Thrifty Buys: Part II Use Your Dollar Finds to Make Your Photographs POP!

For me, photographing what I’ve made is just as fun as making it. I’ve always love product photography and continue to grow my passion for it with my own stuff. One of my favorite things to do is to look through the catalogs of my favorite store and marvel at how they create a scene. Often times those ‘scenes’ make you want that piece of clothing or home decoration more than if it had simply sat on a shelf in a stark environment.

Don’t get me wrong, I love that clean white look for many types of product photography, I even implemented it for this post, but a strong sense of time and place can give your product more oomff and helps potential buyers imagine what it might look like in their own spaces.

I was fortunate that I had my mother’s beautiful and bizarre collection room to photograph much of my stuff when I was living at home. She had shelves of test tubes filled with flowers, baskets with rocks, sun dials, globes, and the husks of insects. It gave my pictures a feeling of already being at home, of already belonging.  Now that I no longer live at home I have the need to cultivate my own Workshop of Wonders. This is where my love of thrifty buying helps tremendously.

When photographing food items that I’ve made I find that it helps to have a visually pleasing dish in which to display said delicacy. It gets expensive if you seek out brand new stuff all the time so I turn to the second hand stores and for a buck can get the cutest little dishes. They have such versatile uses that even having as small a collection as I do there is many ways I can extend the POP! of my dishware.

Nothing like a cute little teacup in the background, just slightly out of focus, to make you feel like you’re at home ready to curl up with you newest treat. Photographing your piece in settings that are juxtaposed to its natural location can really draw a viewer in as well. I did a whole series of photographs when I turned teacups into planters where I had them outside in nature instead of on a shelf somewhere.

Here are my most recent Thrifty Buys:

Below are some examples of what I mean by “setting a scene” with objects and location:

Even the littlest thing can help add volumes to your images. They create a real sense of time and place and help draw your viewer into the image. Now when you go shopping for neat treasures to decorate your home you can be visually scoping out a purchase that will not only look great on a shelf or with hot coco in it, but that could be added to your photography as a means to add life and depth to your imagery. Happy Thrifting!

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