White Background Product Photos

First of all, thank you so much for the rush of orders lately! I’m eternally grateful to you all for keeping Wit & Whistle in business. :) While my office manager/mom has been shipping your packages out in a timely matter, I’ve been busy updating all my product photos. It’s not glamorous work, but somebody’s gotta do it! Initially I was nervous about ditching my tried and true burlap background, but it turns out I love the white! It really makes my products pop. Here are a few before and after screen shots…

Cards with my old burlap background:

Cards with my new white background:

Art prints with my old burlap background:

Art prints with my new white background:

I’d say my new light box has definitely paid off. Redoing all my product photos has been a ton of work, so if you like the burlap better… don’t tell me! Just kidding, you can if you want. I can take it. I’m still going to use the burlap for styled shots for marketing purposes, so it won’t totally disappear. I need to tweak my thumbnail images so they’re bigger and less spaced out, but I’m making progress! My goal is to finish by the new year. Sounds like I’m in for a fun Christmas, eh?

Japanese Maple Mania

Happy (American) Thanksgiving everybody! Wishing you lots of mashed potatoes and gravy, which I have to admit are the best part of any Thanksgiving feast.

I’m jumping the gun a little, but it’s Black Friday sale time! Use the code BLACKFRIDAY here at witandwhistle.com to take 25% off your entire order now through the end of the day Monday, November 27th. (The discount code is not valid in my Etsy shop.)

In other news, it has come to my attention that my husband is an addict. Since we moved into the new house he will not (or maybe cannot) stop buying Japanese Maples. Daniel even stalked the Japanese Maple guy at the Raleigh farmer’s market until he agreed to let him visit the closed-to-the-public tree farm. They offered him amazing wholesale prices and delivery, so now we have 10ish (I lost count) Japanese maples all around our yard. Honestly, I don’t mind his new obsession, because now he can’t say anything about my houseplant problem!

Our forest of maples is currently blazing red. Check out this fall color…

red Japanese Maple

red Japanese Maple

red Japanese Maple

Wit & Whistle Holiday Cards 2017

Here are the new holiday cards I came up with for this year! I’ve got some sketchbook process peeks for you below. I’m going to have to figure out a different way to photograph my sketchbook at the new house. It turns out the floors are too dark to use as a backdrop, doh!

Anyway, I had a lot of fun working on these. Confession, I usually hate designing holiday cards, but this year I worked on them a bit earlier instead of beating myself over the head with Christmas stuff during my summer slump. It worked out so much better! Is anybody else a useless blob during the oppressive heat of July and August? My creative juices ebb and flow from season to season, and summer is not a creative time for me.

My Black Friday discount coupon will be posted later this week, but I’m offering an even better discount exclusively to my newsletter subscribers! If you don’t want to miss out, sign up for my newsletter right here.

funny holiday cards

funny holiday cards

funny holiday cards

funny holiday cards

funny holiday cards

Light Box Review

For nearly eight years I used the same product photography setup—propped up foam core next to a window. It was cheap and worked for my purposes, but it had some drawbacks. My old setup relied heavily on the weather, and I often had to delay my shoots on gloomy days. My photos were also heavily affected by the leaves on the trees outside reflecting green or yellow light on my setup during spring, summer, and fall. Editing photos took forever, because I had to manually adjust each one. Due to the changing light conditions I couldn’t automate any part of the editing process.

After years of debating I decided I will be changing my greeting cards from A7 to A2 size, which means updating all my product photos. Talk about daunting! I’m switching to a white background for individual product shots, while keeping my usual burlap texture for styled shots. I spent hours reading way too many reviews, and finally bought this light box.

My light box folds flat for storage and easily pops up when I need it. The inside is lined with LED lights, and there’s a white backdrop built in. The box seals the light in with velcro, and there are openings with flaps on the top and front so you can poke your camera in to get your shot. I don’t like that there’s no on/off switch. You have to plug and unplug it to turn it on and off. Also, the white backdrop has a crease in it from being folded for storage. Lucky for me the crease isn’t a problem for flat lay product photos.

My process for re-shooting my cards was to photograph each one with the same camera settings in the same placement in the light box. Then I created a Photoshop action to automatically edit each photo as much as possible. (Here’s a tutorial from Adobe demonstrating how to create Photoshop actions.)

Here’s a raw unedited photo straight from my light box:

light box review

After I ran my custom Photoshop action I was left with this:

light box review

Then I just had to adjust it slightly to finish up:

light box review

I can’t tell you how much time this new process has saved me! I was able to photograph and edit 85 cards in one day! I don’t even want to think about how long that would’ve taken with my old photography set up. At least a week I’m sure.

If you’ve been on my site you know I haven’t switched over to the new product photos yet. I’ll be gradually making the change in late December/early January when the new card size is available.

One other downside, if you have a toddler you will probably have to share the light box.

light box review

Pink Plant Party

Hands down, my favorite thing about the new house is how much more sunlight comes in the windows. (Having a pantry is a close second.) My crazy plant lady tendencies have kicked into overdrive, because I’m not limited to low light houseplants anymore. Now I can grow ALL THE PLANTS! Lately I’m obsessed with the pink variegated varieties. Here are some of the beauties I’ve brought home over the last few months.

Pink Princess Philodendron

Philodendron Pink Princess—I had to scour the internet for a start of this pretty lady. They’re selling for insane prices on eBay, (my usual go-to for plants I can’t find locally). Luckily I found one here.

Pink Princess Philodendron

Oyster plant aka Moses in the cradle plant aka Tradescantia spathacea—whatever you call it, this thing looks awesome. I found it all beat-up and pitiful at Home Depot, but it’s perking up nicely now.

Pink Princess Philodendron

Tricolor prayer plant aka Triostar Stromanthe—how insane is this plant? When the sunlight shines through the leaves it’s otherworldy. All the leaves fold up at night flaunting their bright magenta undersides.

Pink Princess Philodendron

Ficus elastica ‘Ruby Red’ aka pink variegated rubber plant—I was trying to control my plant hoarding urges, since I already had a regular variegated rubber plant, but Daniel peer pressured me into getting this Ruby Red variety, too. I didn’t mind.

Pink Princess Philodendron

Have you made any new additions to your plant collection lately?