Monday, April 21, 2008


Ok, so I'm being a good sport. I'm trying this whole selling-crafts-online thing because I want to broaden our sales base by more than the "Craft Market Patrons" and "Friend Referrals" in the Orlando area. I gamely set up a Myspace (not hard considering I had one already) and I'm jumping into Etsy. The latest thing has been this blog and I feel like things are churning along fairly well...

Except for one thing.....
My photographs. I look at all these listing for baby blankets and burp cloths on Etsy and I see the most beautiful pictures. I'm not sure if some sellers have hidden photography fetishes or if I'm just way behind the eight ball when it comes to style, but their pictures have mine beat by... oh... about a million to one. I'm not saying their products are better -- heck, most baby blankets are essentially the same -- but their presentations are better. Some are so beautiful, with the perfect lighting (no shadows!), perfect backdrop and exact angle that I wonder if they hired a professional photographer to come and shoot their products.

You have their pictures... then you have *MY* pictures. Bad lighting, bad setup, shadows all over the place, blankets not centered, blurry -- if something can go wrong, it will. I've tried different rooms of my house, I've tried outside, I've tried light-colored backing, I've tried dark, I've tried hanging the blankets from a canopy bed and artistically arranging the lighting, I've tried folding the blankets, I've tried draping the blankets, crumpling the blankets, laying them flat, folding down a corner, I've tried crappy camera with a flash, crappy camera without flash, awesomely-expensive camera without flash, awesomely-expensive camera with primo bounce-flash, I've tried all the lights on in my house, I've tried adding some extra halogen lights, I've tried directing a desk lamp at the setup, yet nothing I do yields that mythical "awesome Etsy photograph" moment that enhances your product instead of making look like it sucks. Honestly, that has to be the reason we're not doing better on Etsy (that and.. yeah... I haven't added like 90% of what we sell... lol). I made a sale on a pillow and, surprise, it was actually one of my better quality photographs.

I hate taking pictures of blankets. I think I've photographed the same silly blanket approximately FIVE TIMES because I can't get it right! ACK! Why oh why is this so hard for me???? *Bangs head into wall* The most frustrating part is that I know our blankets are nice -- they are well-constructed and made from top-of-the-line materials -- yet I can't convey the true softness and appeal into a photograph... which is the whole essence of being successful on Etsy.


Well, anyway... I have a few more pictures of our most recent blankets -- hopefully they came out better than the previous ones. The one on the left is a small (24 x 29") baby blanket with a soft snuggle flannel on one side and the softest white minky on the other, joined with satin binding while the one on the right is one of my all-time favorite blankets. I love oriental-style clothing and blankets, and this butterfly brocade is just FANTASTIC. It's a white satin brocade etched with butterflies on one side and a super-soft dark pink minky on the other. Enjoy!

No comments: