Christmas in October Photo Shoot
Behind the scenes of the Dinosaurs Doing Stuff Christmas photo shoot
This week my friend Jinny from Jinny Ngui Designs set up her Christmas tree and we had a Christmas photo shoot for our new products and our collaboration 'Time for Tea-Rex'. After years of having no lifestyle photos it is so lovely to see my products in a real setting. It was a little weird to set up a Christmas tree in October, but it gave us some time to take some photos, edit them and add them to our websites before the rush of "real" Christmas kicks in.
We had Jinny's Dog, Ham, helping with a bit of modelling and cuddles! He will do just about anything for a treat and we couldn't resist getting a few shots of him in a paper hat.
To capture our photos we used a Cannon 60D camera, Tycka tripod, Amazon basics tripod and continuous studio lights (with an Orla Kiely shopping bag hanging from it so the tripod wouldn't tip over - very professional!), shutter cable release (I would recommend getting a cordless one) and tripod phone holder.
I prefer to use a DSLR camera for my product photos, but phones are so good now you can get amazing results using them too. I have a remote shutter release for the camera so I can step back take photos without the risk of bumping the camera or casting a shadow over the shoot. You can get cordless shutter releases too, which is high up on my list of things to buy.
The lights take up a bit of space (as you can see we had to put one on the sofa), but they mean we can shoot on any day, no matter how dull or bright it is outside. They also help to even out and diffuse the light so you don't have harsh shadows, which is particularly good when using white backgrounds.
There are actually 2 tripods in the left photo. The tall one is a Tycka tripod with extension arm which is perfect for taking overhead photos and flat lays. The small tripod that is sitting in its legs is an Amazon basics tripod with a phone attachment and was used to take a time-lapse videos through the day.
Once I have taken all the photos, I edit them in Adobe Photoshop. Generally I just crop and adjust the colour of the photos to make sure it is a true to life as possible. I don't usually need to do a lot of editing. I spend time making sure the lighting is as good as I can get it which really saves me so much time in editing.
Buying all this equipment can seem very daunting, but over the years I have found that the money I have spent on equipment has saved me so much time in the long run, and as they say, time is money. I used to have to time photo shoots on days where the weather was just right, not too bright and not too dark, then wait for clouds to pass. But as my business has grown, and now I have a toddler, I just don't have that luxury.
Do you take your own photos? What tips and tricks do you have?
Photos & words: Charlotte Najdecki
Behinds the scenes photos: Jinny Ngui