Manifesting Success: Taking Great Photos

One of my goals this year is to make my Etsy Shop look more professional and increase sales, starting with a product photo makeover.

I have been reading up on how to make my photos look professional (see links at bottom of post).  I love Etsy because they empower their sellers with knowledge to become successful.  Its up to the shopkeeper to implement this other words, its hard work to succeed!

But that doesn't stop me from continually trying to make Etsy's Front Page! On this day, I transformed my art studio into a photography set.  My beautiful easel  became...

a backdrop support.  Etsy prefers white uncluttered backgrounds for their products and I don't have a large white wall in my house so I had to improvise.

 I had to move all over the studio to escape the shining sunlight that I was blocking from my window-filled studio.  California has its sunny days, but good photography doesn't happen in bright light.  In order to soften the lighting, I covered all the windows with sheets and even canvases.

I chose various stages including this little table.  To make the plain white background a little more unique, I used props such as books and antique drawers to add eye-catching intrigue.

I constantly evolve the angles, positioning, and locations. Anyone involved in photography and modeling knows how many attempts it takes to get that one great shot.  For me, I am self-taught in this department, so I sometimes figure it out as I go.  This makeover took me all day!

My only training comes from working for many years in TV and Film Production in Miami, FL.  I also worked freelancing as a set designer, but that was years ago.  I have no photography training and only started taking pictures when my sons were born.  But I am eager to learn, and I love doing it!  Perhaps one day I will upgrade from my point and shoot status.  In the meantime, Photoshop and iPhoto help out tremendously!  I highly recommend investing in them to give your photos that extra edge.

And here are my New and Improved product photos!
Check out my Etsy Boutique to see more.
Let me know what you think!

This first photo was taken before I figured out the Manual Settings like Aperture and Depth of Field.  I like the warm color, but they might be a little fuzzy.

Then I corrected the settings as evident in this next picture.  What a difference!  This picture looks crisp  and the card colors look right on.  Months of taking grainy unfocused pix are finally over!  However I find them looking a little dark and cold and maybe the background tone needs to change a bit.

It is so challenging taking pictures of 2 dimensional objets d'art!  I tried to get creative with the layout, yet maintain shop consistency.

My goal is to fill my Etsy shop with 100 items because sales increase when you have a stocked store.  Therefore, I came up with various card combinations to help fill up my shop and give people different perspectives of my art.

Also, I listed most of my originals and will list more soon.  A little secret...I set my prices up high at first just in case there's that rich art collector or gallery owner that appreciates the value of great art hehe!  My goal this year  is to create more original artwork, so I want to make space by clearing out the old.  I added a bit of mystery by using interesting cropping.

Visions of Africa

Although the photos are greatly improved, there is still work to be done.  The more I learn, the more I apply...and so the Cara Mia Bella Boutique is a work in progress, an evolution of ideas and wisdom...on the path to Success!

The Makeover in Before and After Pictures

Before:  Too much saturation, color tones are incorrect, blurry, cluttered background

After:  Crisp, simple white background with props that complement the product, elegant and professional

Before:  Cluttered background, static positioning, color looks good

After:  Increase quantity and display with gift wrapping, simple background, more professional

Before:  Saturation too high, color tone too warm, cluttered background

After:  Color true to life, crisp and clean, simple background, professional looking

Manifesting Success in 2012!

What are you doing to manifest greatness?


Links for Great Photos:


+ ©2012 Carrie Martinez +

Listening to Elephants by Warpaint

My New Blog Schedule for 2012

Mondays:  Manifesting Success - business tips, networking, treasuries, inspiring people and articles
Wednesdays:  Finding Inspiration - Travel, Photography, inspirational quotes
Friday: Scenes From the Studio - the week in review, creative projects, paintings, sketchbook scenes

Manifesting Success in 2012!


Juliette Crane said…
it's so inspiring to see all of your photos! i just love the way you've set everything up!

thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog too...wishing you all of the best success for 2012!

xo, juliette
Victoria said…
Beautifuly brilliant post Carrie..super inspiring and powerful..shine on..i loved all you shared..yay..fantastic work...your photos are always magnificent..and wishing you every success and joy and many blessings in all that you do..rock on!
Hugs and sparkles
Lizzy Love said…
Your photos are looking fabulous! great work! I wish I had that problem of too much light! I am always struggling to get good lighting with my very tiny little window in my studio and the rest of my house is even more useless lol Outside in the shade is always my answer which makes photo taking nearly impossible in Canadian winters! You are very lucky!!! Best of luck with your shop for 2012!
cathouseprints said…
Fantastic post, Carrie! Thank you for sharing this. I really need to get a better grip on the photos so I greatly appreciate this. Your photos came out fabulous and really show off your beautiful work.
Carly Griffith said…
i LOVE the painting on your side bar of the native american women with the amazing!

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