Cottage Style Party & Giveaway Reminder!

It occurred to me while shooting photos

 for my Etsy store this weekend,

that it would be nice to show everything.

Yep, we are going behind the scenes!

I'm sure everyone uses some sort of cropping or photo editing

to enhance their photos.

I use Google's Picasa as it has most of

what I need to make a photo look like the real thing.

Because, some times, it just doesn't look like the real thing

until you make it look like the real thing!

Whether I am shooting photos for my blog or Etsy,

I try to think what can I do to make the photo more dynamic.

I might reposition some of the objects or

add something to make it look more appealing or complete.

Or I try to envision how I would use an item.

For the clocks below, I envision one of them sitting

on a stack of books on someone's shelf.

Do I see them as a pair on the same stack of books?

No, but the books give the idea that these clocks

would look great on stacks of books.

And I tilted the books and clocks to make the photo a bit more dynamic.

The photo below isn't bad, but it leaves a little too much to the imagination.

But it does provide a nice clear image of the clock faces.

Okay, but kinda boring.

But I promised you a behind the scenes look, right?

I love this tarnished tray below.

But its boring, right?

When I shoot something that is flat with no dimension,

I have to add something to make it more appealing.

For this tray I added a couple of candles.

For this one I added some whimsical little houses.

Do I think that someone might put little houses on their tray?

No, but they could.

In the mean time, the little houses add dimension

and charm to the flat tray.

In this photo I added something with romance:

white roses I bought on clearance at my grocery's

floral department for $4.99.

Assuming your customer was looking for silver plate trays,

they should be able to tell that its the tray for sale, not the vase of roses.

But don't clutter your photo too much!

I also think if you are selling several same items, like silver plate trays,

that you need to distinguish one from another with different items displayed on the trays.

Each gives the potential customer ideas for how to use the tray.

Below is how this photo looked like behind the scenes.

An explanation of what you see:

~ a white tablecloth and white foam board for a blank canvas background
~ 2 bendable gooseneck lamps I can move where ever I need them
~ a couple of trays in waiting for photos
~ a couple of candles waiting to be used as props on a tray

Here's another photo I took of a candle stick.

I'm reusing the roses in the background to make

 the candle stick a little more dynamic.

The candle stick below, unadorned.

Kind of boring, right?

The image with the roses gives this candle stick some romantic cache.

It gives subtle ideas and suggestions that the plain photo does not.

Behind the scenes:

Romantic, no?


The books from the clock photo are stacked on the side.

The cream and sugar set waits in line...next!

I think it is important to have props for photos.

Under my photo table I have 2 drawers full of props.

Some are seasonal, some I rotate through as I feel the urge.

Tapers, eggs, bird nests, balls, gift stuffing,

ribbons, sea shells, candles, little houses, sequin fruit,

and more hidden under neath.

But there is one prop I do get to enjoy after I use it:

The roses go on my mantle to enjoy!

While these behind the scenes photos and tips are geared 

towards Etsy sellers, the same idea works 

for your home display and blog photos too!

It doesn't matter what the chaos behind the scenes looks like,

as long as the photo is simple, clean and inviting.

The rest can be cropped out.

I could use a cropping tool for my life...



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To find out more about it

and to enter your name,

Hello Friends!

Welcome to this weeks

Cottage Style Party!


Another busy week and I am counting down the days 

to my vacation next week!

I have lots (too many!) of projects lined up
for future party posts.

Yes, its another stay-cation filled with
an antique show, a flea market trip, the town yard sale,
doctors appointments (who doesn't procrastinate?), 
a possible road trip and some projects/photo shoots for the blog.

I am exhausted just thinking about all of it!

I will need a vacation from my vacation!

Let's see what you all have been up to this past week...

Meet Hannah, the antique dress form.
Isn't she pretty in her pearls and lace?
And wait till you see her cast iron base!

And can you believe Patti paid only $25 for her?
Stop by Ivy and Elephants to see all the details of Hannah, the dress form!
You will be jealous, I was!

I just love zinnias and this photo caught my eye.
I had a wonderful time strolling through Monica's entire garden.
The flowers, the veggies, that charming garden fence!

Drop in to her blog A Nantucket State of Mind at Prince Snow Farm 
and see for your self how lovely it is!

I just love this table display!
I will say it again(!) that Susan's junk is the 
best junk, period!

I love everything: the pitcher of spoons, the scale with eggs, the towel,
the dried flowers, the bowls, the wood piece underneath.
Love it all!

Go visit her blog Must Love Junk to see all her little dining room tweaks!
You will see that she really does have the best junk!

If you were featured...

don't forget your button!

Thanks for stopping by!

 Please visit these wonderful bloggers 

and their fabulous blogs 

to see what they are up to:


  1. Thanks for the party, Debi! It sure takes time to style photos :)...it's so much fun though :) Awesome features from last week's party - so much great inspiration in blog land! 'Must Love Junk' sure does have the best junk ever!!
    Greetings from Australia♥ ~Pernilla

  2. Beautiful features Debi! I love silver trays, as they can enhance any vignette so much more and make it even glamorous. Thank you for hosting this cool party. Big hugs,

  3. Is that milkglass I spy in the basket? I love the picture of your cat in the header.

  4. Very interesting photo tips! Thanks for featuring me! I'm always happy to link up here :)

  5. Thanks for all the photo tips! And thanks for hosting the party! I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.

  6. I really enjoyed this info. I love the hunt for vintage items, but my house is running out of room. lol! Thinking of opening an etsy soon. The only thing I ever do with my photos is crop, adjust exposure or make a collage. I really need to try new things. Thanks so much!

  7. The roses are a perfect prop and even better that you get to keep them and enjoy them! Thanks for hosting!


  8. Interesting lighting set up - I have troubles with shadows - this may be the answer. Now to find me two lamps.

  9. Great tips - wonderful party - I do appreciate you hosting,

  10. Thank you for posting these photography ideas. I am just starting out in the world of blogging and the writing comes naturally for me but I need all the help I can get learning the photography end of it. There is some very valuable advice here!

  11. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tips at Home and Garden Thursday,


Thank you!