Monday, 21 July 2014

Guest Post ~ Photography hints and tips....

I am very excited to hand you over to a pro to give you hints and tips as part of my photography season! 

I first met my photographer friend, Hiral, when we worked together in retail. I was very thankful for her advice when I first got my DSLR and started product photography. 

I am so pleased she has kindly agreed to share her knowledge. With a topic like this she could write a book! She has focused on her top technical tips to get a good snap, over to you, Hiral....

Hi All,

I’ve been asked by fizzi~jayne to give all you wonderful crafters some top tips on photography!

My name is Hiral Dixit (Hiral Dixit Photography).   I’ve been a photographer for over 7 years photographing everything from Apples to Humans. 
Taking photographs of your products or crafts can be quite daunting even when there are so many how to guides on the internet and Youtube, somehow it’s just difficult to get that perfect photograph in one go.
Well you're missing one BIG aspect of photography and that really is the technique. Taking pictures of your crafts is not all about having expensive cameras, it’s about knowing your camera, surroundings, light and then bringing a load of creativity to the table.
I’m going to cover two main topics I think will help you. Choosing the right camera and understanding photography jargon such as ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. So let’s get started!

Choosing the right camera:

Lots of people think buying a £2,000 DSLR will solve all their problems. Sorry but if you're not going to take it off the auto mode it isn’t any better than a good point and shoot camera.

Your choice of camera should really depend on what context you are going to be using it in.
I’m not going to talk about point and shoot compact cameras in this post because I want to keep it simple and not have you snoring!

Mirror-Less camera known as a hybrid camera - Compared to compact cameras these offer versatility allowed by interchangeable lenses. It became pretty popular in 2011 and they are continuously becoming the choice for amateur photographers who want to migrate from point-and-shoot cameras (I think people we have found you a camera).  Prices are roughly £200+


DSLR have a manual override system for greater creativity, these are high in cost £349-£5000 depending on what you’re going for. They do offer huge amounts of accessories, lenses and come with more functions. Which can also get daunting if you don’t have time to learn how to use it, which actually is a common theme!  

Understanding photography Jargon

Ever taken a photo and found it’s too dark/bright or shaky?  Guys if you nail this you’ll seriously be laughing.

Three pillars of photography: These quite simply perform the task of regulating the amount of light entering the camera and exposed onto the film.

1. Shutter Speed: Responsible for creating a dramatic effect either by freezing action or blurring motion. General Rule: Anything above 1/80s you will freeze anything, below you’ll either need a tripod or you can have lots of fun making dramatic effects.

2. Aperture: Responsible for the amount of light reaching the sensor and control of image brightness.

Size of aperture is indicated by F-numbers (f-stops).

Quite simply the larger the number, the sharper the image will be. However if you are to use f/16 you will need an external flash or studio lights as higher number = less light into sensor. The lower the number the shallower the depth of field, this will produce lovely portraits with a blurred background.  However it also means more light so you need to use Shutter/ ISO to get perfect exposure.

3. ISO: ISO is short for International Standards Organisation – The main governing body that standardises sensitivity ratings for camera sensors, basically a fancy term that was carried over from film.

When you change your ISO setting you are adjusting your camera's sensitivity to light. ISO settings can be anywhere from 24 - 6,400 (or higher) the higher you go the more grainy your pictures can be as it will make your photograph brighter, so to speak.

If you use all three pillars it will really start shaping your photography.

So I hope this helped you understand basics - Until you crack these it will be hard for you to even start taking quality photographs of your product and crafts. It’s not quite that easy being a photographer but once you get the hang of it...its bloody brilliant!

One piece of advice I would give to you all. The photograph on the back of your screen should be more or less exactly what you want your shot to look like, don’t rely on Photoshop as this is merely a tool to create dramatic effects.


Facebook: Hiral Dixit Photography
Thank you Hiral for taking the time to share your top tips!
I hope you all now know the difference between your f-Stop & ISO and have found this useful, I know I have.
I would love to hear from you to know what you think about these photography posts and if there is more you would like information on. 


  1. Fine post..! As a beginner find it useful.

    1. Thanks Allin, I'm pleased you found it useful :-)


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