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Photography Tips

Ever wondered how to take better pictures of your soap? Here are some really helpful tutorials about the art and craft of photographing small items such as jewelry, ceramics, food, and, yes, even soap.

Serious Eats is a great place to learn about great food. What's even better (from my geeky perspective) is they often talk about the science and technology that makes good food so wonderful -- how and why to cook food properly, why well cooked food tastes so good, and how to make it look as good as it tastes. The theme of a 2015 newsletter was food photography. As I read the article and looked at the pictures, I thought their tips applied nicely to soap as well, if you don't mind translating a bit from their food-based slant.

The Serious Eats Guide to Food Photography by the Serious Eats Team

The following tutorials (except for the last one) were originally hosted on the Handmadeology.com website, but some of the tutorials have been removed from the internet, and the ones I did locate on this site now contain missing photos or other problems. I am providing the intact articles (in PDF format) as an educational resource for other soap makers who want to take better photographs of their soap.

All tutorials were written and photographed by Mariano, the owner of ViaU Photography and Mariano Photography. He is based in New York City.

"Taking Pictures of Your Ceramic Pottery", learning the basics of using reflected and direct light for an effective product photo

"Studio Quality Product Photography With a $12 Set Up", making simple aluminum-foil reflectors and using them with natural light from a window

"Creating a White Background Inside a Cardboard Box", making and using a three-sided "white box" for photographing small items

"Cut, Wrap and Make Your Silver Jewelry Shine", using one light source and multiple reflectors to enhance product photos

"A $6 Dollar Solution to Photographing Jewelry", using a black or white reflector to control the quality of reflected light and shadows

"Product Photography, Sometimes It's All Done with Smoke and Mirrors", using a reflector behind a transparent product to enhance its transparency

"How to Use Daylight and Flash to Make Your Products Stand Out", using natural and reflected light to take effective product photos in outdoor settings