If you’re a crafter, maker, blogger, or baker and want to share your process with the world – there’s a few photos you should get used to taking. Today, we’re going to show you the three photography styles that readers and consumers love and some tips to get you started taking them.
1. Flat Lay
This is a favorite. Just look on Instagram and you’ll spot them all over. They’re especially popular for fashion, showing supplies, or stationary. A flat lay is a shot from overhead of your subject ‘laying flat’ on a surface (be it a backdrop or your kitchen table). There’s a few reasons these are so great.The set up is simple. You don’t need to clear the background of unsightly dishes because the background is the surface everything is on.
You also don’t need to deal with as difficult shadows as you would in other shots (everything is flat, there’s very little to cast the shadow!
Your plane of focus is pretty easy to get perfect. In other shots, you would need to change your position or move things forward and back to get all the pieces in the same depth of field.
A shallow depth of field allows you to work in lower light situations which is really most situations.
If you’re new to photographing your projects, this is a great place to start. With simple set up and little room for error on focus, you’ll look like a pro in no time.
2. Action Shots
There’s something so appealing about an action shot. Seeing work in process is the ultimate in authenticity for handmade goods and projects. If you were to share a DIY project, but show none of the steps, a reader could question if they could really do it themselves. Even if you don’t step in front of the camera yourself, put your hands in there. Show how you do what you say you do.
Everyone loves a hand shot. Even if it isn’t the most beautiful shot, it instantly makes a project accessible. This is easiest if you have a second set of hands around, but you can make it work yourself as well by either setting up a tripod and using a delay or by one handed shooting (with only one hand in the shot).
You can get a similar effect by taking shots of half done steps as well though. Pause part way through a step or a word, take your shot before the step is officially ‘finished’. Make sure the way you capture it tells a story of what you are doing. These shots also do really well on Pinterest.
3. Beauty Shot
This is the ‘money maker’. It’s what you sell. There’s 3 types that are fairly simple to achieve. The first is the flat lay- it’s not just great for supplies shots, but if your product lays flat… this can make a great beauty shot as well.
Unlike a supplies flat lay, you’ll probably throw in some bonus styling elements to add visual interest.
The second is with hands. Holding it up with one hand, out with two hands, or with hands showing it off. Hands give scale to things you may otherwise wonder size.
If hands hold something in front of the body, with a low aperture, you can get a nice creamy background.
The third is styled in it’s intended environment. This adds context to the product, creates a mood, and someone scrolling through social might stop because it’s a beautiful vignette – not because they immediately know what you’re craft or project is.
If you want more tips on taking photographs of your DIY projects, check out Candice Stringham’s Craft Photography Fundamentals class. She covers all the lighting, gear, and styling tricks you need to produce pin-worthy photography.
Photography and tips from Colleen Pastoor and the beautiful, Lemon Thistle blog.