Friday, February 18, 2011

Feature Friday: The Light Box Experiment

I plan, on Fridays, to write an actual blog post about some aspect of my art-related life.  A real, actual post as opposed to a simple interview or a treasury or what-have-you.  This is today's post.  (And in the followig weeks, you'll no longer have this mini-explanation up here).  Anyway, you get the picture: here we go.

A few weeks ago, I finally realized that, while my pictures of my products on Etsy are good, they are not great.  They are pretty basic and not very exciting and anyone who is trying to successfully sell anything on Etsy knows it's all about the pictures.  You hear that one piece of advice over and over again.  So I started to think about how I could improve them.

First, I thought about props.  However, pretty much the only option for that, when selling mainly notecards (even if most of them can double as art) is a desk set-up.  Some pens, some paper in the background.  Boooring.  And, of course, I already have most of them photographed in frames on the wall and those are lovely enough, but I want something more eye-catching.  I considered briefly (since most of my prints are somehow botanical) the garden.  Sadly, it's February and my garden is a mess.  And dead.

Finally, I decided the way to go was to build a light box (also known as a light tent).

It was actually very, very easy.....

 I just followed the tutorial here at a  Strobist's Blogspot and also read over one here and there are plenty of others all over the web.  All it really takes is a cardboard box, some transparent white fabric/paper/whatever, tape and some good lights.

I'm still working on the 'good lights' part.  My fiance, the filmmaker, would be endlessly helpful with that, but also tends to be endlessly busy so, beyond getting his permission to use his lights, I haven't gotten very far.  I think I need brighter ones (which I'm sure are around), and I've also read the daylight bulbs are great, but so far all I can find in our house is pansy sixty watt bulbs.  (Please, folks, keep in mind that hot bulbs in close proximity to paper/cloth can be a hazard so be careful if you try this, and be sure to turn off your lights frequently and let them cool).

I think tonight I will lurk around the house a bit, maybe make a trip to the store and see what I can find. I've already figured out what I want to use as props.  There are a million random figurines around my house which I think are going to really liven up the scene.


  1. Cute action figures in that last pic! Maybe you should try adding something odd or random in the background of each photograph. Your collection would have a cohesive look, and it would certainly bump up the interest. I like buying from sellers who add a little personality and think outside the box :) But feel free to totally ignore me! lol

    -Tiffany Rainey with Will Write 4 Food



  2. I really love the light box idea!
    Your shop is awesome!