Photography Phrustrations

wildflower wedding invitation

Our Christmas wish list had only one thing on it–a new digital camera.  We did a ton of research and decided on the Pentax.  It came super fast from B & H and we’ve had it just under a week now.  We purchased a book with some helpful tips on general photography and I’m still waiting for one specifically on product photography to arrive from Barnes and Noble online.teacup invitation

It’s important to note that I have the patience level of a flea.  So the fact that I’m not instantly picking up the knack of digital photography is frustrating me beyond my level of tolerance.  I think I might have been expecting to pick up the camera and not only be a talented photographer with years of experience and high-level training, but also a savvy photo-stylist with a keen eye for detail and a garage full of props for use at my disposal.  Truth is, I’m at pre-beginner level and there is just so much to learn and master.

For example, it took me a half hour just to get the room set up for a makeshift photo-shoot–first I had to clear the kitchen island of 37 mismatched teacups, salt and pepper shakers, clean dishes that weren’t put away and mail from three days ago.  Then get the lights and a stand for the lights.  Then get the products and some interesting props to shoot the products against.  Oh the camera, I need the camera.  Sh*t, no batteries.  By now, the light is completely changed and the scene I just set needs realigning for optimal lighting conditions.  Grrrrrrr.  And after all that, I’m not even convinced that there’s enough of an improvement on the photos, $900 later.

For all you people out there who love photography and are so talented, what’s your secret?!  Ha–fat chance you’re giving that up, right?  Lucky me, my great friend Deb has been giving me some useful tips.  And I know that the only way I’ll get better is time spent.  I just feel so frustrated with the learning curve.  It doesn’t help that we’ve been seeing temps in the teens here in CT the past week or so, which limits my opportunities to get outdoors and shoot some interesting subject matter.

Perhaps taking up hobby-level photography will be an exercise in patience for me.  I like to imagine the day that I start looking to my camera as an outlet for relaxation!  At the moment, it seems impossible, but I’m going to keep at it.

7 Responses

  1. There is definitely a bit of patience at first with getting acquainted with your camera and then editing the photos. It took me forever, but now I have a system down. 1-2-3, DONE! I also needed a better camera and my mom got me the Canon Rebel Xti as a gift. The best damn gift a girl could ask for. Best of luck! -xx

  2. daisy janie says:

    UGH!!! I can relate 1000 billion percent! I want it to just happen, and I end up taking 200 pics at a time about 5 times a day when I have new fabrics. They still are only satisfactory. I have cried, bitten my hand, screamed, yelled obscenities, kicked things…..oh, it’s bad. If I could take back those wasted hours and re-invest them in learning about my camera, I would do it. No indoor shooting tips except for natural lighting – find the best spots in your house and keep your props nearby so you can always grab a shot when the sun is hitting it right. I changed my ISO to 1600, and that worked a few times…not always. I just set-up a mini lightbox with a plastic bin, posterboard and trumpet lights from Home Depot…haven’t tried it yet tho! Hopefully your book will help! Was just checking them out at B&N on New Year’s Day (for Nikon D40). Good luck!

  3. Hey lady,

    Still waiting for our date. ;) I’m by no means an expert but I read a lot and it’s helped with figuring out settings, etc. But playing around and seeing what works best is a good route to start. You’ll have it down in no time!

    xo – B

  4. Don says:

    I find iphoto to be a great help in getting the pics to look better and to reduce them to email size.

  5. Well, I’m no expert, but since I also take a lot of pictures of invitations, I thought I’d share what works for me. I use a windowsill or a table set up in front of a window that is getting some nice, indirect natural light and I turn off all the lights in the room and don’t use a flash. I get the best results that way. I had my husband build me a lightbox and I only used it once, I just didn’t like the results. Paper products are really hard to photograph, in my opinion, because they’re flat.

    Good luck! Your shop is lovely, and so is your new(ish) website!

  6. pam says:

    alissa i’m in the market for an slr. either canon or nikon. photographing my stationery is my least favorite thing to do. takes so much time to get just one great shot. hopefully the new camera will help. but 2 things i’ve found that help… no flash and i prop my work so it’s vertical not horizontal.

    • mewpaperarts says:

      Hi Pam: You should consider the Pentax. It’s a great, reputable brand and later, when you’re ready to upgrade lenses, every Pentax lens ever made will fit. It’s a fair amount less than the Canon Rebel and it even has a video feature. We did plenty of research to come to this decision and I’m happy with the camera itself.

      Also, I just got a new book in the mail today called “Ebay photos that sell” which has some really great tips on DIY home-studio photography. Check it out!

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