I have been meaning to do this post for a while and this is particularly for the newer crafters who are just getting the hang of creating stuff for challenges. The experienced crafters will be familiar with my suggestions and may have additional tips so I welcome everyone’s advice in the comments. In this 2 part series I am going to share with you the best way to present your work for craft challenges. You may have made something really fantastic but unless it is properly presented, it will not look its best and you may end up losing out. As much as we try to just focus on the project, a poorly done photograph will be difficult to choose. So here are my pearls of wisdom.
Tip No. 1 – Always Photograph In Natural Light/ Day Light
I cannot stress this enough. You have to photograph your work in natural light or day light. When you photograph in the evening or night, the glow from your light will affect the colours of your work and it will not look its best. So even if time is running out and you just have a few hours to submit your work, still try to keep enough time to photograph in natural light. Here is the different between a project photographed in daylight and then in the night. You can see that the colours are unadulterated in the daylight shot.
Tip No. 2 – Choose your background carefully – Preferably white
As you start out crafting, make sure your photograph background is uniform and consistent throughout the photo. I prefer white backgrounds but for white projects, a coloured background may work better. Use white card stock to cover the back and base of your space and then photograph your work. Don’t worry if joints appear in the photo, these can all be edited out. And do NOT use bedsheets, they look seriously unappealing. As you get more proficient, you can explore varied backgrounds but at the novice level, stick to a clean, uniform background. In the pictures that follow, you will see how I created the uniform background for the photos. I am not worried about the ugly parts, they can all be edited out.
Here I have used my son’s study table and book shelf for the white background. You can see the ugly scratches on the wood but it’s not a problem as all these can be edited out.
Here I’ve used 2 white card stock – 4 sheets placed together to create the background. Again the ugly bits, the joints and so on can all be edited out so no worries.
For this picture I’ve used the back of pink pearl card stock which is a nice creamy white and I’ve placed it as smoothly as possible.
Tip No. 3 – Edit Edit Edit!!! Your Photographs
Most photographs have to be edited. The ugly bits have to be removed, the lighting has to be improved, the size has to be adjusted, colour enhanced, borders can be added and the list is endless. Even professional photographers with their high funda cameras edit their work so please go ahead and edit it! Edit it to make it look its best while still maintaining the integrity of the project. It will help you present your work in the best possible way. Now here are the edited versions of the photos I showed above so you get an idea of the importance of editing.
But How to Edit Photographs?
Yes I know that’s the obvious question so I have put together a short video of how I edited one of these projects. I don’t use photoshops, it’s too expensive and complicated. I use a website called www.picmonkey.com. It has all the enhancements I need and literally you can be as dumb as a monkey and still create wonders. So watch my video and see how easy it is to create your masterpiece.
Now I know some of you still would like help with your photographs to make them look stellar and help you perform better in your challenges. So in the next post of this series I will be editing 5 project photos for 5 lucky crafters. I will add a video of how I edited each picture so that you can learn more about the editing aspect of photographing your creations. But you need to make sure your project is photographed with a white background in daylight. Send your photos in to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 26th July 2013 and I will choose 5 to showcase here.
Till then, hope you found this useful and I look forward to your comments and feedback.