Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Updates and Product Photo Help

Hello everyone!

Boy does time fly. I have been so busy re-doing my shop and creating products that I tend to forget to write in here. For a while now, I have been trying to take better product photos and it has been harder than I imagined. What I really wanted was to have nice, crisp photos with an all white background - but no matter what I tried all I could get was gray or yellowish (yuck). After searching around and reading lots & lots of tips (and I mean lots!), I finally found something that seems to work for me for now.

How I got this:

To look like this:

Lip Balm, Headphones, Flashdrive Holder by hollyhockdesign

I know it looks like it would be a simple fix, but if you just lighten the picture you still get these annoying gray corners or uneven light spots. =(

Here's what you'll need:

1. A camera - an iPhone would probably work, but I use a simple point & shoot Nikon CoolPix
2. A home-made light box - tutorial here
3. A decent photo editing software (not iPhoto) - Adobe offers 30-day free trails for Photoshop - try it!

What you need to do:

1. Take your photos in the lightbox with normal camera settings & NO FLASH. Disabling the flash is important because the flash will inaccurately display the color of your products and add ugly light spots (usually in the center) of your close-up photos.

2. Upload your photos to your computer and open them in Adobe Photoshop or other decent photo editing software.

3. Follow steps below:

Click on the "Curves" button in the Adjustments tab.

Drag the white line to just before the gray area. 
This will evenly lighten your photo.

Click on the button in the Adjustments tab to create a "Threshold" layer. 
This will display all shading throughout your photo.

Drag the little white triangle all the way to the right end. You should notice some black stuff in the corners of your photo now (especially if your photo skills are as bad as mine!) This black stuff is what would show up a funky, unappealing gray if you stopped after lightening your photo.

To remove it:
1. Select your Background layer
2. Select the paintbrush tool
3. Paint white over the black areas

Delete the "Threshold" layer. Save your photo as a .jpg and its ready to upload to your site.
Now you have a nice crisp photo that is sure to get your customers attention!

There still is time to get your pictures looking where you want them for the Holiday Season. Best of luck to all you sellers out there!



Thursday, June 28, 2012


Welcome to the blog of hollyhock design, managed by Holly Hock. Here I will post insight to new products, whats going on with my business / life, things that I find interesting, etc. Hope you enjoy reading!

For those of you who have stumbled upon this page, hollyhock design is a one-woman run business that specializes in handmade bags & wristlets. Check out the GALLERY tab to view some of my work or click the SHOP tab to go directly to my Etsy site!


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Have a great day!