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Did you always wish you could create your own mock ups?

Have you ever thought that it would be nice to have some photos specifically suited for your brand? But you can't quite afford a professional product shoot yet?

Of course, there is always the DIY possibility. But what does it really take to create your own photos? Here are the main elements you need to master:

    1. The equipment
      When I started in 2014 in photography, I had zero knowledge and zero camera. I started looking online a little but seriously, all that technical jargon was just not for me. Luckily back then, my flatmate was into photography and he was selling his Canon 400D. It was already quite an old model then as a year later, photographic shops would not even take it in! Anyway, it was a good opportunity for me and I bought it. Then I just went outside and I practiced, practiced, practiced. You better know it in advance: the first shots will look just awful, and it is totally normal!What you need to know: a second hand camera is what you need. Nothing fancy, but a DSLR is what you need. Avoid the automatic mode and shoot manual as soon as you can. When you'll see bright white and very dark images, you will learn faster what needs adjusting than spending hours on Youtube watching tutorials!

      In regards to lenses, wide angle are best if you need to have a few elements in your shots. Around the 28mm is good.

    2. The props
      This is the most exciting part of it all. First things first, use what you have at home. If you surround yourself with too many props, you will get confused and will not know what to use anymore. It's likely that what you have in your home fits your personal taste and so the one for your brand too.

      Pay attention to colours and textures. Props are here to remind your customer about your image and message, but they should never ever distract. Only pick a stronger colour if it is already in your design, and only use it in a very light touch. Always prefer nudes, neutrals and softer colours to make your design look professional.

    3. Play around with the same props.
      Sometimes, it's about the angles, or the position of your prop next to the main subject. A prop might look great next to a smaller prop but not so nice on its own, etc. Don't be scared to shoot, look on the screen, see what works and what does not, and try again. That's why digital cameras are great!

    4. The message
      This is very important. Make sure that the composition of your photo gives a feeling that goes with your brand. Ask yourself: what do I want to convey through this photo? What is my collection or design about? How do I want to make the customer feel? 

      If you don't have the answer to these questions first, your photos may not have the vibe that makes the difference, so do spend time thinking about this.

    5. Retouching
      Ah this part is not an easy one. It is important to get on Photoshop and learn its tricks. If you're already a designer, chances are that you master the basics and will know your way around. If you don't, it's worth the investment if you plan on taking your business to the next level. You can use Lightroom too, depending on which software you feel the most comfortable with.

      I am not planning on teaching you today how to use Photoshop as this would take quite a bit of time, but if you want to be able to shoot your own images, then start learning how it works now. Definitely worth the time investment in the long term.

Focus, hard work and mindset are essential here if you want to make your own photos. But the great thing with photography is that you can assess your own progress really fast. You can see the difference in barely a few weeks and if you keep at it, you'll make great images in no time!

My online course, Pretty Handmade, starts on the 20th August 2018: How to style and shoot your own product photos at home in 4 weeks. Interested? Check it here.


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