Saturday, June 26, 2010

'La Loca' of All Trades

As the owner of a micro-business, I find myself playing many roles that eventually I'd like to outsource or hire staff to perform. Until that day of predictable cash flow rolls around, however, I will continue to be jewelry designer, photographer, accountant, marketer, graphic designer and investor.

Top on my list of things to outsource? Accounting and photography.

Accounting because, well, it's accounting...and photography because it is so insanely time consuming.

I have very high standards for my jewelry photos, and it's been somewhat of a frustrating learning curve, starting back in Moz where I had to build a light box out of scrap cardboard and tissue paper and hope for the best. Here in California, I invested in a proper light box and professional white-balanced lighting, in addition to a gradient background. It's been totally worth it, and my photo quality has improved significantly...but the fact remains that I'm not a professional photographer and thus spend a tremendous amount of time and effort to get what I consider to be good photos. I'd estimate I have a success rate of 10% to 20%. That is, for every 10 photos I take, only 1 or 2 make the cut.

And then there's the photo editing...white balance, exposure, cropping, resizing for the web. It's easily a 2-day job.

Still, despite my occasional struggles with product photography, I've learned a great deal and have definitely improved my skills.

I've also enjoyed starting to work with models. Recently I did a shoot with Rico's aunt Renata and cousin Juliana. We set up shop in the guest bedroom here at Casa Cali and hoped for the best (I was shooting at 11pm with terrible low light and a tripod that doesn't always like to work). I suppose you can't really get bad photos when shooting two beautiful ladies from Rio de Janeiro, but I was pleased that I didn't muck things up with my amateur photo skills.

Here are a couple of portraits from the modeling session:

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