This is the story of a small business solution. I am so proud that this situation has come to end and I want to share my experience with other businesses out there who suffer from the same problems photographing their custom work. If you do any kind
of custom design work and you aren't a photographer then you know exactly my problem!
If you know me, chances are you've heard me complain about the photographs of my custom wedding garter designs. Without going into too much detail here, suffice to say I've never been happy with the quality of the photographs that I take of the custom wedding garters that I design. However, custom garter designs is the bulk of my business. I get notes from my clients all the time saying how much better their garter is once they see it in person. In a perfect world, I'd love to have all my custom garters photographed by a professional, but because of the turnaround time, it is impossible. I would have a photographer at my studio every day!
I've tried so many different solutions to photographing my custom garters. Some I'm too embarrassed to reveal. I was inspired by the photo booths that many photographers now bring to weddings. They set up these booths, provide the guests with a clicker and let them go to town taking their own pictures. I had this idea to build a desktop model of a photo booth to my exact needs. (I'm sure all of you professional photographers are out there laughing at how insane I must sound. But, you have to keep in mind, I don't photograph for a living. I sew wedding garters and I don't know the first thing about photography. So, I was starting from complete scratch, flying blind!)
As it turns out, I didn't have to build my own photo booth. It was much easier. I ordered four desktop lights and a background board from B & H. I paid a little bit under $400 for the entire set up. This is a big investment, but so worth it. I would have paid double to have better pictures of my garter designs! It sits on my desk and I don't move it. I click the surge protector to turn on all of the lights. My camera is pre-set to the settings that I need. Once I sew a garter, I just pop it in the studio and snap away. Simple!
None, and I mean none, of this would have been possible without the help of Jennifer Domenick. She literally has talked to me for hours about this problem over the past few years. She has been to my house and to my new studio (aka my basement) several times. She has told me which window to photograph near, when to shoot during the day, she has pre-set my camera (several different times!), she has researched my problem to no end. In the end, the creation of my product photo booth was because of her guidance. She is truly a gem in this industry and words can't even begin to express how thankful I am for her help. If you are in need of a photographer in the DC area, there is no one better. No one.