they'll get blurry. and if you get too close to the subject your camera wont be able to focus and again they'll be blurry. so if you have a tripod, set it up, keep it about 3 -4 feet away and zoom in. or you can crop the picture afterward.
Natural daylight will make the colors show up the best, so maybe try doing the pictures near a window when the sun is shining in, if the sun is too bright then hang a white sheet over the window to diffuse the light.
Good luck!
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CraftyChef
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2008 04:54:02 AM »

Do a search here and in the "product and website" forum for "light box" and "photos" and there are lots of tips and tricks there. You can make a light box; my daughter made me one and the photos turn out so much better (now to figure out how I can find the time to re-post all my stuff!).
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spydyrgrrl
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2008 10:06:59 AM »

Thanks to everyone for all of the responses!

I have yet to learn all the modes in which my camera will shoot, but I do have a tulip option, so I'll give that a go.  I'll also try shooting outside again with that mode.

I think that the next time I ship out, I'll try one of those places that uses UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc so that I can compare all the rates.

Thank you all again!
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008 09:03:26 AM »

Re: shipping

I love sending Priority, too, but it's best to give options.  I'd say if you really want to, put Priority as your default, but say you're willing to ship First Class (and be sure to give the rate!).  You don't get the free packaging, but you can still print postage at home and ask for a carrier pick-up.

eta: for small items I can't imagine FedEx or UPS being any better.  And besides, many times they won't leave anything at the door which is a TOTAL PAIN!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008 09:04:21 AM by jungrrl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Dolly Mixx
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2008 10:16:43 AM »

if you want to take good shots of jewellery using your dslr, you'll probably need to buy a good macro lens. i don't use my dslr to take pics of my jewellery, as my lenses won't allow me to get close enough to the piece to take a decent pic, without going blurry. and i can't afford a super good lens! Sad I use a 7.2 mp sony cybershot to take my jewellery pics, as you can get closer to the piece and take more detailed shots.
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