Tag Archives: photography tips

Review: Foldio Portable Mini Photo Studio

Review: Foldio Portable Mini Photo Studio | The Zen of Making

As a professional craft blogger, good photographs are one of the most important elements of my job. And, while I didn’t begin blogging with the intention of becoming a better photographer, it’s definitely a skill I’ve honed out of both necessity and the desire to share. Because, as it turns out, whether I’m capturing finished projects or creating step-by-step tutorials, images that are clear, sharp, and well-lit are every bit as important as my written instructions and descriptions—especially now that Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter image posts are the new go-to places for DIY inspiration.

Now, here’s where the utterly magical Foldio portable mini photo studio from orangemonkie enters the scene.

You know that moment when you see a gadget on the internet that’s so brilliant that you exclaim in joyful bursts of expletives while frantically scrambling for your credit card? Yeah, the Foldio was one of those. I mean, a fully-functional light box with built-in LED lighting that requires only a few seconds of setup time AND can fold up small enough to fit in my shoulder bag? My, but the world is filled with miraculous things! (Also miraculous: No longer needing to constantly wrestle with my giant light box and three unwieldy lights.)

So, presented with with this glorious object, I did the only logical thing. I threw down my $50 and waited [im]patiently for the UPS guy to arrive.

Here’s what I thought:

Continue reading Review: Foldio Portable Mini Photo Studio

Craft Photography Tips: Take Better Tutorial Photos Blog Hop

craft photography tips

As you may have noticed from this week’s photo retouch tutorial, I’m participating in a week-long blog hop of craft photography tips featuring Sister Diane from CraftyPod, Megan from RadMegan, Stacey from FreshStitches, Michele from Michele Made Me, and Haley from The Zen of Making. (Hey, that’s me!)

A Blog Hop of Excellent Photography Tips for Crafters:

You’ve seen my tutorial, now go check out the rest of the series! (More links will be added throughout the week as the posts go up.)

Hooray for better craft photos!


Tutorial: Retouching Spots & Stains in Your Craft Photos with iPhoto and Photoshop

Tutorial: Retouching Spots & Stains in Your Craft Photos with iPhoto and Photoshop | The Zen of Making


This is the first post in a week-long craft photography blog hop featuring Sister Diane from CraftyPod, Megan from RadMegan, Stacey from FreshStitches, Michele from Michele Made Me, and Haley from The Zen of Making. (Hey, that’s me!) As soon as they become available, you’ll be able to find links to the other tutorials in this series at the bottom of this post!

Retouching unsightly spots, stains, and scratches in the backgrounds of craft photos is one of the dirty little secrets of DIY pros. It’s like picking your nose or watching trashy reality TV—we all do it, but nobody ever talks about it.

The fact of the matter is, most professional crafters spend just as much time editing photos as they do actually making the project and writing the tutorial. For us, getting the right lighting, color, and look in a photo is every bit as important as good writing and top-notch crafting skills. The photo is, after all, what drives the pins, the shares, the likes, and, most importantly, the traffic.

Before you start shaking your head, take a look at the photo below.

Tutorial: Retouching Spots & Stains in Your Craft Photos with iPhoto and Photoshop | The Zen of Making

The spots and scratches on the cutting mat draw the eye away from the focus of the photo and make the items resting on it look a little bit messy and disorganized.

Now take a look at this one.

Without the distraction of spots and scratches, the photo looks much cleaner and more professional. (It’s also way more likely to get pinned or featured on one of the big craft-related sites.) See? Five minutes of editing really can make a huge difference!

Ready to try it for yourself? Let’s get started!

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to retouch spots using both Photoshop and iPhoto. As you go through the steps, keep an eye out for the red circles on each photo—they’ll let you know you where to look and what to do.

If you don’t use a Mac or don’t have the applications above, don’t fret! The concepts in this tutorial are applicable to other photo editing programs or online tools—you’ll just have to poke around a bit to find the right options. For Windows users, I’ve also included the Windows keyboard strokes in Photoshop section of the tutorial.

See the full tutorial…