Showcasing Your Creations: Photos

August 25, 2008

One of the questions I receive quite a bit is:

“What can I being doing while I wait for LolliShops to open?”

There are a lot of answers to this:
Join the Forums
Enjoy the swimming at the Flickr Pool
Keep stocking up your inventory so that you can open with a full & exciting shop!

But I think the most important and helpful answer for your business’s growth and success is:

Work on those photos!

I can say, without a doubt in my mind, that the photos are the biggest help or hindrance to your shop. It took me a long time to learn this and I didn’t even think of this on my own!
A sweet person sent me a private message on Flickr one day and basically told me that my Betsy Ornaments are so cute and gorgeous but my photos are awful! After looking at them today, I can’t believe anyone bought them from me! Here’s a sample:

I was seriously photographing them in my bathroom! Look at how yellow and dark it is! I remember thinking it gave it some antique charm but my goodness… it was just awful.
The sweet person that was honest with me also gave me some tips–like photographing the Betsy Girls in natural lighting. So I have been ever since:

Well, photographing outside is all well and good for the summertime, but what about when it’s grey and cloudy?
The Homemade Light Box is the answer!
Here is the link for a great tutorial I found:
Light Box Tutorial

I admit, I haven’t made one of these yet but I’m going to. I encourage all of us to get moving on this and get it done before Fall & Winter creep up on us.
By the way, you don’t have to stick with the all white background. I find that Cottage Style, Whimsical, Romantic items look better and sell more when the items are set into a Theme. You can still do this with the light box. You can make a little “set” inside the box with a cute, patterned backdrop, some throw pillows, bits of lace or pearls…
You’re not locked into the “white out”.
If anyone gets going on their light box right away, take some photos of it and email them to me and we’ll all learn from your experience!
I hope this motivated everyone, I know it was inspiring for me!
~Sadie Lou


29 Responses to “Showcasing Your Creations: Photos”

  1. Ambrea Says:

    Hi Sadie- Do you like to be called Sadie or Sadie Lou? Anyway, I am so grateful you posted these awesome tips! My glass is obviously reflective, so it’s tricky, but I’ll try anything once and It certainly can’t hurt.

    A picture is worth a thousand words

    ~Ambrea, Glister Glass

  2. Danielle Says:

    Thanks Sadie! I just got off the phone with my mom & we were talking about building a light box!! This is on my September to-do list. Thanks!


  3. lollishopsblog Says:

    I liked to be called “Sadie Lou”.
    Remember, if you build a light box…let me know–I’d love to hear how it went!
    ~Sadie Lou

  4. Laurie Says:

    Thanks for this great tip! I am deteremined to get one made! 🙂

  5. naomi Says:

    Thanks Sadie! This info is so important.

  6. deborah Says:

    Ha, everyone i talk to about you, my family and friends, all know you as Sadie lou. and i was wondering the other day if you like to be called Sadie or Sadie lou, so now I know! By the way, I think my family and friends think to themselves” who in the heck is Sadie lou!!!” lol
    but you seem like a long time friend to me!!!

  7. katie Says:

    Thanks!! I am still working on my photos, but feel they are getting better! I am going to see how hard it is to build that light box!!

  8. lollishopsblog Says:

    Deborah–you are such a doll! I love you to pieces and I heard your baby shower was a huge success and everything was really, really pretty as far as decorations go!

  9. Sadie Lou, great post! I so desperately need to get going on a light box for this winter’s dreary Northern California mountain daylight. Thanks for the tip/suggestion about theme sets for our “frou frou.” Kathy

  10. Beth Leintz Says:

    When I started selling a lot on Ebay, I bought a “Photo Studio in a Box” for $70. It was worth every penny, and folds up to smaller than a briefcase. Here’s a link to where you can buy them on Amazon:

    I don’t have any connection to the company or Amazon, but I’ve really gotten a lot of use out of this product.

  11. sound advice….
    My photos def have a lot to be desired!
    I am forever working on my photog skills…

  12. Julie Says:

    Sometimes I brave the winter chill and grab an outside photo..but I have been pondering a light box. Anything to help make a beeeeautiful picture!
    Thanks so much Sadie Lou! I should get my hubby right on that project..haha! Right;)

  13. A picture really is worth 1,000 words…a light box is a great idea. I have read this tip before, now…any tips on finding the time to make one? (ha :)). Because I do not have a light box (yet:)), I have found the most success in taking picture in natural daylight…early evening time works best (sun has set enough not to cause a lot of shadows). I always take my pictures by an open window using the “macro” settings on my digital camera for crisp, clear pics. I still am experiementing with props/ paper for the “background”…and I would not call my pictures “perfect” but maybe some of you will find these tips helpful? If anyone else has any other tips to share let me know:)!

    Yeah for “frou-frou” 🙂

  14. Amanda Says:

    I’ve always wanted to build a nice light box! Right now I just use natural lighting at my work counter. And I love using neat papers and such for backgrounds! I was just looking at some of my old pictures, too… It’s a wonder anyone was even interested in my things! lol

  15. Lori Says:

    great tips for pics Sadie Lou, i showed DH the light box tutorial and he said he will make me one 🙂 yay

  16. xueoriginals Says:

    Greetings from Tokyo! I just want to say that I do like the name “Lollishops”. I’m also a SAHM but with 2 kids & a computer-savy husband (thank goodness!). I’m so impressed that you can find time for “Lollishops” with 3 kids!

  17. What a great tip Sadie Lou! Just in time for Fall gloomy days. I am one of those people that will take 100 pictures of one item before I think I get it right. This will be a huge help for winter I think.
    Thank you!

  18. Sandra Lujan Says:

    Hi Sadie Lou,
    I always appreciate constructive criticsmn and welcome the oppurtunity to grow.
    Its good that you were open to her suggestions and not offended you were a smart cookie!

  19. Lisa Says:

    Sadie Lou – this is a great idea. I was talking with my friend trying to figure out how to build something like this and here it is! I love it! I’m going to try to do it this weekend. I’ll put that on my Honey Do list!
    Thank you!

  20. Kristen Says:

    Wow, what a difference in your pictures! I plan on working on my pictures I’m bookmarking the light box tutorial~ Thanks!

  21. Kathy Says:

    Hi all~
    I must admit…I love it when you call us your “sweets” Sadie Lou! Too cute.
    I have no light box, I am sure I could benefit from one. But I do have to share something with you all that I knew nothing about, Picasa2. A friend on Etsy told me about this photo editing program, and I went thru my shop and re-did all of my photos. Amazing!!!
    Try it….

  22. Kim Says:

    Great tips, Sadie Lou! Photography can be such a challenge but is so important!

  23. hi everyone,
    i have also been enjoying being able to use natural light for my photos this spring and summer, and forgot that this soon will change with the coming of fall.
    i don’t have any chance of ever building a lightbox(i am single and decidedly UN-handy), but i found a tip that works pretty well to accomplish the same purpose: put two lamps at photo-level just outside of/ and in front of your frame. it lights it with out being too harsh, and if you get shadows, the lamps can be moved to eliminate them. and never, ever use flash!
    my bro-in-law is a photographer and gave me this tip. it works!

  24. LuAnn Says:

    I couldn’t agree more Sadie. Pictures are everything… I’ve recently starting using picnik to edit my photos and I really like it. Like you, when I look back on how bad my pictures were in the beginning… well, what can I say? Take a look at my flickr to see my new photos. I’d love your feedback.

    I don’t have a light box per say but I do have lights attached to the top of my Hoosier cabinet where I take my photos. I’ll try to take a pic of it this week and add it to the pool…


  25. I looove your new photo sadielou!

    I have a tutorial on my blog for building a lightbox set up.

    I admit, I didn’t actually build my own, but I do use lamps and I got those 8×10 acrylic display stands, and put a sheet of white tissue paper in the stand that I put in front of the light to buffer it and the shadows a little. Not the greatest, but it does help some!

    Anyways, here the link to the post on my blog for some excellent photo set up tutorials:

  26. Karin Says:

    thanks so much for posting this, I have been struggling with photographing my jewelry.
    This certainly helps!

  27. Sílvia Says:

    This is great advice, Sadie. I built a lightbox for me too, although in summertime, here in Portugal, I really don’t need it… my kitchen table, by the window, gets so much light that what I do is to close my off-white roman shades, and the whole kitchen looks like a giant lightbox!

    But another good trick that works great for me is to use a piece of bristol board for the background. It should be as wide as the box, but much longer than the box’s height. Place it inside the box, covering the back and the botton, and hidding the crease between the panels. I have bristol board in many colors, works great.

  28. gail bartlett Says:

    Thanks for your info on the light box. I did have a questions regarding different colored backgrounds and placing my items in a theme. I think I will give this a try. I have so many trees in my yard I am constantly chasing the sun. Here one minute and a foot over there the next. Constantly moving all my gear.

  29. ZAJA Natural Says:

    Yep, natural lighting is an online seller’s best friend!

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