Craft Photography Fundamentals

 

Lesson Info

Branding Beyond Instagram

So I wanna talk about branding using other visual mediums and social media platforms. So far, we've been talking a lot about images, but we've also been talking about consistency, so then how do we take that consistency into other social media platforms. So, the video always freezes at the best moment, right? So, we have recently started a YouTube channel. We don't have a huge following on YouTube, but when we put them on our other networks, on Instagram, on our blog, on Facebook, we get huge traffic. And it has made a huge difference in our relatability to our audience and in presenting to them how to use our product. So there's two types of YouTube videos, we do one where it's like us talking, here, let me show you how to make this, and we go through, but for a lot of people, that's not a possibility, right? It is. 'Cause we're just figuring this out on our own, right now, using our DSLR and filming everything that way, buy a mic for super cheap on Amazon, and it's not as hard as you...

would think. I'm sure our videos, like, a videographer would watch and be like, what is this? But our audience love it, and that's what matters. So there's that type, where generally you really do need someone else running the camera and going back and forth, and we really plan it out, script everything. Now that could be intimidating. But, this is the other type of video we do. So, you saw that we took the image of this earlier and it did go out on all of our social platforms, but we took it one step farther and made it into like a little stop-motion. Here we go. And that's it. It's 30 seconds long, it's literally just photographs that we then moved into iMovie and strung together, and then I used the free music from iMovie and sent it out. Now what's awesome about that is your phones have iMovie now. So you can do your Instagram photos, put it in iMovie, make it into a movie, put the My Mind's Eye, all of that, the way the images come in and out, all in iMovie, type- I want text, type the text in, it's so simple and self-explanatory, and is it like, award-winning? No, but I don't care because my audience loves it. And when I do these short little clips, then I can put them into Instagram, I can put them on Facebook, and they're actually going to watch them. If I put up a ten or 15-minute video, they're not going to watch them. We just said, our viewer, their attention span is probably 8.5 seconds, right? So when we give them something short, they're like oh, I'll push play on that on Instagram. But, if it's on Facebook, and it's 15 minutes long, they're not very likely to then go for it. So, really think about your audience and how much time they have, and then the other thing I think about is when I'm posting these, when I'm posting videos, I want it to be at a time where my customer has time to watch it. So, a really good time for me is 3 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon, 'cause that's pick-up time, and moms are like, sitting in their car, waiting for their kid, and they're on their phone, as they're parked, waiting there. And they will watch these videos to give them something to do. Same with Periscope. We Periscope a lot late in the afternoon. So Periscope is a newer app, some of you may be very familiar with it, others of you may never have heard of it. It is a the fastest-growing social media right now. So, it is really fun, and I think we are gonna do it here today so you can see it. So we'll hook up my phone. So lemme explain really quick before we start what Periscope actually is. Periscope is an interactive video platform, it's sort of like Creative Live. You're watching the videos live, and you can interact, ask questions to the person that is giving the Periscope. Now, you can have your location on a map, so people can find you by location, just randomly, like oh, hey, you're in San Francisco? I'm in San Francisco, I wanna watch this Periscope. Or you can hide that, so people won't know where you're broadcasting from. But it is live broadcasting, interactive, and it's really fun, I think. So, for someone who maybe doesn't love public speaking, this is a really good opportunity to reach out and talk to your audience. You do it from your couch. You can do it from home, and so it's much less intimidating than standing in front of 300 people and talking about your product. And we have found it to be really effective in communicating with our audience, and answering their questions in a way that's really, really, relationship-building. So they feel like we care, and we're listening to them, and we are able to get their questions in real time and answer them. So we're actually do a My Mind's Eye Periscope right now, because My Mind's Eye is coming back to Creative Live next month. So I just wanted to show you a little bit about this app. So what we're gonna do is click on our live. So, we're gonna put a title, Creative, they're not seeing this, yet. Creative Live live, how about that? Okay, and this is also a great place to hashtag, or, a lot of times we'll put it on Instagram first, and Twitter, so it's connected through Twitter, so we'll put it out there, hey, at 3 o'clock we're gonna be doing a Periscope about, whatever, our newest party line. Or our best-selling party line. And then people can come and watch it and actually see our product being used. So we'll start the broadcast. You guys are on live. Okay, so we haven't told anyone about it yet, so we don't know, oh, lots of people are coming! I'm gonna switch it around. Alright, hey guys, we're so glad that you are joining us! I am on Creative Live today, and so we thought we'd talk really quickly about, we'll show everyone. Say hi! Oh, look at all those hearts! They are saying hello! And she's saying I'm doing a good job. Thank you. That makes me feel better. Alright, so, we just wanted to come on and say how much fun it is in the audience, right? And that on November 2nd or 3rd you can come be in the audience for My Mind's Eye and come craft with us and make planners and lots of fun things. So we just wanted to give you a little sneak peek of what it's like and how much fun it is. See Hannah over there, and our crew. So awesome! Okay, and that's it. So come join us November 2nd and 3rd. We'll be doing all different kind of party classes, all different decorative items, scrapbooking, everything you love about My Mind's Eye will be in those two days. And, if you can't come to San Francisco, you can also come and watch us for free, live for those two days. So we hope to see you there, tell lots of friends. Alright, bye. Okay. That's a Periscope, okay? It is real. It's live, it is not laid out, it's not planned, but that being said, I do usually put some thought into it before I start. I want to be in a well-lit place, and a lot of times I'm Periscoping on the backgrounds that I photograph on, so they match. So if I'm presenting my planner to a new audience, I'm gonna be presenting that planner, holding my phone up and showing them the different pieces, but I'm gonna be doing it on a solid backdrop that I am photographing that item from. So, from platform to platform to platform, I'm connecting them all visually. So I really do love Periscope, and I can honestly say that when we present a line to them through Periscope, we have less followers there than on any other platform, we see more direct sales. And I really feel like it's because of that personal connection. Because they can ask me, what size is that? How thick is it? Would it work for this? And I can say yes, or I can say no. So all of their questions that they have are being answered in real time by a real person. And I may not be, I had a problem for a long time with, like, do you really want me to be the representative of the whole company? And my boss was like yes, because you say how it is, and we want that. So, I think being authentic through your brand is really important. Especially on Periscope, because they can feel you out. People can feel you out. If you're no really excited about something, If I was like, there's this patterned paper, you know, they're gonna know that I don't love it. But I do, I love my job, and I love what I'm showing people, and they can feel that, and we've gained following through Periscope really quickly. But I love that it's just like a short little thing, it can be as short or as long as you want. But I think shorter is better, because if on the replay in those 24 hours, if they see it, like 20 minutes, they're less likely to push play. So, I like to keep mine under 15 minutes if it's possible, for whatever we're presenting or showing. But also think of it as, it's a really great way to show people behind the scenes. So, my parents can show people, here's me letter-pressing. This is what I do for every single card that you get from me. And they can see that whole process, that artistic, creative, handmade process. And for their audience, that's huge, because they want to buy handmade, that's important to them, so being able to be a part of that process and see that means so much. So, I really, I have nothing to do with Periscope, I don't know the owners, I just really do love it as a platform, and my ability to interact with my customers. I think, and let us know, grab a mic if you have any questions about Periscope or anything we've been talking about in this lesson. We did have one question and that was from Jules, "Does Periscope just sync with the people that you're following on Twitter?" So, Periscope, it will go out when you tweet that you're doing a Periscope. When your Periscope starts, it does go out to whoever's following you. If you have your location on there, it can also, anyone who's on Periscope can see that you're live broadcasting. You can get a lot of new audience that way. I don't do it a lot because I do it from my house, and I don't want people to know where my house is. But if you're doing it from a workspace, you're doing it from a craft fair, that would be awesome. Like look, here I am at Renegade, look at the booths next to me, look at my booth. And you can get people to come see you that day from watching it. So, I guess what I love about it most is just how in real time it is. And then, also, so, the question was, can other people see it? Yes, so then people can share it. A lot of times, I didn't say it this time, but a lot of times when I start it I'll just say, okay, swipe right or swipe left depending on your phone, and share this with your audience if you think that they would like it. And every time we say that, we'll get five or six people who do it immediately. If we're talking about planners and they know they have a friend who really likes a planner, they're gonna share it with their audience. So, that's how I've seen it, sort of spread and grow, is asking people, share this if you like it, let other people who care about it see it too. I think the important thing with Periscope is people get really distracted by those comments. You wanna see them and you wanna address them, but you don't wanna get distracted from your main purpose. Because if I start just being like hi, hi, hey, you know, London, hey, you know, that's really cool, it's great that I can do those shoutouts and stuff, but if I start doing that too much, then people are like, I don't wanna watch her say hi to everyone, you know? So the interactive part is really super fun and important, but it's also important to stay on task. So address the question and then move forward. I very much agree with you on that one, because it's very easy to just start going to what everyone is saying, and then, like you said, it gets less interesting for people. I think what I hear a lot, like what you said, is have some intention of what you're trying to achieve out of that Periscope. In addition to calling people to share it, also you can call for people to give the hearts, that's the other thing that's like a measurement for Periscope. And so, there is a lot of fun things that you can do with it. Are any of you Periscoping? Yeah? Question, great. I was curious if you're doing it, well you're always doing it yourself, but if you're the one who's actually being broadcast, do you use a stand or something to hold your phone? Well, I do, you can get tripods for your phone, and I have used that before. A lot of times, for me, when I'm Periscoping I'm Periscoping top-down because I'm showing them product. You can get a tripod but a lot of times I'll hold it, because I'll go back and forth between myself and then the product. Just be aware and try and be as steady as you can, because otherwise, yeah. You start making people sick, or when you're walking really fast, it's like oh, I don't wanna watch this anymore. It's like a little Bourne Identity moment where you feel sick at the end. Speaking of hearts, some of my favorite Periscopes we've done has been like hey, I am working on this project that's gonna be in the catalog, what do you think would be cooler, using this paper, or this paper? And vote with hearts. And like, I'll show one paper and they can vote, show the other paper. And so now they feel like they're a part of it, and when that comes out in the catalog, they're like, I helped decide that. And I'm not even doing that to sell it, I'm doing it because it's fun. I love it. It's just so fun to get their opinions in real time, as I'm creating. As a small business and a creative business, that's a really cool opportunity. So, I'm making a pillow and I'm trying to decide what bridge in San Francisco I should be making. What do you think? Are we voting for Golden Gate, or, I don't know the names of the other bridge. Bay bridge, okay. We have these opportunities now to get people invested in us and in our companies. And when else in the world, and I've said this already, was that even a possibility? To have a live audience from all over the world? Besides on Creative Live. So I think it's just a really cool opportunity to get people involved and to share, and to use it in a way that's not just about selling, but is about a person to person relationship. I'm looking at the conversations that are going on in our chatrooms, and similar to what people have talked about, about not putting their work out there because they have bad pictures, some people are talking about well, I don't want to put myself out there in front of the camera for talking on video or YouTube or whatever, so to your point Periscope is a great way, if you don't necessarily always need to show yourself. Right? You can definitely show other things. On Youtube, too, with those stop motion videos, you don't have to be in it. You can come up with ways to present things, and to do cool things without being in it yourself. But I will say this. I just said I didn't wanna be the spokesperson, like, do you want this pleasantly plump girl, middle-aged woman to be your representative? Is that what you want? Because in my mind, that is how I see myself, right? It's a confidence issue within myself. It was my company that's like no, you're relatable and you're real. Sometimes, you just have to be willing to put yourself out there, even if you think that it's gonna be uncomfortable, or its gonna be scary. And in fact, that's when you should. When something feels, like, really frightening. I cannot tell you how terrified I was yesterday, and leading up to this, right? There have been amazing photographers on Creative Live, and in my mind I'm comparing myself to each one of them, and I'm saying, what do I really have to offer? But if I don't do it, I'm gonna regret it. And if I don't do it, all of these people watching that I could actually help and connect with, and build a relationship with, I lose out on that because I was afraid. Or because I didn't think I looked right. And because that is a really big concern of mine. And I just think, like sometimes we, when I think of my ideal customer, she would be friends with me in real life. But in my mind I let myself stop myself because I don't feel like I'm that cute fashion blogger. Or I don't feel like I'm that skinny model, right? But are they who's buying my product? Maybe they do but there's lots of people like me who do too, who would like to see me do my job and think, she's capable, and I can be capable too. And people will buy into that. And I don't do it 'cause I want them to buy into it, I do it because I want to feel connected, I want that relationship, and there are millions of people out there who want that connection, too. So, sometimes being scared is okay. Sometimes it motivates us to be more prepared.

You need great photos of your craft products if you want them to sell online, but just because you are awesome at making things doesn’t mean you are great at taking photos – until now. 

In Craft Photography Fundamentals with Candice Stringham, you’ll learn everything a craft merchant needs to know to take photos that really showcase the story behind your work. You’ll learn about: 

  • Creating affordable, photogenic backdrops and sets 
  • Capturing all kinds of textures 
  • Shooting with an iphone and DSLR camera 
  • Edits that add polish to your final images 
  • Creating a consistent look that makes your brand stand-out 
You’ll learn the basics of photo staging and you’ll see how a few simple lighting tricks can transform the look and feel of your final image. You’ll also get tips on working with props so you end up with a catalog-quality shot. And Candice will help you take advantage of your camera’s settings, the easy way. 

If you want to produce photographs that are as beautiful as the product you are showcasing, join Candice Stringham for the beginner-friendly class, Craft Photography Fundamentals

 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • This class taught by Candice was amazing. She teaches in such a step-by-step, easy to understand pace. She shares so much of her own tips and tricks she uses to create beautiful images without spending a fortune or having all kinds of expensive equipment. Having the DSLR lessons included was really great for anyone who wants to do more than the camera phones are capable of. Learning the basics of how to use a DSLR is confusing for most people, but Candice broke it down in the simplest way possible. Social media is all about imagery, so if you want to put out the most beautiful eye-catching photos, then you want to learn how to use more than the camera phone. I don't have a business where I need to take photos of things I sell and I still enjoyed her class so much. As a photographer, I am going to use her ideas and insight when I photograph things for fun. There is so much to gain from this class. I would highly recommend taking her class. She is a wealth of great ideas and information and has that friendly personality of someone you'd want to sit and have coffee with.
  • A wonderful class to get you going with craft/product photography. Candice provides (and shows) fantastic examples and it's really fun to watch her work through a shoot, moving items, etc. to create the final image. She also covers some basic photography tips which is very helpful. Great class! I definitely recommend to others!
  • I am so glad for taking this class. Candice is such an amazing teacher. She was able to simplify complicated techniques and give me the confidence that I needed. Next, I am taking her Lightroom course, and hoping to see more of her classes in the future. Thank you so much for sharing so many of your secrets. Great class!