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Start a Handmade Business

Lesson 21 of 39

Shoot: DIY Lightbox

Kari Chapin

Start a Handmade Business

Kari Chapin

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Lesson Info

21. Shoot: DIY Lightbox

Lesson Info

Shoot: DIY Lightbox

This is this's the light box that is in the materials that you can download online and it's just foam core um she's a phone card that I scored two fold into a box so there's one fold here and in the o r way have one piece of foam core that I scored so the paper still attacks on the other side and then I tate on the other side ok super easy and for the top part I actually took another piece of foam corn I cut it to the square size and I cut out a little opening to the top see fighting in this out the little opening of the top and I have, uh, again another dollar store find one of those, uh, cutting boards right? Nice and translucent tio allow me to bring light and from the top and on the inside I have some poster board that I am curving around to create that kind of endless background seem seamless background, which is really, really important when it comes tio taking photos. Um leslie, do you have your next door? You're hearing guys that we want playing with earlier um, how about your ...

ear rings first? Okay, so he has he's really sweet very time me very, very tiny when we're talking small objects were not kidding on they're made out of rose court what's interesting is if you look at them just in regular light, they look really white, but when you put them against something that is actually white, they turn a little pinkish, which is really beautiful. And I am going to use the slight box like how I would use my life box again the surfaces on the insider flat. We have one translucent on the top, so I'm going to bring and this is a a daylight bold that you can get the hardware store. Um, and I'm going to make sure that my light is pointed up toward the back corner of the box. And I have these cool little clips because these, uh, he's often times don't stay where you want them. Tio, uh, is showing right here. You know, this always works perfectly when you're not on camera. Ok, great. So you turn that on, and you make sure that that is right in the corner there. I know. Why? All right? And once you have the set up it's really awesome, I swear. Ok. And then you have the light. Ok, so I wanted to point out that these lights I got that, uh, like, good, but what I do is I look for the lights that have a ceramic fitting in them, so if you want to use incandescent light bulb verse regular everyday light bulbs at a higher waters like one hundred watts seventy five, two hundred watts than the ceramic ones are much safer so if you have ones that have just plastic fittings then make sure you keep your use fluorescent lights or keep your water djalo safety so I'm going to take a photo of this piece and this is my mike cannon little cannon s o I have my setting set at aperture priority and according to my according to my settings here I have it at a five a five point six so that's going to give me a nice shallow depth of field and I'm going tio try to get close into it and I'm pretty sure the colors will be way off it will show up in a minute yeah colors way off so I know in my camera in order to set the white balance accustomed white balance I have to go to my menu go to my custom white balance and it always tells you what button to press in order to set your custom white balance sometimes it's set sometimes its menu it depends but it will always tell you which button to press so my camera basically takes a photo that I took and it says do you want to base your white balance on this photo and so I say yes I do okay and I'll take it to the podium color the way better on that one and that when I happened. Tio ok, remember aperture price app sorry exposure value exposure value uh, I had this of at a pretty high plus side kind of almost at it too, so I'm going to put it back down to zero and we're going to compare the two just to see what the different levels of color we can get. So with almost it's kind of a one point seven teo zero so you see the way that you can just buy that exposure value you can you can control that level of light that is coming into your picture oh, let's see the the other thing I wanted to explain was when you have your camera and you are working on your photos when you pressure button halfway down that's your automatic focus kind of deal and it's called a focus lock if you hold it halfway down and you you're training in honor on your piece you can hold it down and then you khun recompose. So instead of having to keep your you're subject right in the center of the frame, you can actually have an in focus but recompose your photo so you can use that rule of thirds that we talked about so kind of focus in on one piece of your of your subject recomposed by swiveling you want to swivel you don't want to go back and forth because that's going to mess up your focus right so you want to actually swivel I usually imagine I'm on a tripod or you can be on a tripod on and this is a cz far as my camera can move okay so I focus in on the center and hold my breath a little bit before I take the picture recomposed ok, so, um composition I wanted to show the necklace that you have a cz well kind of because change when it comes to jewellery dealing with chains and kind of laying them out um is a really big challenge do we have any questions? Tio yeah, I would just like to hear the response you first of all there's so many people online who you are right there with you were there with the audience members lots of questions trying to figure out what about this? What about that? But I love the spirit of you know, if I can do this you can do this. And anyhow I just went up to see people's reactions to what you showed us in the beginning and seeing you just do it to get it right and camera I think that's really key ahs you know, as photographers maybe we're expecting that we're going tio do post processing and whatever but you're taking so much thought in getting it exactly the way you want it so it's easier on the other side what do you guys think in the studio audience what you observed experiment field because what I do right now is I take the photo and then in photo shop which often makes me weep at my desk thiss in general on photos up than I create the depth of field I blur out using a filter I blur out that background so it would be really nice to avoid that stuff altogether and just do it on my camera theo great thing about knowing the different settings on your camera is that you can be creative within your camera and then the photo editing is kind of additional creativity that you can add to that um yeah the field is your friend's totally uh you know I think it kind of adds this world up to your your pictures it makes it look like a three dimensional object kind of like how your icy so uh yeah um okay so this this necklace is really pretty and so with chains you know again kind of like the bracelet thing when I say it's a necklace I understand that it has a clasp on it you know you probably want to say choker because it's a shorter necklace um but to but to display it kind of in an interesting way I'm going to bring in wait tried this I love polls just in general. It has a little brand on the top so that's, why? I kind of bring in these little he's little rock he's at a heart shaped rocks on a beach and put those on top just to kind of cover that it because you don't really need that, and we really put this around the bull as if it were neck. Sorry about that. Going to the thing about taking product photos is you spend the most time fidgeting your stuff, especially if it's jewelry because you want tio sort of give your jewelry or you give your piece the best chance, uh, at kind of showing itself okay, chains are one of those things where I really recommend that you spend a lot of time fidgeting with it, making sure that each piece because I guarantee you that you will see one chain out of place and you're going to have to go back and take the photo all over again. So send a lot of time arranging them and making sure that they look right. Um, if you have pieces that are really reflective, and if you are in front of your your set up here and you move like this and you see yourself everywhere, take a piece of home car, had a hole in it and put it right in friends that will take you out of the picture and it will give you the best chance at not having a person waving back at you in your piece s so so you can do that? The other thing I wanted to show is how important it is to reflect the light back into your brain this's I see this all the time in photos you know really wonderfully composed photo the color is really great but there's this area of darkness right in the front so what you can do is just take some scrap pieces of foam core and bring them right in a way have a big so wei have without without it and with and if you reflect your light back into your frame it's going tio brighton everything up that much more you're bringing more light you're balancing more light into the frame and you're going to have a much better photo much better okay let's do one without it I'm taking a detail shot one of my favorite things they're necklace you're looking mighty pretty today, so being able to bounce like right back in there you know that one should come up in a second sorry compare that um so we have reflected light oh the ring that I took a photo of I wanted to show you how I magically got that to stand up on end this's the ring kaye is that the second picture okay so it's brighter right okay detail photos really really important ok so you have your your little ring here and my favorite thing in the world it's a really old package but it's quake hold it's kind of like poster petty you get poster pretty tio if you do get poster petty I recommend the kind of putty colored one said the blue because the blue will kind of stain things you just need a little tiny tiny piece of it it's sticky but it doesn't uh leave a mark I kind of roll it into a little a little cylinder were nothing and I have it just kind of right on the edge there now I take that on my stick it to my background and like magic making sure that I know what camera angle I'm going to be taking like magic stands up right on it and let's see holding your your focus lock halfway down taking that nice sharp focus right in the center of your frame and then re composing to use that rule of thirds I'm also exposure value is up just a little bit on that one too so standing things up on end it's awesome okay so do we have any final questions from absolutely let's we have several so marlo I know that you should do early jewelry but quite a few people including renee pero are asking how would you photograph something that is more two dimensional like greeting cards laying down with an envelope on and you know, what would you suggest as props for that? So what way to shoot flat out absolutely flat objects cards in particular I love it when card makers stand their cards upon end and they kind of show that it is a three dimensional object what you're showing is that it's a product and not just a print so you can stand them upon and if it's a set of cards kind of set them up next to each other so you can see just a little piece of each card. Um the most important thing though is controlling your lighting, making sure that your lighting is nice and soft and your colors air true that's going to make all of the difference in the world your background should be very simple you want your cards to really stand out as the star of the photo s o play with the idea that this's a a nice little display for your cards and you want people to see that they can pick it up and open it okay and give that a try you ladies in the studio audience if you have any questions feel free to jump in you have something here I did I was just a little bit confused about the reflective surfaces but then we're trying to take away all the reflection fromthe light now is because like the ceramic you're using is the reflection just so much less then the light that's why it looks good I was just so so there's there's two different kinds of reflections there is the unwanted reflection you in the field and then there's the glare okay, you want to reduce the glare so that's why we spend a lot of time making sure that we don't use flash or lighting right on the piece but we do want to like, for instance, with things that air silver very, very reflective we actually want to have some of those darker streaks in the photo because it shows that it's a curved piece you also want tio if you can keep a few shadows in there because again shadows are what tell our eyes something is three dimensional so if you take out every shadow it's going to look like you cut it out and photo shop and just pays it it on tio of your field so so try to have a little bit of shadowing in there if you can and it's all a matter of adjusting your light, moving it around and looking at your seeing through your camera and making sure that you are getting the photos you want and with digital cameras again he can take his many photos as you want and just kind of experiment in play how would that set up differ if you are photographing something that's not reflective little at all like your and or felt yeah with your especially if your urine is a darker color you want to bring in as much light as you can because your exposure value adjustment will only go so far so you want to make sure to bring in as much light is as possible because it's not reflective you know you can have your lights right on top of it or right around it not shiny directly on it but kind of shining inside of your box that will sort of even out the light emphasize the softness of it and try playing with the depth of field on that one because if you have a nice long skane of yarn, you can get a sliver of that texture and the twist of the arm get it really nice and close with your macro and shoot that shallow depth of field so they're kind of focusing in right on this little piece of this game that you want them to see thank you wait questions absolutely dio kathleen people are loving this bythe there's a lot of little haas going on people on loving the suggestions kathleen says can you address dealing with backlighting, which makes a wasp washed out background? Sure so back lighting you know the search for that pure white backgrounds a lot of times you can actually take this set up and put the translates in part in the back and light it from the back and experiment with that, but sometimes that light is just way too bright if you want to experiment with those kind of things, pull the light farther away from your light box so that you soften that light as much as possible if you're taking if you're taking photos like next to a window or something like that, you're kind of concerned about that make sure that you our instead reflecting the light back onto your scene with that kind of l shaped uh that l shapes set up that I had right next to the window you have your piece here, your windows here and so instead of having it backlit by the window you're taking it as a reflected light uh, image ok, tomorrow we are about to in the segment ok? And we talk a little bit about the other displays that you have behind you and anything you on those? Absolutely okay. So you don't talk about d I y this is like the ultimate in d I y the you can bring in your light from the top here these are nice reflectors this's so quote, like everybody has one of these in their house so give this a shot I mean, why not right bring in some lights make sure you have at least three lights to play with when you're using this and the pop up tents this is the thief papa tent comes with these lights which drive me crazy because they are really not that bright so again we're talking about bringing in the light from the front and lighting up the scene from inside. Another thing you can do is actually take a piece of paper white paper and it's a very subtle change but you can kind of see even just with the one dim light it gets a little bit brighter on the inside because you're reflecting light back on dh then this is oh yeah this is the guy this thing is so portable it uses to nine volt batteries it's all uh folding groups like a origami type folding and it comes with a white backdrop and a grain a black black backdrop and it creates this really beautiful even light that you can take ok, I'm not going to fidget with that but did it at home but it has this really beautiful even light so if you have tiny objects that's the full dio orange monkey eso with any lighting setup that you have just really keep playing keep experimenting, change your camera settings, figure out what they dio use your camera manual now that you know what to look for on dh yeah just keep going

Class Description

Most artists and crafters are easily inspired to create new work, but getting inspired to build a business that shares that work with the world can sound like a much more daunting prospect. Kari Chapin, author of The Handmade Marketplace and Grow Your Handmade Business, is ready to teach you everything you need to know to break into the online marketplace and share your work with the world.

Kari will help you determine the online sales venue that’s best suited to your handmade goods. You’ll learn about the pros and cons of both selling through an existing online marketplace (like Supermarket or Etsy®) and setting up your own independently-operated website. You’ll also develop the optimal marketing strategy for sharing your products with the world, from social media to blogging to branding and packaging. Kari will cover essential best practices for running a successful crafting business, including confidently setting price points, creating media kids, acting as your own publicist, and much more.

No matter what you make, this course will give you the confidence to see the things you have to offer as uniquely valuable to customers, the inspiration to take your work to new heights, and the foundation you need to ensure your business’s success.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Marlos Photo Notes and Light Box Instructions

Start a Handmade Business - Workbook

Karis Inspirational HD Wallpaper

Kari Chapin Bonus Starter Pack

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



Kari Chapin's course, Start a Handmade Business, was a game-changer for me. Her content was presented in such an accessible, engaging, easy-to-digest, and oftentimes hilarious way. At the same time, she did not sugar-coat things. Having a handmade business is a job and requires work. I love that she emphasized that fact. Not only did she give the nut and bolts of how to start a handmade business but spent a lot of time on the emotional component of being an artist trying to sell her work. Her guests (Skype and in-studio) were well-chosen and showed the rapport she has with her community. This showed that she lives what she teaches. The interaction with the studio audience and online community was integral to the course because it showed real-life examples of business owners at varying stages in their career. (I was so lucky to be one of the studio audience members. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity!) This class was a comprehensive look at handmade businesses that everyone from fledgling businesses to more established businesses can benefit from. I highly recommend this course! Thank you Kari for sharing your mind-blowing wisdom and warm and fuzzy heart with us! And thank you CreativeLive for having this awesome resource for the creative community! --Cathy Pascual,


Well, it's been a few days since the course and I am still pumped. Kari said a few things in particular that I needed to hear and I'm so grateful for that. I have been involved in the facebook group she put together and I am so happy about that. It's an awesome resource and my fellow creatives have been very helpful and encouraging. I totally recommend this course to any creative entrepreneur at any stage in their journey. Plus she is cute, funny and has just the right amount of snarkiness. I so enjoyed it!

a Creativelive Student

I loved this course with Kari Chapin! Her wealth of information delivered with such an honest and funny voice was refreshing and inspiring. I have accomplished things in the last few days that have languished on my to-do list for a year or more, largely due to this class. Kari is very down-to-earth and just plain adorable! I highly recommend this course for anyone creative who has or wants to have their own business.