I am not a professional photographer, and most of us crafters aren't. This leaves a hole between our art work and internet presentation of our work. We have found a compromise that works for us since we cannot afford a professional photographer, and with our gourds, especially the glossy gourds that will reflect everything in the room and every window, incorrect lighting, lots of time in photo shop or other graphic program to try to make corrections, etc. For the discerning artist who prefers a professionals touch, we have included a highly respected professional photographer who is also a member of the Gourding Community.
Taking quality pictures of your craft is difficult. Indoor lighting causes a yellow hue from incandescent lighting, flash creates a bright spot right in the front and center of the work your trying to display, and lack of flash with many pieces, especially if you use a gloss finish will create bright reflections of the surroundings within the room or from windows. Taking your gourds to a professional photographer to get real quality photos can be expensive and in order to make your gourd art or craft a profitable business, then the price of the photographer must be added in to your existing price.
We have found a possible compromise, it works for us and simplifies the process of taking acceptable photos of your work. If your gourds are medium to small in size, you may find this an affordable solution. We purchased a Sakar Portable Photo Studio for under $50, which takes in our opinion very acceptable pictures of our work. The Sakar Photo Studio (Digital Concepts) comes with 20W Even temp tungsten bulbs in retractable tripod stands, one for each side. The sides of the studio are white nylon which you focus the lights on, and this diffuses the light so you don't get a solid bright spot, instead you have a larger highlighted area and the light is dispersed more evenly. The background material is two sided, one side is neutral gray and the other side is blue so you have an option for background color to best contrast your work.
Click for enlargement
This is a picture of one of our trinket box gourds using the Sakar Portable Photo Studio. Notice there are no reflections of things in the surroundings, while the sides are a little brighter than the center is, I broke one of my bulbs by knocking it off the table while it was on, so I did not get a chance to experiment with moving the lights a different distance from the studio, or moving the gourd deeper into the studio etc. I am researching where to get the replacement bulbs myself, and will likely offer replacement bulbs here once we find them.
Besides the option of using one of these 5 sided portable studios, there are also photo tents which also fold up and fit into a pouch. The Digital Concepts and Hiro portable photo studio's are about 16" square so they are fine for small to medium sized gourds and crafts. If you have larger gourds or want an even more evenly dispersed lighting for your crafts or catalog, there are also photo tents available in 24 X 24 inch and 36 X 36 inch tents. These have the white nylon dispersion material all the way around so if you have the lights and stands you can light the top, sides, and even the front with a front light dispersing cover with a slotted opening for your camera lense so you can actually get a shadow free, even lighting for your own professional or near professional photography.
We have searched and found several, with the best prices being available through Amazon because most of the photo shops and electronic shops also sell through the amazon associate program. We have listed a few below so you can compare pricing and choices. Be aware, i do not believe the photo tents come with the lighting, so lights wil have to be purchased. I may be wrong about this as we've not purchased one of the tents yet, but we do plan to in the near future, at which point we can update this information for you. If your serious about making the best presentation of your merchandise, you may want to eriously consider one of these.
Below are some Home Photo Studio thoughts for your consideration:
If you don't want one of these and have work you would prefer to have a professional photographer present your work, may we highly recommend J. K. Stacy Designs , John is not only a professional photographer, but a gourd lover as well. He has speciallized in photographing gourds for some of the worlds most well known gourd artists.