In the past, I've spent a lot of time putting together a whole scene, usually on the dining table or nearby where the light is good. Of course that means set up, shooting and packing up and it becomes very tedious. Everything is stored at the other end of the house, I make a huge mess and it seems very much like hard work. The photos make it all worthwhile, but it's been two years since I set up a 'big shoot' and I needed something more immediate.
I use shots like this for promo opportunities, such as supplying for markets
applications and social media use. It looks a little messier than I would normally
like as the books all have their tags hanging from the
- that's the light cotton you see on their spines.
I've created a little scene on top of a dresser in the spare room, which has a store of jars with vintage sewing pieces in them, as well as some of my other sewing collection. I had wanted to put some form of backdrop behind it though, and browsed wallpaper samples and even a curtain. I settled on using a piece of Tilda fabric, padded and in a large frame that I've painted white. It just sits on top of the dressed, and whilst it's not always seen or even in focus, its purpose is to simply add another layer of colour and texture to the background.
The photo above gives you a sense of the scene I set up
(and I played around with lighting after this was taken,
and this will be cropped before being used).
The fabric on top of the dresser is a quilted table runner that I bought from Ici et la in Sydney quite a number of years ago.
The jar to the right holds some ric rac cards, lace and offcuts that were mainly from my nanna's old sewing boxes.
To the left you can just see a smaller jar at the front, which holds vintage french cotton spools, and the larger jar behind it holds an assortment of vintage sewing notions. Some I had, some from my nanna, and I've purchased a couple of collections online.
The back of this shot you can clearly see the white frame, as well as the fabric inside it which creates a background.
A different perspective - a book in the centre of the display being photographed, the trio of lights from my study which I moved to help with lighting today. None are directed at the scene itself to prevent shadowing, the diffused light above really helped to get rid of the shadows from the window too (which is to the far right of where this is, out of shot). The room's overhead light is also on.
When summer moves a little closer, the light coming through the window is terrific, and no artificial light will be needed for a few hours each day.
I had been using a tripod but the piece that connects the camera to the tripod is very dodgy, and I kept working it loose as I was moving the camera around too much. I gave up and went back to holding the camera.
I had dug out a lot of books which are normally just packed up between markets, so I took advantage of them being out and took a few other promo shots. This stamp is what I put on my products, and I took a few photos with my business card too in the same set up.