Saturday , 1 November 2014
Here are suggestions to help take great pictures of your pottery. Step by step lighting set up that defines three dimensional form and shows true vibrant colors.

Taking Pictures of Your Ceramic Pottery

Taking Pictures of Your Ceramic Pottery

Here are suggestions to help take great pictures of your pottery. Step by step lighting set up that defines three dimensional form and shows true vibrant colors.

Move a table close to a window. To make the light coming in from the outside easier to work with it’s a good idea to tape a piece of tracing paper to the window. For more information on how to do this please read this.

Blocking some of the light helps give dimension to the pot. Put a piece of black cardboard one one side of the product. Use black, any other color will reflect some light back and change the colors of your product.

To put light in the front of the clay pot put a piece of white cardboard on the other side.

Light coming from the window will reflect on the white board, brightening the front. The black cardboard will make one side a darker.

Diverse tones help define better the pot’s three dimensional form.

The closer you put the cardboard to the pot, the larger the effect it will have in making the pot darker, or lighter.

Place the pieces of cardboard as close as you can to the pot but let enough space to be able to move the camera around.

Now you are ready to start taking pictures.

Clay Pot a loan from Etsy Clay Lick Creek Pottery

When photographing a glossy object you may get areas that are very bright.

Sometimes these bright areas help give a feeling of what a glossy object looks like.

And then other times these highlights just blot out detail you would like to show.

The tracing paper softens the light coming from the window but to avoid highlights we need to use an even softer light. Take out the black piece of cardboard so as to be able to take a picture from that angle instead.

Using the white board to reflect back the light coming from the window will make light even and soft.

This kind of light light creates less highlights and less shadows. However, like everything else in life there is a trade-off. Soft light makes things look flat and colors dull.

 

I am an advertising photographer living in NYC. My pictures help large companies sell more and to keep their brands looking fresh. I am also the founder of Via U! , an online studio dedicated to assisting artists selling in Etsy increase their sales too.


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24 comments

  1. great article, thank you so much for these examples and pointers. these tips can help is photographing other items too, and I particularly like the tracing paper idea to soften the light.
    thanks.

  2. This is just so good ! If only I had a week to experiment and learn from your tips ! I find the size of most of my bags such a challenge…also, realise that I MUST get a tri-pod ! Wish I knew what those VERY useful looking clips/grabbers are called !? x

  3. I guess jewelry is basically the same, Thx ;-))

  4. Bobbi helms. Fatdogbeads

    The photos make it so much easier for me! Thanks so much!

  5. Yep! His tips are great! I definitely need to invest in a small tripod like the one in the photos. (I use a large one, and cannot get as close in to the bowl.) It has been a challenge for me to photograph my work. The bowl shape almost always gives a hot spot somewhere. Thanks, M, for featuring my bowl.

    Karen
    http://www.ClayLickCreekPottery.etsy.com

  6. Great tips…just say no to hot spots!

  7. Wow thank you so much for sharing!!! I will have to work on that! Love the way the pictures came out.

  8. Great tips and awesome photos, the colors are so vibrant and the detail so sharp. I want to master these tips and make my pottery come alive too!!

    Beautiful bowl, Karen!!

  9. Great tips! I’m going to try this! Thank you!

  10. renaissance guild

    @ alikibags those ‘clips’ are called spring clamps. most big box DIY stores sell them in the tool section. about a buck a piece. freezer wrap[wide roll] could also be used to help diffuse the light especially if the light is very bright. thanks for taking the time to set this up!!!

  11. I can’t tell you how helpful this is! I am not a photographer but need to photograph my mosiac pieces. This tips should help me get much better pictures! Thank you!

  12. Wonderful tips. I will pass on to my team.
    Thank you!

  13. Very nice tips and easy to understand. Nice supermodel in your photos!

  14. I plan to try this. I previously had a makeshift light box made out of a cardboard box but it often wasn’t big enough. Good photos of pottery makes all the difference. Thanks!

  15. And there is my bowl again! If you have a chance, check out the photos of my work.

  16. Where can I purchase a small tripod?

  17. Good suggestions, and I even had one of these little tripods that I have never used, I guess it will come in handy after all.

  18. This is great! Thank you so much for sharing. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for – spent all weekend taking pictures… if only I’ve found your post earlier :)

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