I've had some really nice comments lately on Sewing Pattern Review regarding the pix I take of myself in the mirror. Today Lucy In Virginia asked a series of questions and I thought there may be others interested in the answers. So here I'm making Lucy's private message very public:
I have been admiring the pictures attached to your reviews for a very long time, as they are some of the best I've seen. There's never a mirror flash, red-eye, or shiny spot on the clothes you're showing off.
What is your secret? Is it the camera (what type do you use)? Is it your method or lighting? Or are you just a whiz at photography!?!
Thanks, Lucy! The camera I've used for all shots since mid-August 2009 is a ruby red Sony CyberShot DSC-W230. It was $200 at Target then but I saw it again in Target this past weekend for $170-ish. My prior camera was also a CyberShot that I inadvertently destroyed in August when I cracked the digital screen with my car door. I used it for all prior Sewing Pattern Review pix. (Previous cameras were CyberShots as well).
My new camera!
My current CyberShot has all sorts of photography modes. I just set it on "Easy" mode with the flash off, and take the pix.
I take pix in my bathroom because the mirror is huge and the lighting is the best. I use the shower curtain as a backdrop because I like uncluttered backgrounds. I've been thinking about buying a new shower curtain, maybe one in a solid color like blue. Like for school pix, ha ha.
The fixture in the bathroom takes regular bulbs. I changed the light bulbs recently from regular ones to GE Reveal bulbs which are more "white light" and less yellow. This post shows the before and after pix and what a difference the Reveal bulbs make.
I make sure to hold the camera in a place that doesn't obstruct the view of the garment or my face. Lately I've been doing the "lean against the wall" pose (aka my "Batman" pose) and like that pose a lot. Also, standing at an angle generally makes clothes look more flattering, as opposed to a "straight on" shot, with the hips parallel to the mirror.
After I take the pix I upload them to my Flickr sewing album. Lately I've been cropping the pix using Picnic which automatically launches when I press the "Edit photo" button in Flickr. Once in Picnic, I use the crop feature, adjust the box as necessary, and replace the original photo. When I need to upload a photo to SPR, I download my favorite flicker photo that's been edited in Picnic, and then upload it to SPR.
The mirror has to be clean; when it's not the clothes can look splotchy. There is a paint splotch on the mirror that occasionally crops up in my hair in my "Batman" style shots, which I really need to scrape off the mirror.
I never play around with any kind of "photoshop" style tools.
Unlike many of my fellow sewists who are photography buffs too, I'm not really into photography. I don't think my camera is fancy. I take pix to display my work and capture memories. My creative outlet is sewing and crafting.