Friday, October 23, 2009

Get Featured Hint, Hint

Etsy says jump, you say how high? I mean this in a positive way. Etsy tells us what they want to feature and how they want to do it. We just need to stay plugged-in to the Storque, read and respond. Here is your next high priority assignment straight from the horses mouth (or maybe it's more of a squirrels mouth.) 2 words: Self Portrait. Now here are some tools you can use to accomplish this effectively - in a way Etsy can use. Read the original article in the Storque. I read it as a cry for help from Vanessa for more people to put themselves in the picture. Look at the archive of featured sellers, and take note of the self portraits you like the most. Join the EtsyOpenStudios Flickr group, and add your portrait (in your work space) there. Now you know Etsy Admin will see it because they approve every photo that gets posted there.

Some notes on my photo in case you need more tips. What did not work:

1. I tried taking it myself with the timer on my camera, but I could tell from my expression that nobody was there. Maybe that makes me a bad actress. (No maybe. I am a bad actress. I learned that at the U of W School of Drama. I also learned that some people happen to like bad acting. That is another story.)

2. I tried it without makeup and wearing my reading glasses - like I really am, everyday. I felt that in those photos, the glasses were a barrier between myself and the viewer. I did not like that feeling.

3. I tried photographing myself actually working, but those didn't really seem to tell the story.

What did work for me:

1. A person behind the camera. In this case it was Rory, and he knows how to get a genuine expression out of me.

2. Styling the shot. Moving stuff in the background a little so there were no purple scissors sticking out of my head. (I guess we are okay with the white ones and the orange.) Styling the foreground to make it interesting and not distracting. Turning the sewing machine at an angle that I would not actually use, but puts it more in the photo.

I think the first impression of the portrait is that I am there working, but if you examine it closely, you will see that the angles are staged.

3. Make up and hair, like I want to make a good first impression with someone who really matters to me.

I know it can be a daunting process and time consuming, but doesn't your business deserve it? I look at the hundreds of photos in the OpenStudios group and think of how many of those would be absolutely captivating, if only the person were in them. Show yourself to me. I will be watching the Flickr group too. I can't wait to see you in your studio!


Kimberly said...

i think it turned out great - thanks for the tips - and the recommendation for the flickr group!

Jane Carlstrom said...

Ah Cherie, can see you are leading me into another adventure. Love you more all the time! Had a first photo session using a live model yesterday, due much to your encouragement and supportive words. Now you have me considering putting makeup on the wrinkled face and posing in the studio, what a neat friend you are. Thanks and many hugs, Jane

StudioCherie said...

Jane, I really appreciate you too, and I can hardly wait to se the results of your photographic adventures!

Tracy Yarkoni said...

great article! thanks for sharing... I'd never heard of Etsy Open Studios, I've already joined the flickr group & now I just need to get some photos done!


Valerie Boersma said...

Love the picture of you! I will have my hubby take one of me (as soon as I find my make up, color my hair, put on a nice shirt, clean the studio...)
Seriously, I am going to do a picture too. What I worry about most is the ugly wallpaper in the room. Better add painting to my list!

ocasiocasa said...

Cherie, you are so inspiring! Thank you, so much, for posting such pertinent, useful and creative ideas.

Jillian Frances said...

This was a really helpful and informative post. Thanks for the great advice.

StudioCherie said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. Valerie, actually yours is one of the studios I was thinking of when I said those shots would be captivating if... I pictured you at your machine with your back to the camera, then turning around to see who was there.