I recently took some photos to model new apron designs for my Etsy shop. New designs mean new potential customers, and so fresh photos are integral to making sales and showing off product. Since I don’t have many people nearby who appeal to my target customer base to model for me, I must be my own model.
I don’t mind however, as I have recently learned that knowing how to operate your business from start to finish, and having experience with the day to day operation is often referred to as “full stack”. What that means for me is that I design the apron, draft the pattern, construct and finish each apron, model photos, complete photography and editing and also sell and ship to buyers. I suppose one day I will need to delegate some of these duties to other people that I will need to hire; but, a huge asset will be for me to know how the task is done myself.
I have a basic mannequin to showcase my designs, but I think that a human model is a better at showcasing the “fit” of garments for many reasons. One particular reason is, unlike a mannequin the human body has more curves and is less perfect than a factory made representation. I think that it is important to capture this imperfection when it comes to sexy designs such as the ones in the LillyBoChic line. We have all seen Victoria Secret ads, so I think I can be different from that fake and unattainable ideal.
Also, the head and arms are missing from my mannequin, so the ability for a potential buyer to imagine themselves in the item is diminished. I love the pose where a woman puts her hands on her hips and accentuates the hourglass shape we all know and love. My mannequin can’t do that.
Taking photos of myself in my designs pose significant challenges. One of which is that I do not have a tripod capable of holding my only functioning camera (which is my smartphone currently). After hair and makeup, I undergo a tricky exercise of balancing my camera at an angle that captures a particular area (usually in front of a nice background in my house), and using the self-capture setting I take burst photos of myself that often turn out quite well. For the photos that do not turn out well, I use Photoshop to enhance and crop as needed- but never to augment particulars like size or shapes a la Kardashian fame.
It is not ideal, but so far I believe it has improved my online presence to have candid photos of a model (me) wearing my apron designs. I have posted these photos on Tumblr with links to my Etsy listings, and save the best shots for the Etsy listings themselves. Some of the best responses to my photos have also been from pinning on Pinterest (a program that I absolutely adore).
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