A couple of weeks ago I took a half day photography course taught by Vicki Knight in Surrey. Along with me there were several other small business owners who were all looking to improve on, or start, taking their own product shots. When I started my business I bought a DSLR and after having a good old play with it I settled into using the same few settings and didn't really explore how it works properly. So the course was a total revelation in many ways as I discovered what some buttons I'd never pressed are for! Now I have a much better understanding of what F-stops are, why you need to pay attention to the ISO setting and exposure compensation got me more excited than anything else!
I have always used the 18-55mm lens that came with my Nikon D3000 but following the course I ordered a 50mm lens as I learned it would give me much greater depth of field and help me get a better lovely blurry background effect. I've only had the lens a few days and haven't had much time to play with it but I thought I'd show you a few of the snaps I've taken (they are exactly as they were taken, I have edited or adjusted them). I've become reliant on autofocus so having to focus this lens myself has proven quite tricky and I have decidedly wobbly hands! For each of these pics there are tons more out of focus photos that I deleted. *(As you'll see from the course teacher's comment below, I bought the wrong lens! I am now changing the manual focus lens I bought for one with autofocus built in. No wonder I found it so hard!)*
As well as getting better with using my camera settings and the new lens I'm also going to work on styling photos so that I can take more creative shots of my products. I may even have to buy some nice props to help me with this, fun! All in the name of work, of course.
If you're anywhere near Surrey and thinking of getting some photography help I really recommend Vicki. She packed loads into the half day, she's super enthusiastic and doesn't dazzle you with jargon. Plus she sent us away with lots of information so that we can check back on what we learnt. There's a post about the course on her blog if you want to take a look, just ignore the strange faces I'm pulling in the photos, I don't know what that's all about at all!
If you have any tips or ideas to help me get to grips with my 50mm lens, or with styling photos, do let me know!