Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Making of a Model


I did some research before launching my Etsy shop, and one helpful piece of advice involved using props and models for photography. They recommended against actual models wearing earring, as that could be off-putting and unhygienic. (To be honest, I never thought of that. Although once it was mentioned, it made perfect sense.) Anyway, to give myself a break from photographing earrings in bowls, dangling from fabric and plants and overhead views on textured paper, I decided to create my own model. I thought it would make for an interesting prop while also providing a sense of scale. It turns out, making a cardboard model could not be easier. Just find a photo of one of your prettiest friends (Ask his or her permission, of course.) and blow it up to life-size, crop it and mod podge onto cardboard. I painted mine in a nice, neutral palette so that my colorful earrings would stand out. Finally, pierce the ear with an awl, and you have yourself a free model who always has the time to feature your earrings.

A few tips:
-Let the glue dry over night.
-Extract the background to make it less overwhelming to paint.
-A three quarter view looks nice.
-Make a pretty large hole in the ear (larger than normal), so that you don't stretch the earwires to get it in.
-Keep it simple. I really didn't want to spend a lot of time fussing over the paint job. Especially since I was going to poke a hole in it.
-Use your imagination. Maybe you could use a public domain image of a celebrity. Or an iconic face in art like the Mona Lisa.

Finally, if you don't like to paint, you can use a free program online to give a photograph a painterly look. Coincidentally, How About Orange (I heart this blog so much and so appreciate all the free fonts and tutorials she posts.) just posted about a free site that lets you do exactly that. It's called Psykopaint, and it looks like a lot of fun!


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