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Branding with Visuals

Lesson 10 from: Double Your Followers with Creative Marketing

April Bowles-Olin

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Lesson Info

10. Branding with Visuals


Class Trailer

Marketing that Doubles Your Customer Base in Two Months


One Introduction


Bootcamp Introduction


Why Your Business Success Depends on Marketing


Why Your Customers Should Choose You and Your Brand


Your Target Market and A Day as Your Ideal Customer


Make Marketing Fun so You Actually Do This Stuff


Build A Brand Your Customers Love

Lesson Info

Branding with Visuals

Ware talking about visuals in photos and that is really important to your business, but before we get into that let's, talk about what we just covered and that is lesson seven pricing your products and services we talked about how pricing affects your marketing and marketing affects your pricing. You can't have one without the other, why you need to price for growth and how to do it and how the words you use affect what you can charge, and now we're going to be talking about branding with visuals. The objective is to give you the necessary tools to take high quality photos and photos for your block and social media to show the importance of staying consistent with your visual. So taking great product photos and photos for anywhere else online that you used photos. What you'll learn, why visuals and pictures air so important and why you need to pride prioritize them why you shouldn't use stock photos my photo set up and how to replicate something with your branding and how to take beaut...

iful product photography with guests. Candace string um, skip this step and you will always struggle period because you're an online business and visuals matter, so you need to put equal effort in your visuals and in your copy in order to reach your target market and grow you're following. Especially especially especially if you're a product based business even if you're a service based business people want to see some visuals when they get to your website if you rely only on copy many people will leave just based on a bad first impression we don't want that because you have awesome stuff to offer we want them to stick around and hang out so I want to preface this entire thing by saying I am not a professional photographer by any means you will see that I don't even know what some of the buttons are called it's just not something that I know I know how I like things to look and I know how I get them there and that's what I'm going to show you guys because I think that that's the most important thing and for you to see that anybody can do this anybody can take really pretty photos and especially if you edit them that's an important piece I'm going to show you my editing process and it's hint it's super easy you're going to love it and it doesn't take a lot of time your brand is a combination of both visuals and copies you need both when you master the combination you become successful at marketing so you've got to be able to pull both of them together all the other stuff can be easily learned like how to boost a post on facebook you can learn that or how to start an instagram account? You can learn that kind of stuff. This is the trick your stuff, how to combine your copy and really make your copy sound like you and how to take beautiful photos and make them branded so that it looks like your business as opposed tio anything else out there? So the importance of visuals if you don't have branded beautiful product photos, you will not succeed selling your products online because people can't pick them up, they can't touch them. We all like to touch our products, and we can't do that, so we have to be able to see see what it's gonna be like when we get it in the mail. It's your job to tell a story with your product photos to give your prospect an idea of what it would be like to have your product, you want to tell a story with your photo that's one of the things that can really get people excited, we talk about emotions a lot and the feeling, and that is how you do it is you tell a story with your photo and you create that feeling for your prospect in your customer. If you don't have branded beautiful blogged and social media photos, you'll have a hard time attracting new followers. And getting your current followers to focus on your content because when people first get there, if they see a really pretty photo, they're going to stick around for longer. So why you shouldn't use stock photos? I am not like against stock photography by any means, however, when you use a stock photo especially if you're using a really good stock photo. There is a chance that other people are using that same stock photo and so when you put it on your sales page and then somebody else he's on instagram, then somebody else puts it on their blawg it gets confusing when people see it multiple places and they don't think it's branded anymore and they get confused by what is this is this from this person? Because I just saw this photo like this with something else maybe added to it so that's the only reason that I say stay away from stock photography when it comes to your business just because it's not going to be yours and that's the issue with it there are some really nice stock photography um sites out there now there used to be it used to be very corporate looking and it didn't look very nice so it can be very intriguing it can be very compelling to want to use that because it's easy it's an easy option to use stock photography but I say he you sometimes can't take the easy route and that it's worth it to take your own photos. So here are some tips for blogged and social media photos. I always suggest using natural light and finding the best natural light in your home and at what time of day so switching out, trying out different places like spending a weekend really doing this, testing each a window at different times of the day and seeing what gives you the best light and then using that every time will be your best friend. I suggest using actions toe edit your photos because it makes it easier. Somebody else has done the hard work for you, and you can make them look really consistent, and I'm going to show you how I use actions coming up. I always use actions by paint the moon it's, my favorite place to get photoshopped actions and about the only thing I use another thing I suggest is matching them. This will make it easier for those of you who don't seriously love photography is if you batch your photos together you have a photo day where you take your photos, you edit them, you get yourself your favorite beverage, go and get your lot s so that it makes it easier you set up your photos, you take a cz many as you can we spend an hour just taking as many photos as possible different setups then you edit them and then you're done for a while you've got a ton to choose from and it makes it so much easier than trying to take a photo every time you need to put something on instagram or every time you've got a new block post I would say take a least twenty photos of the same shot I d'oh before I can pick something that I really love it's usually I'm usually twenty deep before I get that photo that I really am going to use in my business that's a huge mistake that people just use the first photo that they take because they're trying to get their block post up or they're trying to get their product up or they're posting something on instagram and so they take that first photo and they just go with it but if you had tried just a just a bit more if you had spent five more minutes taking a few more photos, you'd probably come up with something you like a lot better try different angles, take photos further back and up close like try getting further back and see what it looks like try getting really close and see what it looks like and do that with all your different shots and it will give you some different choices to choose from a cz well especially like when I take photos for my blawg, I might be using the same type of setup but it's different angles so it looks a different you'll see photos within this course that air the same setup but their shot at different angles so it gives it a little bit of variety, so you're not looking at the same thing tell a story set up something that is is going to provide emotion. I've got this photo up here of flowers with a cup of tea and macaroons on a plate I feel like this photo tells a story it makes you feel something think about that keep your ideal customer and target market in mind when you are coming up with your story that you want to tell what you want to do is you want to create ate like a place and inviting place for them that they're gonna be really excited to hang out in ask yourself what's the feeling I'm trying to create ask this always over and over and over again constantly for anything not just for photos. We have an example of amanda creek gave some tips teo chris who's in our audience um and chris's daughter actually took this photo of her so that she could switch up her about photo so we've got the before and then we've got a couple of the after about photos and she just worked with a few tips right? Amanda yeah, I the before picture was first of all hidden on her website, so you couldn't really see it. You could really find it. And the other thing was that I just don't feel like it really looks like chris. So I told her she needed to look like her. Like what we see in her friendly, cute face. Uh, so and then I gave her some types of where and like, some different things that she could dio to make it for her branding. Yeah, your daughter just sat and ran with it. Yeah, yeah. She's she doesn't mean to say she's twelve, because she's about to turn thirteen, but she when she took the photos, she was twelve. She is now thirteen, but she yeah, and she loved it. She was so proud of herself. She took something that amanda had written for her sight, and it was remember how many tips was it? Um, five tips or something? It was like a list of five tips to do your own photography and it's. Like if you can't afford a professional right now, which was a big block me that's. Why this photos hidden a friend of mine is an amazing photographer, and she was doing an experiment like doing glamor stuff, and they were model had called in sick so she asked me to come in and do it so they had like that big hair and this and it was not supposed to look like me was supposed to look like somebody and that's just like hit it away is aware on my site because I was scared to do something that wasn't professional enough and so yeah amanda's tips made it so that we were brave and we went and it was really fun and and we got all their props together and everything that was one of the tips the things that I have in my office that really go with my brand and we were traipsing down there's a typewriter there it's like a big clunky and take typewriter that I refurbished and we were walking down the main street in my city and bree my my daughter's holding this typewriter and all proud of herself for being you know, this cool photographer and doing a fetish shit, she really, really loved it and it was a fun time. It wasn't it wasn't as intimidating or scary as I thought it would be and this is with an iphone to like these aren't with a camera this's just with my iphone this is with an iphone yeah, you have no excuse me friends need really nice photo of yourself on your site that's so important to have and so here we go this is a great example of this is perfect and professional photo does not mean stiff, boring white wall it just means a nice quality high quality photo and this is that and I think it shows off your personality so well when I first met you I was expecting but hair when I first felt like we were coming to be in the audience but first I need in this crisis and when you didn't have the big hair I was thrown by that on glasses too because they have false eyelashes on me that were too long for me to put my glasses on everything so I was completely blind in that photo was totally not me at all oh yeah yeah it feels really good to see me I felt really like my website doesn't feel like it's my home um which is a bummer because they hang out there all the time you want to hang out in the place it doesn't feel like home so I'm happy to have me there now I am so excited about that for you too and it's I mean it's truly a beautiful photo I got a good job I saw the other one's a cz well with the typewriter and more so that's exciting I suggest if you're really trying to figure out your photo style is to take one hundred but take photos for the next hundred days just put it in your mind that you're going to spend five or ten minutes every day for the next one hundred days taking photos and setting up different shots trying it out. You will have so many to choose from for instagram, for facebook, for your blogger, for sales pages, and you will have figured out your style. Absolutely by the end of that one hundred days, you will know what angles you like, you will know what editing you like all of it, it will be really clear there is a bonus planner page in the bonus splinter pack, and it is just for you to start jotting down photos that you want to take. I keep a list of photos that I think my ideal person would really like, and macaroons was on that list, and it was a thing that I had been thinking about for a while before I actually took those photos, and so keep a list of that because we, when we try to keep everything up in our heads, it doesn't stay there and we get more stressed out and it's just it's not pretty, so keep a list even if it's not and not keep a list somewhere of the photos you want to take, you've got to get confident behind your camera and find your style it didn't start off like this for me at all, I think I had a little bit of an eye for what I wanted to start out with, but it never looked like this in the beginning. It was I always got back to my computer and thought it wasn't what I was going for us is not it it man, and so I had to just keep trying, but I will tell you, after taking photos every day for about thirty days, I started to get there. I started to hit that stride, and then when I got closer and closer to the hundred days, I really hadn't found it, and so it doesn't take that long. If you're practicing on a regular basis, your photos need tohave a consistent feel. I think that that's really important as faras branding, so that could be the editing process. You keep that the same use a lot of the same colors it could be that your backdrop is very similar, or at least has the same. I kind of feel to it, or they all have the same feel. Most of my photos have some sort of would, um, some sort of wood on the bottom and then an antique, uh, window behind it. Sometimes I will use poster border phone board instead of the wood if I want a clean, white background our backdrop for myself and sometimes I'll put even a piece of post report up behind it as well if I wanted to be all light, but I keep it pretty simple, pretty clean, and I think that that's one of the reasons that my photos have a consistent feel because I take photos of lots of different things, I have lots of pretty things that I collect that my husband is probably thinking like, can we stop with the pretty things already? But I love them and I love taking photos of them, and I create the story for my ideal person, and she tends to really love them. So I want to show you some examples of people that do this really well with their photos. This is this is blush shop on instagram, and you can tell that this has a very consistent feel. I love looking through this instagram feed, and one of the reasons is the way that it makes me feel there's, a story that is set up with all of these photos. It's not just a a picture of a book, it's, not just a picture of her outfit, it's a doubt, you know, it's down with her shoes with this magazine, and it has a very different feel than if you were just taking a straight on. A photo of yourself and you you figure that stuff out as you go along and figure out different fun things to try, but it's just very has a very consistent feel. Another example is an artist that I love lisa cognition, and she has taught it creative life before and her art of my cash. First of all, I just love her art to pieces. I can't get enough of it, but she has a very consistent feel with the bright colors that she uses and the way that she is consistently focusing on her art. Next up, we have another instagram account in this is they sell dresses and wedding dresses and things like that. This is just a very soft all of the photos have a very soft field to them that's the thing that makes them feel really consistent in this way and another one, this is daniel spurred from the merryweather counsel, and she uses a lot of bright primary colors, and so everything works even this photo of just like packaging, packaging, tape, and it works, it works with the whole feel of her account. It doesn't stand out as why are you sharing that and it's not that difficult to take a photo like that, and she still creating an experience for her ideal person, her ideal customer. This is my friend, my this is her instagram account. She recently had a baby and so she's been posting a lot of photos of her baby who always she always looks so serious to me, olivia her baby always looks so serious. I love it, but even though people always say to me, I don't know how to post photos of my kids or my pets or my husband or our family in a way that doesn't takeaway for my instagram account, my does this really, really well, it all fits together. She's got her cookbook here, she's got a d I y here she's got her husband, who is glancing down at their baby in this photo. It all fits together, and one of the reasons is the editing. I think one of the reasons why this works so well is the way that she edits her photos. So if you have that same type of feeling that you want to be including your family or your kids or things that you're making for dinner, stuff like that, you can still make it feel consistent in this kind of way. And this is from my instagram account I really tend to like pastel colors with a little bit of jewel tones popped in there every once in a while. That's what I like the mill ist and so that's what I go for on a regular basis it's what I'm drawn to so think about where you really drawn teo and what do you really enjoy looking at and taking photos of and to kind of switch it up I like to have photos that are like really close up and a little bit further away that show a little bit more of the shot or a photo of myself mixed in with photos of pretty things it kind of breaks it up a little bit and then we have an example of trish is jewelry as some product photos which we saw on her website and we're going to take another look at here this is the before and this is what amanda helped her with amanda creek from our audience who's amazing at so many things I don't know how you do it you've got too many superpowers spread them around please so this is some more before and this is after and it's really great when you have jewellery to put it on a model right? I feel like putting it in context allows the people teo actually see like this is maybe what it would look like on me kind of envision themselves in that place with that product so for me I would want to see it on and since I can't like go to a store or I can't actually, try it on before you purchase it, seeing it on somebody else. Then I can have a little bit more of a picture of this is how that might look on me. Yeah, exactly. And this tells a story as well. It creates a story for the customer. And then we have another shot. And this, I think, stands out among the other before is because it shows the sparkle so much better of the pink beads here. And I think that's what is going to draw somebody in with this photo? Is that sparkle? That was kind of missing? Yeah, with this one, the only thing that I did different with what she did as I had a different lens. And also just like, a little bit of that knowledge with the camera so she could take this photo. Everybody could take this photo, but you just have to have the right tools and you have to have that little bit of extra knowledge of how to set it up. And then you'll have that shot. Do you know what lends you were using? I used a twenty four millimeter lens. It can. You can get pretty close and you can get that kind of macro type feel with that perfect thank you, welcome. So now we're gonna take a look at how I set up my photos for my blogger and for social media I'm gonna show you kind of the behind the scenes of what it looks like for me, okay? I'm going to show you guys how I would take a photo that I would use on social media or my blawg and this is the set up that I use pretty much they have kind of recreated it for me I usually use a piece of some sort of wood, my parents working construction and so they have taken just deck boards off for me and that's usually what I use and so that's the bottom part and then finding an antique window at like a flea market yard sale something like that that's what I love to use for the back part and then I just have my pretty things I collect pretty things I've got washi tape here, I've got a cute little notebook I've got some sequins and a basket, no book that kind of stuff that's what I use and that's what I take a lot of photos of for my vlog and for social media, so I'm using a nikon d ninety camera and I always use it on the aperture mode because I'm not a professional photographer and this is the easiest nothing for me I love having the blurry background and so that's why I shoot in this way it gives me the prettiest photos in my opinion and then I also usually have the f stop somewhere between two point two and two point eight sometimes I will turn it up a little bit higher if I'm doing shots outside with of myself but usually when I'm shooting products I will do something between a two point two and two point eight f stop and I just the lighting as needed so right now I have it set on like the little sunshine logo and I think that that's going to be best for right in here but if it's too yellow or two blue I will adjust it and then that's pretty much it so I'll show you how I take these photos, okay? So right now the first photo that I have taken it is too dark so I have this little button up here it's like the plus minus sign and I just adjust the lighting like that so I'm gonna have it at negative zero point seven right now and that is just because that's what I was using at last and so I'm gonna just it tio plus three zero point three all right, that lady looks a lot better and I'll probably bump it up even just a little bit more to see how it looks all right I like that best so one of the things I like to do is pick an angle that I think is going to look really pretty in the photo, and then I tried different angles, so I don't usually I don't usually use the same angle over and over and over again, so right now I'm probably going to move over to this side and try and see what it looks like from here, so the background is blurry, but I can see this part of the window, so even though I have sequins down here, which you guys will see later, I'm gonna move this over just a bit and because I switched angles now, it's too dark, so I need to go ahead and adjust the light again. So I'm hitting this little plus minus sign, and we're going to take it up, tio one point seven see how that works for us a little bit too bright. Okay, so I'm going to turn it down again. I'm just gonna press this little plus minus button right here, and I'm gonna use this little wheel that we've got right here and turn it down two one point zero and that is the spot that I like, okay, so then I also always love to take some overhead shots. So we're just gonna play, okay? I didn't like that overhead shot at all. So it's, the angle of what's going on in the basket and why it didn't look good and I'll show you guys that photo, so I'm going to take the stuff out kind of rearrange it, maybe use the binder clip and just because let's, open it up. All right, here we go if you can tell I'm getting down low because this is the way that I'm going to get the best shot if I'm just standing up here like this here, I'm gonna take one like this so you guys can see the difference between that shot in that shop and that shot because I changed the angle again. I need to adjust the lighting so again, I'm just pressing on the little plus minus button and bringing it up to let's try plus one point seven there we go. That is looking much better to me. Okay, so what I dio is I'm gonna batch all of this stuff together, like I usually bring out a box of props with me and I have this set up and I tried different different shots and have a bunch of them, therefore, I have lots to choose from. Over the course of time, so I only take photos usually once a week is max, I'll have a photo day and I tried teo pick a day when the light is really nice right now we're lucky we've got really nice lighting for this and I don't have great natural light inside my house, so I do it right outside and I'm underneath the porch, so I'm not in direct sunlight you never want to be in direct sun mei and I have something very similar to this or the other option if I want something to be a little bit more plain is I will put down a piece of white poster board just on top of here and I'll take a couple of photos with the white background so that you guys can see you don't need something fancy this's a white piece of of foam board okay, so the lighting on this one looks let me take a look at that looks a bit bluish, which I can either fix when I get into edit the photo or I can change up the white balance, which I'm going to try doing so I press on this little white balance button and then right here I can change it so I can change it teo whatever I think is going to help so let's change it to cloudy and see what that does so that got rid of a little bit of the bluish tent, so you try to mimic whatever it's like outside if it's cloudy you went the little cloud button if it's sunny with a little sunny button if it's inside, then you want one of the fluorescent buttons and that's really all I change when I'm doing my photos, then the magic happens when I get inside and start editing them, so I'm gonna take a few more angles because I like to have lots of angles to choose from and then we'll see what it looks like, so let's go from above I'm adjusting the light here, making a bit brighter whenever I shoot from above, I usually have to make it brighter. I usually have to increase the light and I don't even know if I'm saying that correctly, but that's what that's how I have it in my little mind and there we go, okay, that one ended up being a bit bright, so I'm going to go ahead and just take it down a bit and every single time every time I adjust the angle or I shoot from a different perspective or go over top or even if I've been down just a little bit more that the light can change and so you have to check and make sure and you can do something similar with not with with that camera that isn't a dslr or an iphone you khun take similar shots this is a very easy set up that anybody can replicate and get pretty photos from and that's why I wanted to show it to you guys because I wanted to show you how simple it is so simple for me if I could do it I promise you can do it on what's gonna happen is when we upload these photos you're going to see how similar they are to the photos I've been using on my slides and then you're probably going well, I really can't do that that's not that difficult I'm just pressing a few buttons and taking a different angle when I don't like the angle that I've got and a lot of close ups I do a lot of close ups until that's that okay, so we just saw my photo set up and as you can tell anybody can really do this now I'm going to show you how I make my photos look really nice and it's through editing and it's all credited to the actions that I use and that's the paint, the moon actions and I really highly recommend them so much I can't recommend them enough so I'm going to show you guys how I added them and then you guys can ask me any questions you have about the setup or editing and we'll go from there all right, so this is one of the shots as you ca n't tel I like to have things that are blurry and things that are more focus that's my style and that's what I go if so here the action's over here I always have these open all the time yep I have no idea what actions means. Okay, so I'm sure that you click on a button and it poof makes it do whatever you want. It's okay? So it's like preset yeah stuff that's okay like light me up or um you'll see some that are one of them's called luminous it makes the photo luminous or there's another one that is sunday morning and it makes it look like sunday morning ok actually you press a button and all of these things have already been put in by somebody who knows what they're doing and it makes the photo look really great okay also thinks okay, so what you do is you by the actions and then you just download them and then they're in a photo shop if you use photo shop or she also has some for I believe elements so if you don't use photo shop but you have elements that's the other one, right? Yeah there's also light room preset site like we're too, but if you want that action e feel probably go with photoshopped relevance now it's so it's so much easier because they're the monthly payments and you can get all of the adobe products for, you know, fifty dollars a month so it makes it a lot more affordable for people and I it would take forever for me to edit these on my own when I used to edit my own photos, it took me forever. So let me show you what this looks like. All right? I'm gonna come over here to the action actions and thank you for asking that to rochelle because I think lots of people would I want to know that. Okay, so there's this play button down here and to get to it, you have to have everything in the window, so we're going to just play the action it's like magic, so I'll show you again without it with it uh, yeah, I could get behind that. Yeah. It's pretty great, right it's really great. So then usually what I will do is I'll go in and play with it just a little bit so I might take this down a little bit depending on what I want, then let's come up here and lighten it up, just get it and see what that looks like, yeah, I like that so I might even end with this, I might crop it a little bit just because I like things kind of up close and personal so might go in here and crop it but this would be it this is the photo that I would use and it was so easy for me to go in and edit that right okay, so let me show you some more and it looks like it fits in your feet yes that's fantastic yeah, because I use these actions all the time yeah and she has lots of different ones so I wanted to show you this one because this came out a little bit too dark and this happens a lot of times for people so some of them can be salvaged and some of them can't so let's see if we can salvage this woman so I'm going to use the luminous action again see how that gets us okay so that added a lot then I'm gonna go back up here to enlighten me use that one so that adds a lot and then we're gonna come over here and even give it a boost wow so without them we've got that with them we've got this uh my mind is blown I like this a lot it's a big difference it's a big difference okay let's see if I can get I wanted to show you this one because I really like the angle of this one this is something that I would use because it's my kind of angle and this one is not necessarily one that I would use but could be used it's not that it's a bad photo it's just not at the angle that I usually go for. You can probably tell a difference from looking at my photos and then this one I wanted to show you because it's too far away for me so it was too far away. It doesn't really paint a picture except for like scattered things but when we get closer that's when it looks nice and so I'm going to let's try the organic one for this one sometimes that one looks really nice and let's take it down a bit because this one's already pretty bright so without with it just gives it a little bit just a little bit of something some okay here's one with a white background and I tend tio go with either the delicate, the organic or the luminous. I use her luminosity actions the most and then the other one that I use constantly is under her moxie actions and it is the vintage denham I like a little bluish tent every once in a while and that's what on a lot of the macaroon pictures not the ones with the jewel tone flowers but all the others that have a little bit of a bluish tent that's what I'm using is the vintage denim so let's see if we can find a photo that I think that that would look good with try it let's try it with this one okay? So first I'm going tio you layer these you can use more than one and layer them so we'll use that one first I'm just gonna bring it down a bit in the opacity that just makes it so that the action isn't a strong and I'm going to come down here to vent in justin, um going to play that and then I go in here and I in just this because always too strong over my photos so I take down that a little bit and then I also bring this down all right? Let's see without it with it just gives it a little like dreamlike feeling. You notice that with some of my photos that I give it that kind of dream like feeling this is how I do it very simple it's click of a button makes it so easy aren't you so excited by that? Anybody who didn't know about actions aren't you so excited to be using them? Tell me about this before four e block post about it, but yeah it's it's amazing it can really change editing photos for you so that you don't have to be the professional doing it editing it and so I do this with all of my photos, and she has photos for even when you're editing yourself. I don't have a photo of myself pulled up here, but she's got, like, the miracle makeover, and I use that I used the make my skin perfect. It's it's the miracle makeover action set I used to make my skin perfect, I play that and it makes your skin really smooth, so I take it down so that I don't look like I have had lots of plastic surgery on then I use the spark allies and that one lightens up my eyes, and then I also use the healthy smile and make my teeth whiter and I look much better on the photo looks much better, much more professional and that's the kind of photo that I would use all my sight, yeah, she so where do you get the actions? I mean, you get paint the moon, so you go there to get that, and then you download them. Yeah, the moon actions I'm curious. Um, like as your style evolves, what do you do to the post you've already put up or the, you know, instagram, you've already built our, you know, do you go back, um? I don't want to keep starting from scratch, but I feel like I'm going in different directions okay? So that's a great question we're gonna show my instagram later on in session three I'm gonna scroll through it and you're going to see the exact moment that I stop to just posting anything on instagram and started getting serious about branding on instagram and using it for my business you will see that you will probably able be able to tell exactly when I made that switch and I don't go back and delete it and get rid of it it just gets further and further down as I'm adding more and more to my stuff, so I don't really worry too much about it because now I'm at that point words so far down that most people aren't really seeing it. Um as far as my blawg, I don't go back and update the photos I think people recognize that you get better as you go forward and some people will go back to my older bog posts and I'm still really proud of the content but even the writing I'm like, oh, that would be better but I'm not going to go back and rewrite them and I don't go back and put new photos and for them I don't highlight them as much, so I don't link to those really, really old block post but that's five years back now so I'm mostly linking teo block post within the past couple of years I pull from those so does anybody else have any other questions? Yeah um along the signs but I'm worried I'm worried about like organizing the photos because sometimes it's for your vlog or instagram and then, um like if I put things in particular folders, I'll never go look at them again um so just if you have any tips for organizing, I'm pretty bad at that I have to admit what about however you feel better? Yeah, what I do for instagram is I label everything instagram, I just make instagram the start of whatever I'm labeling that photo and in the beginning that worked out really well now I have so many that are labeled instagram something else that I'm searching through them, so I don't have I do use some folders so that I can put stuff like for creative live I have a folder where I'm just putting stuff for creative live photos for creative live and so all right, I hope that that is helpful. So now that you have seen how I do my things when it comes is tio shooting photos were going to hear from an actual professional, we're really lucky that we've got her and she's going to share with us common mistakes that creative entrepreneurs make with their photos some tips and then she's going to show us how she would set up a product photo shoot and share that with us because product photos are so so important and this person is candace string um and she is the marketing director for my mind's eye and I'm so so excited that she's joining us today it's going to be so helpful so let's bring her up and I can't s hi how are you? Good thank you so so much for joining us thanks for having the ants fun okay, so let's just jump right into it tell us what are some of the most common mistakes that creative entrepreneurs make when it comes to taking product photos? Okay um I narrowed it down to three s o we can start someplace and finished someplace but I think the number one thing is a lot of people take their image is way too far away and then you're not even seeing the product that you're trying to sell which is a problem right? Oh, so that is the number one mistake I see over and over again and it's a super easy fix you just get closer so good helpful tip always take one step closer even if you think you've got it just to have that can't closer image um as an auction I love that tip just one step closer yes yeah okay perfectly easy to remember the next thing is that a lot of people are they feel like they need to add in a lot of styling elements to their images and it becomes really cluttered and it takes away from the actual product you're trying to feature and cluttering e or various highly styled images are popular right now but if it takes away attention of any of those other items take away attention from the product that you're trying to sell then it shouldn't be in the photo yeah absolutely and I tend to see a lot of that on etsy where it's like what is the actual product because there are so many things in the shot yes yeah it's a it's a very big problem we see consistently within product images and then the last one is poor lighting I see all the time you know I know as makers and small businesses were super busy and maybe it just seems convenient to photograph the products at night using your overhead lights but it's never going to look good you can photograph a night if you're a professional photographer and you have the lighting tools and equipment to do that but even kind of the inexpensive lights you see people recommending all the time they never quite give you that saying beautiful look that you can get as an inn experience photographer using natural light so I highly recommend trying to take your photos during the day I completely agree with that one hundred percent I always use natural light I've tried using artificial light before and I am not a professional photographer and it looked it looked not good at all looked horrible it's a problem yeah so I definitely learned how to use the light in your own home and everyone has enough light that's something that I consistently here from students or people that are asking me about photography is well my house is dark and I just can't do it but you can like if you know a few basic tips on getting a little bit of help once you learn that you'll be able to find spots in your home that will photograph your product beautifully yeah you just have to find those spots and it takes you you need a experiment a little bit going to different areas yes yeah yeah all right great and then you're going to share a few tips with us as well even though those were those were tips a swell so we've already learned a lot e I can't I can't just tell you the problems and actually fix um yeah so a few fixes are actually just what we went over looking for really beautiful consistent window light in your home and it's going to be different different times of day so in the morning one minute window might be beautiful and will produce really lovely light for you that same window in the afternoon will be getting directly, and it won't work in the same way. So actually exploring your house experimenting different times of days with different windows is going to give you a lot more options within your home, depending on when you're photographing on the way to figure out the window is going to produce beautiful light for you or not is to look at the shadow it's creating on your floor, or whatever is next to it. If you look at the sunlight coming through your window and you're seeing those harsh lines from your blind it's where it's highlight and shadow or you have that perfect rectangle of the shape of your window on your floor, it's getting direct, light and that's not a window that you want to put product right by because it's going to be harsh just the same as if you were outside under overhead sunlight. But if you look at the floor and you're seeing like a soft, gentle light, kind of come in there's no hard lines from shadows of that light, then that's getting indirectly and it's a perfect window to use. So look for that if you do happen to have have to use a window that's getting direct light, then just place your subject right past that hard light in the shade. And you'll get really beautiful like I have never heard that tip before so I am really excited by that has anybody else heard that one before? No okay so this is new to all of us that's awesome okay alright keep going we're excited the second fix was to just look for creative backdrops in your home and I'm going to show you that in a minute as we go to chute but there's a gazillion different options that you confined in shopping your own house to use for backdrops in images and sometimes for me it's like the back of a framed photo the texture of it or it's using we're going to use a marble piece of marble back there that baker's used for baking to look like a marble countertops so just cause you don't have beautiful countertops doesn't mean you can't make them so I think there's just so many options out there if you're really just looking for texture and color and when you find those two things that complement your product then stick with that on dh that's actually my last tip which is create consistent branding so I would actually I know I said the number one mistake was being too far but I actually think the number one mistake is when you go to a nazi shop or you go to an online shop and there's no consistency in the images it's just kind of chaotic there's some that are on dark backgrounds their son that are on light backgrounds or some that got photographed outside on the grass like there's just no consistency in the overall branding or imagery that you're creating its own much more effective to sell a product in an online shop when every thumbnail has a consistent overall look so even if your product changing and the color's changing if you photograph it consistently on a similar background then you're going to find that people are much more drawn to your product into your store because it's visually simplified and the focus is on the product as opposed to all these different backgrounds and busy things going on so find find your brand find what you fill it works for you if that's a bright white background or if that's like a piece of dark rustic wood then consistently stay with that and create a flow through your shop overall and it can be hard to brand an etsy shop and so if you have a consistent background in all your product photos that's one way that it makes it look much more branded yes yeah and people will start to recognize especially if it's something unique like we'll show you here today they'll start to recognize like oh that is this from this actually shop she always photographs using that item on dh you'll create brand recognition recognition which is really important yeah that is really important all right, so your tips have been fantastic, I think what everybody's really excited for to see is the actual set up in the photo shoot since you're the professional, and we all need help with product photography, everybody sitting here is like, yes, yes, please help me. So if you want to show us how you would do it and you're set up, we would be so excited and grateful, okay? So we're going to do that. So I consistently photograph for a few different brands, and I do it all from home, and I do it all using natural light and everyone's always really shocked when they realize that I'm not using a full studio set up on dh, you can kind of see some photo shoots that have been going on in the background right now, so this is actually a backdrop that we just barely through together, just using paper, but we're going to show you a small table top set up, and we're going to be using this is why I'm sitting here in my kitchen of because we're using my kitchen table, and we're using this window that's right next to it and that's, my only source of light, loose window, right here on dh, I'm just going to throw this together, and I won't. Be able to hear you because when they take off their phones so I'll just keep talking, maybe like flavor, you have a question that's always good at something. All right, so here we go. Um okay, so this is what I mean by really looking for different items in your home that you can use so I could use my kitchen table top but that's just not necessarily right, and we're going to be photographing jewellery today. Ah, really beautiful necklace and I went out because I'm preparing or our product for tara the gloss on but just some simple pieces that were really inexpensive from some home goods store. So in this case, let's move, make sure still in the chancellor optimally never wave. We found this wouldn't like architectural piece that is meant to just three and home decor, but I felt like it actually features jewelry really well, we don't need any other pieces to style that jewelry aside from this frames out, I'm going to move the camera a little bit closer sorry about that, but it frames out the jewelry. As you can see, we can see the length of the necklace, which is really important when you're buying a piece of jewelry, but it is really beautifully styled and we don't need a whole lot of clutter you could consistently photograph all of your jewelry pieces on here if if you had errands, you could just run a dowel across and hang the areas inside there and so it could create, like, a really nice overall look for your shop. Uh, so what we have as the base is a piece of bakers marble this was I think I bought it for nineteen, ninety nine on clearance from I don't even know if I'm allowed to say brown so you can cut those if you need to, but from williams sonoma outlet eso for nineteen dollars, I now have really beautiful marble countertops in my house at least that's what people think so I sat this just right on top of the table except my piece on top, the necklace, affection, just balancing right on here, but I so what do youse gaffer's tape? Because it doesn't leave a residue if I needed to take it to hold it in place and then I mean this's kind of embarrassing because it looks so bad when you're seeing the behind the scenes, but when you see the real image super beautiful and I guess that's actually the whole point of this is that you don't have to spend a lot of money and you don't have to have a lot of expensive equipment to be a little tic really amazing photographs of your foot so in this case I have with this crap piece of linen sitting around or actually it's even cheaper matter gets muslim on you can see it's like we really cut on one side but that's okay it's not going to be inside the image and this is something that I do a lot with my photos so a white piece of foam core board is my very best friend. I use it for everything and then we're leaving only dark they are not, but I use it for backdrops I use it for reflectors. This bigger piece of foam core board comes from hobby lobby I think it's one of the only places that carries the size and it's about I think finer six dollars and I so what I love to do is kind of create a fault wall behind anything doing photographing and the reason I love this is because I can paint the film or any color any too I need to match a product I can rock star around it and while I have wallpaper I could literally wallpaper it and have the wallpaper fall behind and while they were could be really expensive. But if you're just using a small piece and it's not an see this really beautiful, expensive look to go on with your homemade items so the nest key thing that sure this up close this is a fraud and it holds a flowers inside a face and you can buy these for really cheap in antique stores there they're everywhere you can also live them in the floral section of a craft store and they're really heavy. So for those of you who are not working with an assistant, which is most of us were makers and small business owners the's now from your assistant so I don't want to each side and they're like little nails, so not something one around your kids, right? We're just going to shove it right in there, just press down even over this fabric and you can see the fabrics alot but frankly, here I probably maybe I am a little bit more but we're going to blurt out so it's not gonna matter no one's going to even notice that in the background right now, it's just gonna be a color and the texture for us so you can see I just pushed it right into there and now we have a really beautiful like textural backdrop and that's really simple, easy to do it's clean. This is a neutral background so it's not going to take away from the item, not in photographing so now you can see that because all my life is coming from this window right here around the site is coming from our window we're going to get all of our shadows on this site now we have really soft light here these air northern windows so it's never going to get direct light and so we have really soft shadows but even then I want the highlights on this jewellery to really come alive and so I wanna add in some highlights on the opposite side as well one of the things always remember it just like the details so what even what down to what part of the beads I want to show in my image so straighten those up and then I'm just gonna adam a second phone core board it's a smaller size and I'm going to put that right in here and I can usually just balance it up against the background but if I needed to I could add another frog tough well that up for me so this isn't even gonna be in the image we're going to dis crop in and right around our item but now we have really really beautiful soft white we still have some shading which we want to show depth and dimension but it not harsh or deep shadows they're nice soft ones due to this reflector and we have a really beautiful product image so from here I would I would use a tripod with my dslr and I would use a really open aperture and if that's all confusing to you will be learning in our class but here we go I mean it was a simple set up it just took a few minutes on a few dollars and you get a really beautiful product image I'm gonna put the headphones that you guys have any questions for me so that was amazing wasn't it yeah we're just talking about how amazing that that is and we've already learned so much we're so excited I'm going to try this at home I can't wait to get home and used some phone board and put wallpaper on it and try this out I'm like so excited about this it is it is really time just because it gives you so many options on and another thing is actually there's a lot of wallpaper companies who also make wrapping paper the lot less expensive and as long as it doesn't have like the shiny in fact if you're picking like a watercolor on that one of the more expensive by the sheet wrapping papers you can just spray mount that right onto the board and got a really beautiful background that looks like wallpaper too dick miller chip such good one that's such a good tip too so do you guys have any questions for candace? You're all in all right now what about um what are the best practices if you wanted to take like table top shots like from the top so like without getting the shadow of your you in your camera like what's the lighting like yeah so I could shoot top down right here in fact, I do all the time it's that same issue of looking for non directly so just the sock diffuse light I could literally stand right in front of the window right now and take a picture of my products standing right in front of it and it's not going to affect the lights because it's soft it's like wrapping around me. S o as long as you have that soft diffused light coming through your window, top downs are actually really, really easy and we'll be talking actually a lot about top downs in the class because it's a really popular style right now due to iphone, you know, we all take out our iphones and take pictures looking down and stuff. And so, um, a few years ago in commercial photography top don's, we're not a thing nobody asked for them, they didn't want them and now they're extremely popular on and we get requests for those all the time. So yeah, if you want to learn more about shooting your products that you're creating, we have a class called craft photography fundamentals where we're talking all about photographing different crafts and products for your small business or your block or putting them online I think everybody is going to want to check that course out I'm pretty sure everybody's going to want it we've already learned so much from you I'm so excited do we have any more questions from you guys before we wrap up? No all right let's all give candace a big round of applause because that was awesome! Thank you, candace so much for taking the time out of your day to join us for this because product photography is so important and you have just made our lives so much easier all right, that was awesome! You guys I'm so excited we had her to be able to help us out with some product photography so now we're wrapping up with today's mission we're number one is start your one hundred days of photography number two is set up a shoot of your products or for your blogger or social media and take fifty photos so take fifty photos of the same exact thing but it different angles tried different light candice just showed using phone board try that stuff out and then pull them up so that you can see what they look like when you've taken the same type of photo over and over again in different ways because you'll figure out what you like really quickly that's how I figured out what angles I like for my photography really quickly then pick the best ones and edit them and share a photo on social media using the hashtag bell live so that we can all check it out and see what photo you picked out of the fifty. That you took it's. Probably going to be a really good one.

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Ratings and Reviews

Ana CR

This Boot camp came on the best moment. this is the best way to introduce the arid topic of marketing to creative people that really dread to deal with this part of their business. I am in the middle of creating my web site, brand, everything, and all the ideas and tips given here are going to make a real difference in the way I approach my tasks for the next few weeks. I find it so amazing that you and CreativeLive offer this course! It is an amazing, outstanding qualtity and even though we are in Lesson 5 I learnt so much already. I don`t want miss a minute of what is said and offered here. My view of Marketing changed already and is moving forward. I love the easy to swallow way of presenting all the topics. I am very visual so I love your presentation style and the level of detail you go into to make the course come alive. All the pictures and the color palette you use really make me feel welcome and happy to be here. I really appreciate the effort April puts into making this a comprehensive and engaging course. April & CreativeLive have been above and beyond generous in what you have provided for free for the ones seeing it LIVE, I just feel that the price of the 5-week course is an incredible deal and I am sure I will hit the buy button before this is over just because I want to see what more is in the rest of the material. Thank you very much CL and April, keep up the good work!!!

Denise Chakinis

I haven't completely finished the course but I have been working through the wonderful workbook. My time to listen is very limited but the book alone is worth the cost. I love April's spirit and openness to share so much information. I also love many of the things that she loves such as Anthropology candles. A beautiful person with a lot of knowledge to give. Once again Creative Live thank you for bringing such inspiring people to our world.

Josh McLaglen

I have just found PinPinterestand it is so amazing .Pinterest has never been so easier before. I used to feel Pinterest is so time-taking and still not getting preferable results. I was kind of demotivated due to unsuccessful results after spending a lot of time on Pinterest. Then I started searching for a tool that can help me out from my busy schedule and I found PinPinterest being the easiest yet valuable asset to my successful Pinterest account now. Schedule as many pins as you want to and to as many boards you want to by pin scheduling feature. The main catch is that it’s free to use tool and with easy setup. In all, I just loved PinPinterest and I can’t think my Pinterest account this much successful without PinPinterest having my back.

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