Old Items – New Photographs – More Sales?

I’ve been re-photographing most of my items that I think are worth it. I wanted to update my shop because sales were zip! I had used the same props and decor in all my photos, and I was getting tired of how washed-out and lifeless they looked. The real success started with my purple cupcake, where I used a bright pink background and decreased the depth-of-field. This created a blurry background. I suppose the chain in the photo added more interest, especially when blurred out.



I didn’t photograph some of my old stuff, as I no longer have some of the originals. But I’d say they are only 3-4 items. I got a few sales since I updated my photos, which is certainly a good sign. I’ll now show you how ugly my old photos were, compared to the new ones.


I think the photo on the left does not do my product any justice. Makes it look dull and boring. I re-photographed it on a postcard. I must say that my macro lens does help a lot with close-up photos. It’s really good for miniatures. I do have trouble photographing larger items like my homemade lightbox (which I will talk about in a separate blog post). I can’t zoom at all with this macro lens, so it’s cumbersome. For these large items, you’re better off with a normal, multi-purpose lens.


Oh my… Look how ugly that cake is. Compare that to the new photo! I think it looks 100 times better now. I used scrapbooking paper for the background, and the same miniature plate seen in old photos. One other tip, I don’t bother so much with colour and exposure when I take photos, because my camera is quite old and DSLR technology wasn’t as great 5 years ago. I don’t fiddle as much by saving the images as RAW files, and then later do the editing on my computer. With RAW images, I can crop, adjust white balance, contrast, and increase exposure till my heart’s content. When taking photos, it’s more important to get the right angle and make sure the image is in focus. Those are the things you can’t edit with RAW files.


With this update, I tried to adjust the angle and positioning of the items. It’s important to get them into a pleasing position on your background, and make sure your light source is hitting the item at the right spot. I also chose a background that doesn’t clash with the colours of the item. I think the overall look and feel is quite pleasing, compared to the old photo. I do sometimes make the mistake of choosing a background that blends too much with the item. The photos then go unused. I usually re-photograph till I am reasonably happy.

Here are some examples of scrapbooking material that I use as backgrounds. They are cheap and available everywhere!


Other ideas to try would be wrapping paper, postcards, printed photographs, books and magazines. I also used a recipe magazine for some of my close-up photos… and I don’t cook. At least the magazine is not wasted then! I managed to find some pages with nice coloured areas. The best thing about photographing miniatures is that you can put them up to most patterned backgrounds, and still not be able to tell what the backgrounds are. Here are some photos with my cooking magazine:


The blue patterned background is actually from a photo of a meal on a plate. And for the cherry pie, I used a photo of an icing cake with pink flowers. There are a couple of concerns regarding using magazines and books for close-ups. One, make sure you don’t reveal too much of the background to be recognisable, or it could breech copyrights. Two, you can see all the printed coloured dots from being too close. I don’t mind these too much, since most people view thumbnails when finding items, and the dots are not noticeable then. It’s a small price to pay for using your own magazines and books, since they are the cheapest means possible.

I hope my long post has been helpful, in some way! Next time, I will talk a bit about my home made lightbox, although I still have yet to use it. I always just wait for morning, and leave the lightbox for emergencies.

All the items pictured are available from my stores on ArtFire and Etsy.

Charm Bracelet Experiments

I’ve been wanting to make bracelets for a while now, but buying chains are always a daunting and expensive task. I started making my own jump rings, using only 19-20 gauge wire and different sized knitting needles. It really hurts my thumb and index finger when I do the coiling. Still, this allows me to make chainmaille! I’ve been playing around with a couple of simple designs using different wire colours:

I think these would be the best if I want to hang charms from them. I even made my own hook clasps! After making three, my fingers ached like crazy, but only from the jump ring making. I need a proper tool to coil them if I want to save my fingers…

I particularly like my solid copper bracelet, using antiqued and bare copper wires in 19 and 20 gauge. I got the antiqued copper wire from Malaysia, but I can imagine antiquing some myself using a sulphur solution. Sounds fun.

I attached the baby pink tart to it, since it already had a copper loop. I think I like it with just one charm!


What do you think? Should I list the bracelets empty and let people choose a charm to go with it, or list it already with one charm? New moulds arrived in the mail today, and I can’t wait to make new foods next week (after my Germany trip this weekend). I guess I will decide then, unless you guys can give me some input.