Tuesday, 6 October 2015


Jessalli Handmade Homewares
When I was invited to attend the Handmade Fair, I was in two minds about going...I've always thought that this was a little too twee for my liking, but I was also curious to see what it was like.
As it was a beautiful and sunny day, I made my way down to Hampton Court green two Sundays ago, and actually I was pleasantly surprised with the wast array of things on show....and not everything was twee:

Like this wire art from Lucy Elizabeth...definitely NOT twee!

....These colorful and funky storage baskets from the basket room...

...These fun and funky printed tea-towels by Ben Rothery illustrator....

And these macrame plant hangers from my favorite stand at the fair: Geo Fleur:

I loved their little geometric planters and terrariums as well...

And these beautiful handcrafted blankets from Felin Fach made from locally sourced rare-breed wool caught my eye....

Of course, it being the Handmade fair and all, there was also a lot of craft supply stalls....and I felt inspired by the sights of the vast array of fabrics, tools and craft supplies on offer:

Like these tactile spools of hand spun yarn by Blacker Yarns....

...These geometric hand printed Ola Oli fabrics from Maud's Fabric Finds....

...and this tray full of shiny sharp scissors by Ernest Wright

And there was also a wast array of DIY kits in various shapes and forms...

This funky little fellow from The Toft alpaca shop being my favorite! Isn't he just so cool??

There were lots to see, including workshops and talks, but I only managed to squeeze in  One before I made my way home to spend the rest of the Sunday with my daughter:

And I am so happy I caught Lindsey James from Photocraft's talk on styling and photographing products, as I found her advise both down to earth and very informative:

In short, here's her top 10 tips for styling and photographing products:

1: Always use a camera tripod
2: First decide the angle of view of the product, then set the scene around the shot.
3:  Use mobile backdrops to fake the background environment to suit the product.
4: Photograph near the window with the natural light coming in from behind or to the side of the product.
5: Level Up. Make sure any horizontal lines are straight and Don't get too close with your camera, but  stand back and zoom in instead.
6: Only add Relevant props to set the scene: Start with the main item, then feed in props to fill in the frame as you see it through the lens, building the scene through the lens. Add props that show off the scale of your product and that has different levels....place them so they "point" to the main object.
7: Turn off all artificial lights in the room and set your camera to Auto white balance.
8: Use a sheet of white card to reflect light from the opposite side of the light source to make your shot "come alive".
9: Clean the lens.
10: Just shoot, experiment and have fun with it....your skills will get better with practice. 

I'm sure you'll all agree, this is sound advice from someone who is renowned for creating beautiful commercial photography.
Lindsay James runs styling and photography e-courses for bloggers and people who make and sell lovely things....and I may treat myself to one very soon (as, I'm not afraid to say: this is one of the skills I know I really need to work on)...or put it on my Christmas wishlist!
(OMG...I said the C-word....)

Anyway...short and sweet today...I'll be back with a post about my essential Autumn life updates later this week...and finally next week, I 'll be reporting fro Design Junction!

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