Archive for the ‘Behind the Scenes’ Category

Photo Props and Product Styling Tips for Your Handmade Buisness

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Quality product photography is more important than ever in this digital age. More and more folks shop, as well as sell online. Eye-catching photos are one way to make your product stand out from your competition and get customers to your site.

Using your social platforms is a great (and FREE) way to market your products and get your brand seen. Beautiful photos and a well-curated feed will help you get more likes, comments, followers/customers and clicks through to your site. Other than having a quality product, this all starts with your photo props and product styling.

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There isn’t an exact formula to product styling; it will be a little different for each brand. However, we thought it would be helpful to share our method to the madness and give you a few tips and tricks to up your product photography game.

You don’t need a large budget for props, nor a fancy camera for photos. Although, both of those things are helpful but not necessary to get you started in taking awesome photos of your product for your website and social posts as well.

A college professor once told me, “Of course an artist with the best of supplies is likely to produce a good product. However, only the BEST artists can use the worst of supplies and still make quality work.” This has always stuck with me through out the years, in most all I do. So let me encourage you to use what you have, until you can afford what you want and just focus on creating quality imagery for your products.

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Photo Props       

Having a supply of props ready and lying around will make snapping a quick picture of your product so much easier. I suggest having your go-to props all in one place, be it a closet, box or styling cart, whatever works best for you.

Create a Mood Board

Before you start gathering your props, do a quick brand review and even go as far as creating a mood board/pin board for photo styling props for ideas, to reference as ‘go-bys’. This will help you stay on brand and make sure you have a cohesive theme going on across your photos.

Gather Your Props 

Get creative on where you source your props. Remember, start with what you have. Take a look around your home, and even your yard to start your prop collection. I next suggest heading to your favorite thrift store to find nick-nacks, fabrics, etc. that will be good for styling along with your products. When shopping for new props you really need to edit yourself, and stay on brand. Have a theme and/or color pallet to go by.

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And most importantly, make sure your props are just accentuating your products, not taking away from them. Your props serve the purpose of making your product more desirable. If you’re selling ring dishes, but more people are asking about the jewelry than the ring dish that your actually selling, it is time to change up what your styling and how. Basically, make sure your prop isn’t distracting too much attention away from your product.

*this isn’t to say that your product photography has to be super salesy and in your customers face. When shooting ‘lifestyle shots’ your product will flow more seamlessly in the photo’s composition, but should still be a focal point.

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Our Go-To Props for Product Styling:

  • Ribbons
  • Ring boxes
  • Stationery + Vows + paper goods
  • Vintage pieces : stamps, heirlooms, plates, picture frames, books, etc.
  • Dried flowers
  • Pens, pencils, paint brushes, etc.
  • Styling boards and backdropsPhoto-Props_Blue-Sky-Papers

    Product Styling and setting up the photo

    When setting up your photos the first thing you are going to need is a backdrop. For flatlay shots, you will want to have a flat surface that isn’t too distracting in color or texture and that will compliment your product and props.

    Also, think about the over all look of your online storefront or socail media feeds (wherever you are going to be using these images), do you want to have the same exact background for all of your flat lays, or should you have a variety, or just stick to white? The goal should be for your brand to have a cohesive look, this includes the backgrounds of your photos too.

    A 2-D backdrop is called a styling board. Creating your own styling boards are easy. Use spray adhesive to attach fabrics, wallpapers, etc. to foam-core bored to create a variety of backdrops to use for photos.

    You can see our stack of backdrops below.

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Create an interesting composition

Next, think about your composition (or framing of your image) and how you will best capture your product. Your goal is to create visually interesting imagery that will attract customers to buy your product. Use the ‘Rule of Thirds‘ when setting up your composition. I know, your first natural reaction is to place your product smack-dab-in-the-middle, however, this is not your most interesting option, just the most straight forward.

Get the ‘right’ angle 

Also, figure out what angle(s) are best for shooting your product? For example, we sell books, so when we are taking flatlay pictures, instead of taking a picture from directly above, we come in at a slight angle. That way, our customers can see that it is a book with pages and not something that is completly flat.

Don’t overwhelm your product with too many props, and don’t over think the ‘perfect’ composition. Have fun playing around with different props and shooting angles, you can always just delete the photos you don’t like.

Edit it

Lastly, your photo is going to need some editing. Even the professionals edit every photo they take. Your goal should be to capture a nearly perfect image in the camera and then edit it only to enhance it.

If you don’t have photoshop, no worries! There are some great apps out there you can use. Our favorite photography editing apps are : Snapseed, A Color Story and Vsco.

 

Galentines Day Gift Ideas + Giveaway!!!

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Stumped on what to get your best Gal for Galentines day?

Well then keep reading to see 5 Galentines Day gift ideas we’ve rounded up for you, plus 3 ways to celebrate  Galentines day with your best gals this year!

Including this awesome Galentines Day photo album.

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Before I jump too far into this post though, let me introduce myself! I’m Courtney the newest gal to the Blue Sky Papers family (I’m most often referred to as Court, especially around here as our founder + CEO is also named Courtney)! You will be hearing from me a lot on our blog + social media outlets so I wanted you to get familiar with the new ‘voice’.

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But back to Galentines Day….

What’s Galentines Day, you ask?

Oh, its just the best day of the year- celebrated the day BEFORE Valentines day, on February 13th AND it is SO much more fun than Valentines day!

Galentines day is a holiday coined (possibly invented) by the ultimate gal-pal Leslie Knope of the popular sitcom, Parks and Recreation.

It is a day dedicated to lady friends celebrating each other and the true love of ever lasting friendship!

Why is it necessary to celebrate a seemingly hallmark-invented holiday? Well, because romantic relationships can be messy + fleeting but friendship is no fuss + lasts forever!!!

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Today, I am sharing with you this Galentines D.I.Y. photo album made with our newest product our Acrylic Book (not even listed on our site yet, so this is a sneak-peek).

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My eyes immediately went all heart shaped when I saw this new book and my mind started dreaming up all the different ways I could use it. I love the clear cover, which can also be  engraved and how flat is lays when opened. Its unique appearance + interracially stitched binding will make for a great statement piece on any coffee table.

What would you do with this new arcylic book? Let us know in the comments below + shoot over to Instgram ( @blueskypapers ) and give us a follow and automatically enter yourself into a chance to win one of your own! Winners for U.S. residents only + will be chosen Monday February 15th. Good luck!

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3 Ways to celebrate Galentines day  :

1. Binge Watch Broad City with your BFF

2. Dance Party with the whole girl gang : Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Miley and Katy Perry! Check out this Spotify Galentines day Playlist!

3. Host a art journaling/scrapbooking party for all your best gals! Try out this ‘Messy box‘ from the gals over at A Beautiful Mess.

 

5 Gifts for your best gal : 

1. Ovaries Before Brovaries Hand Stiching : https://www.etsy.com/listing/120747679/ovaries-before-brovaries-parks-and?ref=market

2. Your Ovarie Acting  Print : https://www.etsy.com/listing/250697165/uterus-youre-ovary-acting-best-selling?ref=market

3. Rifle Botanical Journals : http://www.blueskypapers.com/rifle-botanical-journal.html

4. Galentine mug : https://www.etsy.com/listing/262897753/will-you-be-my-galentine-coffee-mug?ref=market

5. She is Fierce pencil set : https://www.etsy.com/listing/262953985/she-is-fierce-purple-pencils-w-gold?ref=market