Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Post VI: Q&A and Blogging Office

There have been a few questions from prior blog posts that I feel like I need to address.

Q: Did you take all of the photos on your nail blog, The Collegiate Nail? Is that YOUR hand?
A: Absolutely! I'm sure it's not just nail bloggers, but stealing images without giving credit is blogger suicide. There was recently a case against Revlon for using two nail bloggers' photos and removing their watermarks within a brochure handed out at drugstores nationwide. It took me a long time to get my photos the way I wanted them to look. I started just taking photos by a window, but now I have my own lightbox, which I made.

Q: The photos are very clean, especially for so close-up. 
A: Well, that's not really a question but I have an answer regardless! There's a specific way that I take my photos for my nail blog. I always use Macro mode on my camera. One day when I'm rich and famous, I'll be able to afford a macro lens, but for now, it's just macro mode. On my dSLR, my camera actually won't zoom in as close as my point and shoot would, so after I take my photos I crop them in iPhoto to make them appear more close up. This is essential to nail blogging, because your readers want to see the finish of the polish, which is the look and texture that the nail polish gives the nail.

Q: Do you have a trick for keeping so still?
A: When I pose my hand for my photos, I rest it on the bottom of my light box. I always photograph my left hand and take the picture with my right.

Q: How do you make a light box at home?
A: It's easier than you might think! All I did was take a regular cardboard box and cut out a square on each side, like little windows. I then covered these openings with tissue paper, leaving one side open for putting my items in the box. Put a piece of white posterboard (Or other color, if you prefer) in the box for the background of your photos. Adjust a lamp (or multiple lamps) against the outside of the tissue paper, and you have a bright light box.

Q: Do you use a special kind of light for your light box?
A: Actually, yes. My photos need to be color accurate. I use a UV Sunlight lamp, which is Trademark brand purchased on eBay for just $25. I also take advantage of White Balance. The dSLR does it automatically pretty well, but I constantly had to adjust it when I used a point and shoot.

Q: Where do you do all of this?
A: I am lucky enough to have an entire office dedicated to my hobby! It's in my apartment. Here's a photo, taken a couple months ago. Now, it is way messier and there are probably about 200 more bottles of nail polish on the wall and on shelves. It's hard to keep up!

If you look really closely, my light box is on the right. It looks like a box made of tissue paper. There is a lamp bent over the top of it.

Q: Exactly how many bottles of nail polish do you own?
I have never counted, and really I don't want to know. In the photo above, the bottles are staggered, so it actually looks like half of what is really there. Since then, I've accumulated at least 200-300 more so I would estimate that I own about 650-800 bottles. I used to keep an inventory of what I have, but that became way too much work.


Also, there was a question whether the photos in the Fierce Jewelry Review were my own. Yes, they were! I had so much fun with that photo shoot. I've added more information about shooting those photos in the actual post, found here:

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