When you're starting out, you're everything for your business. From accountant, to finance, to legal to marketing it's a lot. Here at Gift Her Gin, one of the things that we really struggled with was photography.
We are no means experts still, in fact we're still classed at beginners. But, we want to share our best 4 tips that have helped even us, in the hope we can help other start ups that have done so much to get their products ready to go live.
Okay let us take you back to our first ever photo so we can cringe...
Week 1 of Gift Her Gin...
Oh-em-geee... we tried. We went & got black card from Hobby Craft, all the lights and lamps in the house, a cute tray and off we shot. NO idea about anything and it really showed.
So, we admitted defeat and hired a very lovely freelancer from upwork to do our first round of photos.
The problem was, it was less than a month later and we were back with the same problem. We had new boxes we wanted to put live, but we couldn't pay for another round of photos so soon. So, we rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in to figure out what we were doing so desperately poorly and if we could come up with any fixes... and here's what helped us the most:
Find a mini course
Luckily for people like us, there are some incredible photographer's in the world and some are nice enough to put free videos/tutorials/courses on the web to learn. Now, we had already done enough searching to realise we weren't going to be able to buy a camera so Iphone shooting it was. So we found a really great course on Skill Share (Free during the trial period and then you can cancel your membership or if you want to carry on learning just £13 a month!) The exact course we did was here: https://skl.sh/3sTlYaM you can do it in day, maybe two. Well worth your time - trust us!
Lighting, lighting, lighting!
We thought our two lamps around the house could cut it. They couldn't. We could justify why you need to invest in lights, or just trust us, and about the 15 You Tube videos we watched, and the failed first round of photos. After lots of review reading, these are the ones we purchased, and they have been great - easy to put up and pack away, ample light, and for a newbie like us, just what we needed! Link to lights on Amazon
Something that we learnt from the online course, props make the photos come to life and from marketing point of view, people buy things firstly because of emotion and by putting our gifts in a scene it gives them more personality and makes them more attractive. Props wise, we went to Amazon & Hobby Craft, bought a few bits & pieces from dried flowers, to vases, to candles. So far, our favourite is the Pampas grass just £15 from Amazon
There are plenty apps out there for editing. But so far, from about the 10 we've tried, Lightroom is the best. You can download it on your phone, get enough of the app for free and it works absolute miracles. We recommend watching some online tutorials to get the most out of the app, but if you wanted to start today, there's cropping (it literally has to Instagram size), profiles (changes your picture in a second!) and lighting that you can figure out pretty simply. Honestly, this has changed our photos in a second!
Now... after our crash course above, we are now shooting much better pictures, but we still have SO much to learn (although we'll still be doing on Iphones!) so next up will be more about layering, textures and drawing the eye to proper places in the photos, and colour matching.. ah it's a whole new world that we've only just started...
Here's a little progress picture from our latest photos after learning the above...
We know we have a long way to go, and we'll never be amazing photographers, but hopefully this shows that even us, with no creative bones or photography skills can do this, then so can you!
If you want to see our journey of photos head over to our shop page and you can see which ones are old quite easily now we've told you a few things...
If you want more about our business journey, follow us on Instagram; @gifthergin