Thursday, February 9, 2012

Scrappy Heart Mug Rug and a bit about photography

I made this scrappy heart mug rug last night. I love my scraps too much to throw them away and keep even the smallest piece that they got out of control. So in attempt to tame my unruly scraps, I made this quick scrap busting project last night and made another one this morning. It’s super fast. The blocks are 2.25” squares with 0.25” seam allowance. The mug rug finished approximately 9” wide by 7” height. 

Recently, in one of my Facebook craft group, there was a discussion about how a good photo makes an impact especially for online craft business. Needless to say, it’s the only form of communication to the potential buyers other than what other information that you provide in text form. 

I for one, pay a great deal for my photos. I’ve come a long way from photos taken from my handphone and uploaded here (yes, this same blog) to my current pictures. I learned a lot too. I love reading from blogs with great pictures, namely, lbg studio, Randomness by Petchy, Made by Rae, Made, and lots more. When i started blogging, I admired Maya and Zura Lovemelots for their photos, not just their crafts. I get inspired to make my pictures as good as theirs. Here are of my how tos on taking pictures:

Gone were the days that I took one shot and expect it to be a perfect shot. I took several shots at different angles. Don’t worry about shutter count. Most of us are using digital cameras now so, if you don’t like a shot, you can just delete it later. Here are some of my shots before I get to my favorite shot:

First shot: no flash. It was early in the morning. The sun is not out yet. The source of light is the florescent light on the opposite wall. 

With flash on. Too harsh

I tilted the flash on my GF2 so it bounced off the wall to create a warmer, more natural tone. 

Post editing is optional. Minor touch ups to straighten the picture, enhanced contrast, saturation, highlights and reduced shadows. I did this all in Iphoto. No fancy software. I only used Photoshop Elements 9.0 to add my watermark. I used to spend hours on editing alone but I’ve mellowed and followed my brother’s words of advice, ‘Simply photography, not simply photoshop’. Less is more.

I do believe post-editing is important. It’s like make up. You can do without but you’d look much better with a touch of lipgloss and some powder on your nose, don’t you agree?

My tips:
1. go for natural light as much as possible but if you can’t get any, don’t fret. work within your limitations. I shoot at all hours of the day, day or night. I work with artificial light. Don’t get intimidated with flash. Make it your friend. Work with it. Learn how to handle it, Bounce it off the wall or diffuse it. 

2. Composition and angle. I believe this is a learned art. You don’t have to be gifted to be able to take reasonable nice photos. Have fun with it. Experiment from different angles, different perspective. Don’t just take straight shots. You might be pleasantly surprised to see the results. Add props and different backgrounds to highlight your product. 

3. Post Editing. I think I’ve covered that.

4. It’s a learning process. Practice makes perfect. Keep on learning. Take out your camera and take pictures. Lots of them. Learn about your camera and what it can do. Don’t just go on Auto mode.

I’m in the mood for more of these mug rugs. I might just add a tutorial for it. Till then, take a break, have a KitKat  :) 


  1. TQ soo much for the tips kak rozi. Saya guna camera phone jer setakat ini, really too much to spend on hi-end camera if it is for blogging purpose only. NOw slowly learn on photo editing, sebab baru jumpa photoscape.

  2. Mila, some camera phone skrg dah canggih n kuality gambar is quite good. While I don’t recommend camera phone but you don’t have to go get the high end camera for blogging. A reasonable point and shoot compact digital camera would suffice. Not just for blogging, bila dah ada camera boleh amik gambar keluarga bila cuti2 malaysia. org skrg dah x suka amik gambar ke?

  3. mmg cantek pictures akak.. nak tanye yg Bounce it off the wall or diffuse it tue camne eh.. mmg nurul x pham huhu

  4. good info.. thank you for sharing..

  5. gambar tu mmg cantik..suka. Thank juga for info:)