Monday, August 4, 2014

Workshop #1 -- Show Them What You've Got!

Buffalo Etsy Team Workshop Series  #1
Show Them What You’ve Got!

Photography for the Etsy Shop Owner (and other online sellers) 

Recently the Buffalo Etsy Team held the first in a series of workshops 
for Etsy shop owners and online sellers. The focus of this workshop was product photography.

Professional Freelance photographer, Mark Busch ( ) presented a very interesting and informative workshop on how to take great photos with the equipment you have.

Mark began with a basic overview of photographic terminology and camera settings; not only for professional grade cameras, but for point and shoot cameras as well.

Next Mark explained to participants how to use inexpensive and often-on-hand items to improve their photos. PVC pipe, work lights with clamps, a cardboard box, white paper and aluminum foil were all put to use at various times.

 Mark also demonstrated how to use an inexpensive light box (found on

The workshop was a great success, as you can see from the comments of the participants:

I’m inspired to use a light tent that I've had for a while but haven’t used.  The two lights that were clamped to the sides would be very helpful to me to give my jewelry added light.

I am now using the light setting on my camera to correct for the different types of available light.  I didn't even know that my camera had that function, but now that I do, I'm using it to somewhat correct for the poor lighting and different types of light conditions in our house.  

He also explained how to create a larger version of a light tent setup that used PVC pipes and a roll of craft paper.  Using that along with the light clamps on each side of the tent and above with paper to spread out the light would be very helpful with my larger felt items that might not fit in a light tent very easily (e.g. larger handbags or the felt scarves).  

I didn't realize Amazon would be a good source to purchase a light box to take photographs.  I did and am pleased with my purchase.  

I never thought about the type of light.  I always thought it only really mattered if it was bright enough.  Now I better understand how to compensate for lighting conditions that I’m using by changing my camera settings.

Since I don’t have a good camera and I used my Iphone, I was having trouble maintaining color of my fabrics.  I learned that I could take photos outside or by the window even on a cloudy day and still get a good photo.  Just by making sure that the sun is at a good position in the sky when you are shooting, you can maintain the proper color of the fabric.  Also, a cloudy day can actually work to your advantage for maintaining colors since there is a natural filter on the sun.

I learned that using a white paper in the back of the item can reflect back light onto the back of the item being photographed.  This helps eliminate the inevitable shadow.  I’m always trying to eliminate glare and shadows on my pottery.

The workshop was held at Creative Essence ( in Clarence Center, NY.  The Buffalo Etsy Team would like to thank Michele and Tammy for being wonderful hostesses.  Stop in and say hello. It’s a wonderful place to create!                                                                              


  1. Many thanks to Mark for giving us all of those useful photography tips! I hope to try them all!

    Creative Essence was great place for the class. Thanks also to Mary for setting up the event.

  2. and thanks to Jess for posting info and photos! Nicely done!

  3. Thanks again Mary and Sara for setting up this event.

  4. Glad you posted this.. I was so upset that I had to miss this..