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Life lately: a photo dump

Things have been quite quiet here lately, on the blog – and for good reason! Zoey’s birthday was this past Thursday, Friday was her party, Saturday was the pumpkin patch then dinner with friends, and Sunday I was at a market slinging monsters all day! Whew, quite a week!

Starting next week, I will be getting back into my regular blogging schedule. For now, I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from the past week. ♥ 

Zoey’s birthday & party: 

Saturday’s trip to the pumpkin patch! 

Sunday’s Walkable Wall Street Fair in downtown Asheville!

And that is life lately, in pictures! I want to do more photo dumps like this, maybe once a week or bi-weekly, to encourage me to take more photos of day to day life & our weekend adventures. ♥ Is there any interest in seeing more not-craft-or-business-related posts? 

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How to take excellent product photos using only 12 square inches of space

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I constantly get emails & messages on social media from fellow online sellers asking for tips, advice on their listings, or shop critiques. One of the main things that many sellers struggle with is photography, and often the response is “I don’t have anywhere to shoot” or “I don’t have a ton of natural light”. So, I wanted to put together a quick tutorial on how to shoot excellent products like the one above in no more than 12 square inches of space!

All I used in this shoot is one piece of paper & two photography lamps. They have adjustment legs, so you just need about 12″ of floor space on either side of your surface to stand the lamps up, so space isn’t an issue. As far as cost goes, my set of lamps are about $80 on Amazon. I did find this set for under $50 at Wal-Mart and this set for $40 on Amazon, and I’m sure with a little more digging, you could find a set for basically any budget.

I cannot stress enough how important of an investment professional lighting is for a maker so you can have consistent, even lighting in every single set of images. There’s “hack” videos out there for turning household lamps into photography lights, and I’ve tried almost every one of them. They do no compare to the real deal, but can tide you over until you can score some of these beauts.

To really demonstrate what a huge difference they make, here is an image of my work space for these images with the overhead light off.

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Same exact space with the photography lamps on. See the enormous difference? Minimal natural light here, so for all those people with a day job doing this as a side hustle, or mamas who don’t get time to get their goods out for shoots until evenings – photography lamps! Order them, stat!

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Zoomed out shot of my work space for these images – please don’t judge my messy studio, I was just wrapping up a day of monster making! As you can see (I brightened this image a lot just so you can see), I have one West facing window, and you can see the shadow my house throws in the evening on the grass. We have an enormous maple tree that completely shades almost our entire house, so my studio gets very dim at about 3pm, and this was taken at almost 5.

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To make sure I didn’t use more than 12″ of space, I used a ruler & washi tape to roughly mark out lines on the table and wall, effectively creating a 12″ cube of shooting space.

For affordable backgrounds, scrapbook paper. This entire file is 8″x12″ paper. As you can see, TONS of possibilities for backgrounds, and this size of paper is usually 15 cents at craft stores.

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I chose a white embossed style paper (averages about 30 cents, I think, at most craft stores in the scrap book department).

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These were my subjects – Random Sh!t jewelry dish by Clay by Laura, a piece of rose quartz from my son’s insanely extensive stone & gem collection, and a necklace from Almond Eye Creations.

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I put the dish & rock on the paper on this beat up dark-ish table, and snapped these  raw images with my Canon Powershot point and shoot (not my DSLR).

I used some free photo editing software on the internet to crop, rotate images to straighten them out, brighten, and slightly increase saturation in the images to really show off the amethyst.

And that is how you create excellent images for small products in just 12 square inches of space! It all comes down to professional lighting, creative use of space & supplies, and good angles.

Sidenotes: If you don’t have white walls or a ton of space, substitute by taping white posterboard ($1 at the Dollar Tree) up when you need to shoot images, and store them upright behind book cases or the couch.

Have other photography questions? Post them in the comments & I will create posts to help with all of your photography needs!

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Monster Mash! Easy Peasy Monster Halloween Costumes & Accessories

This year, I had the honor of collaborating with Opposite of Far for a monster themed Halloween photo shoot done by the lovely Qiana K! Opposite of Far launched her Monster Masks, which are fun, colorful, and when paired with basics from Primary.com & monster trick or treat totes or stuffies from my shop – make the cutest simplistic monster costumes ever!

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Aren’t these little monsters the cutest you ever did see?! Hurry to place your monstrously awesome Halloween orders – it’s spooky how soon it will be here!

 

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Making Back to School Monstrously Awesome – Qiana K Photo Shoot!

Just because we’re homeschooling this year, didn’t mean I didn’t get to have fun with back to school photos! I was honored to be able to send some of my monsters to the awesome brand photographer Qiana K to be a part of her Back to School shoot – and boy, I love love love what she did! Here’s a collection of images from the shoot – Qiana made it easy to make back to school monstrously fun, with cute clothing, great fall accessories and fun monster toys to give as back to school gifts from yours truly. 😉

Other brands featured:

Little Nugget KnitsThe Wishing Elephant Bright Eyed Baby  / Greyson & ColeFJ’s Pop ShopPegheads / Sunshine by Channon / Spunky Onion

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Aren’t these images darling?! Those grins! Gah, these little dudes stole my heart!

If you are a maker looking for awesome brand photos, definitely be sure to book a session with Qiana – her work is amazing, she is incredible to work with and her fun style & great attitude is infectious! Coming soon: A gallery of images from my monster mash Halloween collab shoot by Qiana, with Opposite of Far!

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April #creativedaily Instagram Photo Challenge Prompts

So, I bombed on March’s #creativedaily prompts – between a half week vacation to Savannah, hustling my booty off making Mon-stors for stockings this month & prepping for my first maker market this Saturday (THIS SATURDAY! AM I CRAZY?!) I won’t even lie – it was the furthest thing from my mind! But with the scary word of Instagram changing, I know I need to get more consistent with posting! So I’m back and ready to get cracking with April’s prompts – which lots of lovely makers from the Makers Making it Happen group on FB helped me come up with! So they are ultra unique and some are super challenging, which I think always makes Creative Daily even more fun.

If you are new to me, my blog or the photo challenge, #creativedaily is an Instagram based daily photo challenge. Each day there is a prompt, and it’s amazing to see how each maker, artist, creative and mama interprets the prompts! We all take one little word or phrase and each post is so different and unique. I love it! You can post each day, or just when you want to. It’s a great way to grow your audience, get new eyes on your feed and connect with fellow creatives!

Here is April’s prompt list. It’s sized for Insta so feel free to download and post it there to invite your friends to join in, reblog it, share it on your Facebook – wherever you want to spread the word! The more people participating, the more people seeing your feed, liking your photos & the more friends you make, yay!

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Do you plan on joining in? Comment with your Insta-handle so I can connect with you! I’m @lu_and_ed!

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March #creativedaily prompts

Man. February was an intense month for me – I think I missed the entire last half of February’s #creativedaily prompts! That didn’t slow you guys down – over 1000 images were uploaded to Instagram with the #creativedaily hashtag last month! WHOA. But hey, today, I’m moving into my new house, things are settling in my life & I’m back at it full swing, y’all! So let’s try to double those numbers this month!

My son helped me come up with more than half of the prompts for this month’s #creativedaily challenge – it looks exceptionally fun & challenging, & I’m actually really excited for this month’s prompts! I think it’s going to be a LOT of fun to see what people post, plus trying to come up with something awesome for each day!

Here’s to another month of bringing makers together through imagery & art. Cheers, and happy March friends!

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It’s sized for Instagram so feel free to download it and share there to help spread the word about the challenge – because hey, the more people involved means the more people seeing your awesome pictures, so why not?! – plus if you want you can also repost the graphic on your blog or Facebook pages, too. Wherever you wanna spread the word is cool with me, let’s just get people excited about making things, taking pictures and being creative daily!

New here? #creativedaily serves as both a creative outlet & a way for makers to network on Instagram. The dated prompts help makers & creatives come up with fresh content for their IG accounts besides the basic product pictures & mug shots, all while building a community of artists, designers and makers. It’s incredible to look through the #creativedaily feed on Instagram & see how differently we all interpret a single word!

To participate, all you have to do is a snap a picture that relates to the dated prompt, upload it to Instagram with a description & add the #creativedaily hashtag! Be sure to click the tag and check out what other maker babes and dudes are posting daily, too!

 

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February #creativedaily Prompt List

Yay! I don’t know about you, but this daily photo challenge has really helped me dust off my IG account & step up my photography game while also helping me out of the rut I’d been stuck in since my divorce. So I’m stoked to be launching another month of prompts – can you believe we had almost a thousand new photos uploaded to Instagram with the #creativedaily hashtag last month?! Whoa. That’s insane! With over 10,000 images already in the collection, it’s fast becoming a trending craft tag on Instagram! That is so cool!

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Ahem, all that wild excitement aside, I hope you guys will join me for another month of this fun photo challenge! And if you want to jump in now, here are the last three days prompts:

29: Needed This Today

30: Positive Vibes

31: Looking Up

New here? #creativedaily serves as both a creative outlet & a way for makers to network on Instagram. The dated prompts help makers & creatives come up with fresh content for their IG accounts besides the basic product pictures & mug shots, all while building a community of artists, designers and makers. It’s incredible to look through the #creativedaily feed on Instagram & see how differently we all interpret a single word!

To participate, all you have to do is a snap a picture that relates to the dated prompt, upload it to Instagram with a description & add the #creativedaily hashtag! Be sure to click the tag and check out what other maker babes and dudes are posting daily, too!

Here is the February prompt list. It’s sized for Instagram so feel free to download it and share there to help spread the word about the challenge – because hey, the more people involved means the more people seeing your awesome pictures, so why not?! – plus if you want you can also repost the graphic on your blog or Facebook pages, too. Wherever you wanna spread the word is cool with me, let’s just get people excited about making things, taking pictures and being creative daily!

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Want to help me plan for March? Leave your suggestion’s for March prompts in the comments of this post! 😀