Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Taking a Great Photo: Lighting & Background

To take fabulous pictures that make your product stand out and appeal to your potential customers, keep two things in mind: Simplicity and Natural Lighting. Below are a few examples of common mistakes made when beginning the journey towards the perfect photograph. In my search for the ability to take a great photo of my product I've made many mistakes, each of them bringing with it a new lesson to be learned. There is joy in the journey! Below are a couple of my early photographs that I learned from later.

I figured if it is hanging on a velvet display in black I was safe.
The background is very simple…elegant even? I was wrong.

Here is what I came up with after getting some 
great advice from a few people more experienced
than me. This was the day I fell in love with a
simple white background and natural lighting!

This picture was taken with my Galaxy Sii phone camera. It has an 8MP sensor with single LED flash and a multitude of shooting options. I taped white paper to the inside of a box and snapped the picture outside in the natural light, but not in direct sunlight. I was amazed at what was able to be done with simple items I already had!

I hope you find this helpful and encouraging. We don’t have to be professional photographers to take wonderful pictures of our products. Armed with this knowledge let us go forth and explore all the ways we can have fun learning and growing together in the ever expanding world of internet marketing.

What are your affordable and simple, tried and true tricks to get the most out of your photos?
Please share a few of them in the comments below!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Happy Saturday- How to take good photographs

Good photos are a must for the success of any e-commerce site. In real life, a buyer uses many senses to  decide whether to buy an item. They can see, touch, feel, and maybe even smell the item before they buy it. However on the internet the only sense used is the sense of sight. So as a seller we have to make up for the lack of the ability to touch and feel by providing beautiful visual photographs of the item. 

Today will be the first of a series of articles about how we can do this. These articles are written by Nadine, my co-contributor in this series. I hope you will take the time to comment and give us feedback, we would love to hear from you!

Taking a Great Photo: Equipment

You have decided to sell your fabulous items on the Internet! This new and exciting venue is fast becoming a national pastime with new “Marketplaces” and “Stores” opening every minute. So how  do you make sure your inventory is presented in an appealing, informative and eye-catching way? Can you do this in a cost-effective manner or do you have to invest loads of money into top of the line cameras, studios, editing software and expensive
props?   So many questions!  I’m happy to tell you that you can easily take clear and beautiful pictures of your valuable items without taking out a second mortgage on your home. What a relief!
First, lets tackle the most important item in taking a picture, the camera. What to look for? What is important? How much is it going to cost? For a “Marketplace” camera you will want to look for the following:

-          Great Macro/Close-up setting: Your camera needs to be able to focus within 4” or less to get the kind of shots that show the detail needed. This is especially important for jewelry.
-          White-balance control: White-balance controls the accuracy of colors in a photo by anticipating color temperature. You will want to be able to override full auto-exposure to achieve great shots with great color.
-          Easy to use: Does the camera completely baffle you and are the controls difficult to understand? Pick something you know you will grow comfortable with in a reasonable amount of time.
-          Feels good: You and your camera need to feel good together. Is it too heavy? Too clunky? Difficult to maneuver? You both are going to be spending a lot of time together, make sure you work well with each other.   
-          Cost: is it cost-effective? Can you find it cheaper if you look around a bit online and elsewhere?  A great example is here
A good camera and under $65 if you buy it used on Amazon!  This is just one example so have fun and find your perfect camera.

Next we will tackle some of the simple adjustments you can make while taking a picture like white-balance, flash and exposure settings to give your pictures that polished, professional look. May you discover the artist within!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy Wednesday!

Ok, todays topic is about seeing how many people viewed your listing. I know many e-commerce sites show how many people viewed each of your listings. Is that helpful information to you? Would you like such info on the listing page where it can be viewed by all? Or would you prefer it in your store account, where you can privately see how many people viewed your listing? What does seeing it on someone else's listing tell you? Please give me your opinions on this subject

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Happy Tuesday!

I hope you are all getting some work done this week, whether it be at a work-office or a home-office. I would love to know how many of you (lucky ones) actually get to work from home. Tell us all about your work-from-home experience, is it what you expected in terms of work hours and how do you manage not to be on (eternal) break all the time? 

Give us the scoop here after admiring all these awesome and diverse items from Zahoomi! 

Beautiful flipflop earrings PDF  ZaneyMay

Fish bones soap Small things for sale
Love is in the air Little green guy
I mean seriously which dog can resist 
these cheese dog pretzels?
 Buckaroo bones wholesale

Monday, June 4, 2012

Happy Monday!

(Or is it) if you are starting a work week? I have added another page to this blog, where I hope to answer some commonly asked questions about Zahoomi. I hope that this will help you when you set up your shop and simplify things. As always you can always email me with any questions at contact@zahoomi.com.

We will be coming out with our first discussion session on the blog. This will be about the importance of good photos for your products. There will be a series of articles and I am hoping lots of you will comment and tell us your take on this subject! If there is any particular topic you would like discussed here please let me know and I will add it to my list.

I'm going to leave you with some nice red earrings to check out!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Happy Saturday!

Every Saturday we will be interviewing one seller from Zahoomi and having a giveaway of one of their products. Today is our very first SS&G and I am so excited! Our spotlight today is on Samantha owner of Midnite Hollow a store that specializes in one-of-a-kind bags and purses. You can read more about her and the giveaway here and enter to win one of her beautiful multi-colored flower motif purse.

We live close enough to an old bridge that is way past its life span (doesn't that inspire confidence when you drive over it with your kids) The good news is they have finally decided to replace the bridge. The bad news is that where before we only got bridge traffic noise, now we have traffic + construction noise (yay). This weekend, the bridge is closed for traffic and it is eerily quiet.

So our question today is (totally craft unrelated) do you actually like living with a bit of noise all the time or do you prefer it to be quiet and silent? Tell us your thoughts and oh yeah please tell your friends about our giveaway.

Friday, June 1, 2012

(Late) Happy Friday!

A bit late but nevertheless its still Friday here! Any good plans for the weekend? Mine mostly centers around being a chauffeur and a chef!

When you get a moment, do check out our brand new tutorial page. Currently I have uploaded one video tutorial, but plan on adding more, both video and regular. If you have any tutorials that you would like to share please email me at contact@zahoomi.com.

Also getting ready for our first ever seller spotlight + giveaway starting tomorrow. Every Saturday I will feature one seller and have a giveaway of their products. I am hoping to get to know each and everyone of our sellers on Zahoomi this way! Please also share the information about the giveaway with your friends.

Besides the giveaways, we will also be starting a series of informative discussions here. Do chime in and give your opinions, we would love to hear everybody's views and takes.

Until tomorrow, I'll leave you with these pretty earrings.