My wonderful colleagues have given good, honest feedback about my shop photos. Honestly, I already knew they needed improvement. Try as I might I could not get the lighting, editing, color, tint, or anything other than focus right. So incredibly frustrating to have one photo turn out great and the next blue or hazy.
The advice I received was very helpful. I thought to myself, "These shop owners have experience and know what they are talking about. I'll give their advice a try." Many suggested using a more professional photo editing program. Others suggested different camera settings. The final group suggested a light box for better lighting.
I began to play with editing the photos. I watched tutorials on Youtube and fiddled around with the existing blue-gray photos I had. There was some success but I think the starting photo was too off to save. I moved on to the light box. I quickly discovered they can be quite expensive! The more inexpensive versions did not rate well so I quickly disqualified them. That lead me to wonder if I could make a light box. Searching the internet I found that I can (of course!).
I printed the instructions for the most promising light box, went to the supply store, and gathered what I needed. After a couple of hours (feeding the family inbetween) I had a homemade light box.
Of course, excitment took over. I chose one of the worst photos, a picture of a lovely boho charm bracelet (found at http://www.etsy.com/shop/frenchrobindesigns.com and http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/frenchrobindesigns), and proceeded to set up the camera stand, light box, and lamp. Unfortunately, I didn't check my camera battery life before starting. The camera was dead. Really???
After charging the battery a bit I finally took some test photos of the bracelet. Here they are for your comparison. The first is the original photo with no lightbox. The second is the light box with Lightroom editing, and the third is using the light box with Picmonkey photo editing.
Clearly I need to play with the set up more. However, the new photos are a HUGE improvement over the first one.
I'll have to keep you posted on how my photography skills improve -- hopefully!