3/22/09

presentation and thoughts

I take bad pictures for my blog posts. I know this. Compare Sarala's found object post to mine below and you would think I found dog poop and she diamonds. Why do I do this? Because everything is laid out in the basement, the dingy dark lit by buzzing fluorescent lights basement. And the house owners are here so I can't wash things, can't lay them out. I'm too impatient most times even when no one is around. If I don't do it when I think about it then I will have moved on.

So now I'm thinking about web and etsy presence. I'm thinking how I think I do alright when it comes to documenting my work for my web and Etsy site but I know there is much better to be had were I patient, were I able to find any normal lighting in our basement dwelling. But I have to say I can live with it and ironically, if given the chance (meaning when people buy from me online) so far everyone says my work looks even better in person once they get it. That could mean, probably does mean my pictures suck but they weren't so bad as to keep someone from taking the chance and buying something. I've decided to look at this as a positive because of an experience I recently had.

I actually bought something on ETSY ladies and gentlemen. Yes ME. Minimalist poor person who only buys gas and food for the most part. Me who doesn't wear baubles or even wear nice enough clothing to warrant a bauble accoutrement. I got sucked into the etsy fever when I was doing that treasury last week and in my search for pieces to post in my treasury I came across some stone jewelry that knocked my socks off. The PHOTOS were fantastic. My eyeballs saw this necklace that in reality (after having received it) was much smaller. Considerably smaller. I'm a moron when it comes to reading directions, understanding what something is on paper. So in my mind this necklace transformed me into a topless African beauty donning a grass skirt as my bare feet leap over rocks, an oily,panting Chita just a grasp away. It was powerful and I decided I was tired of being frugal and not ever buying anything for ME.

When I got it I knew instantly that I would never wear it. It's just like the picture showed, the person wasn't misleading (it didn't show it around a neck, it was laying on a beautiful rock so in my head it was much bigger in real life). I'm not going to ask for a refund just because I'm an idiot who didn't bother to read how tiny the stones were. It will make a wonderful present and god knows I'm way overdue giving anyone anything. But it did make me think about how all the art and things I see online, presented in a fantastic way could disappoint when you get them. If you take pictures that make something look fantastic when the person gets the piece are they going to be like me and expect to see exactly what they saw online? Will they not get that that tiny 4x4 drawing that looks like a Pollock sized masterpiece on your monitor is really just a tiny piece of paper? Will they care? I would. But that's me and I know I'm a tough cynical little cookie. So I'm okay with my less than stellar photos. They are like me. Not so beautiful, a little dim and not for everyday consumption.

7 comments:

sarala said...

Well, thanks for the compliment but you are looking at it all wrong. I used a scanner for my "pic". That is why it came out so clearly! I have an all-in-one for my work. Actually the scanner is very low res so I keep wishing for a better one.
Regarding pics--do you have a tripod? You can get them pretty cheaply. Then you could take a long exposure even in a dark room. Being in a basement surely doesn't help. I try to use a sunny room but that can be hard to find in a Chicago winter. Some of the photo sites talk about how to cheaply set up for the sales type shots you are talking about. If I see one I'll send you a link.
I don't think your photos turn out all that badly. I'll review them again to give you an honest answer. :)

TSL said...

Okay, all Etsy aside, I've missed a couple of your posts, but catching up here. Having viewed those I missed I will once again say that I think you are incredibly talented and gifted, and one day when you are an 'overnight sensation' (heh - I always love that) you will say, that artist Tina told me this would happen. I want you to remember that.

self taught artist said...

no, sarala, you photo of found things is good in my mind because its colorful and not just dirty crap on an ugly floor. yes i have a tripod...and in my mind i think why bother for these types of photos on the blog, its too much of a production.
i think my website photos are alright but as you know on etsy, people now, instead of perfect white backgrounds, have 'settings' and lovely bodies and backgrounds to compliment their wares.

tina, i think you are delusional but thank you. i will happily eat my words but i know i'm not that kind of an artist.

TSL said...

Yes you are that kind of artist. I am funny about predicting things, so don't brush it off. Up the scale (size) of what you do, and think 'installation' in lieu of 'hanging.'

self taught artist said...

i'm taking it in.....

Ellen said...

I thought your photos look great, but being an owner of one of your pieces, I'll say it does look better in person. I'm an awful photographer, I know I have to do better, but I think you're right, it's always better if the real thing looks better than the photo when you're selling.

self taught artist said...

thanks ellen, i'm glad you know what i mean.