Photography Pt 111

Photography Pt 111

Photography, as I’m sure you know by now, isn’t my strong point. I have seen so many handmade products with amazing photography and it makes me feel very frustrated indeed that I can’t seem to manage to take simple, professional shots of my products.

It isn’t simply a matter of buying the best camera, and it just about having the “eye” for taking pictures. It’s a combination of both. And good lighting. Always, always good lighting!

Alas even when I bought myself a professional light tent, with special daylight lamps to use to illuminate the shadows my pictures still didn’t come out the way I wanted them too. Sure they were an improvement on the previous, but they still weren’t clean enough, they weren’t white enough, and they were still very shadowy in places. To make even matters worse, it seemed as though I was at the mercy of the sun – everytime it moved I had to move. Reading forums about taking photo’s of your products, the advice of the majority was to use as much natural light as possible. But for me it just wasn’t possible. The natural light was too changeable, it wasn’t consistent enough and thus I was finding the quality of my photo’s diminishing as the day wore on. Frustrating.

So on Sunday my boyfriend and I spent the entire day working on finding the perfect camera set-up, the perfect setting on the camera, and the best position in the house to take the most simple and effective shots. Thankfully we found it. The decision after taking lots of pictures using different settings then comparing them all on the computer told us a few things: That we needed to turn the light tent the other way round (so that it had it’s back to the sun), this gave a less intense light but a more fluid light. And most importantly: It was no longer shadowy!

Also, we decided against using natural light. When we viewed them on the computer they seemed more grainy, less perfect, and unlike jewellery, or clothing, where it’s always better to see the texture of the materials used, imperfections in glass, isn’t so great. Using flash eliminated those imperfections, and made the product really come to life. Nevertheless it was a very subtle difference between the two, and that’s what I was looking for.

Over the next few weeks, before my article in VOGUE goes live (can’t wait!), I need to redo all of my photography so that it is in keeping with this new updated style. Up until now good photography has alluded me but not anymore!

Meadowfoam Soap

VOGUE 2

Hair Perfume

I would love to hear your thoughts on my photography! And if you know any trade secrets that could help me make them better I would be very happy to hear them, and of course, if you make your own products then I’d love to have a look at yours too!

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And it went a little something like..

And it went a little something like..

THIS

Meadowfoam Soap 2

Meadowfoam Soap

I’m quite chuffed with the way it’s come out and it smells gloooorious! It’s a little bit wet at the moment – the rich oils I have used in it definitely need to be dried out so it might take a little longer then 4 weeks for the soaps to cure. But we’ll see. Cleaning up all of the equipment however, was a little more technical then I would have liked. I had to wait a day for all of the soap to dry up and then using gloves (as the soap is still caustic at this stage), I got rid of as much soap in the pots and pans and cutlery as possible and rinsed out the sodium hydroxide with water, then I put all of my soapmaking equipment into the dishwasher. There were lots of suds! But I had it on an intensive wash so I just let it run it’s course and when it was finished the suds had gone. I’m not sure whether or not this cleans the dishes entirely so that there is no poisonous residue and I don’t want to take the chance and get burnt so for now I’m going to continue to wear my gloves when handling both the clean and dirty soap equipment.

Tonight, I’m thinking of trying out another recipe, and another soapmaking technique.

I’m about to take the plunge!

I’m about to take the plunge!

Tonight, I’m going to make cold process soap! Pray for me!

I have been doing LOTS of research on soapmaking over the last couple of months, watching lots of video’s, reading lots of articles and forums and I bought this highly recommended book on soapmaking a couple of weeks ago: The Soapmakers Companion.

The idea of soapmaking is exciting but equally terrifying. I LOVE the science behind it: Choosing your butters on oils based on there properties and health benefits, researching the various ways ingredients behave in soap, and working with strictly raw ingredients found in nature. Then there’s the unlimited ways of decorating and fragrancing your soap: The possibilities are endless!

Slowly I have been acquiring the ingredients to start my very own first soap batch, processed all of the necessary safety information and now I feel I am ready to begin. I really feel as though this is just the beginning for my soapmaking ambitions. I want to make the best bar of soap you can find! A bar of soap with the best, most luxurious and exotic oils available on the market.

In order to make soap the first step is to choose your oils and then work out the quantities of all of your ingredients using the calculations for your mould volume and including the sodium hydroxide for the lye and distilled water which you eventually mix with the sodium hydroxide to create lye water. The butters and oils that you intend on using are then melted down and then the lye water is added to the oils once the temperature of both the oils and the lye water has reached approximately 110 – 120 degrees each. The fragrance/essential oils, colourants or herbs and clays are added to this mixture at trace. Sodium hydroxide is an extremely dangerous substance so I have got my goggles and gloves prepared for when I’m working with it.

There are so many different soapmaking techniques that I love that it’s hard to decide what to try first though I know that they say you should start with something simple first, but I’m not sure that I will as unfortunately I’m too impatient, lol.

I also just received my custom soap stamp which I was hoping to use on my M&P soap favours but I think it would also be perfect to use on my soaps too.

Fingers crossed everything goes according to plan and do let me know if you’ve made any soap yourself!
If it comes out reasonably well then I will post a picture up, but if it’s a complete and utter disaster..well then…!

This is gorgeous..

rose soap