The Artist…

At Work. 

funny Joana pictures


For the past three days I’ve been attempting to master good product photography.  The subject is my greeting cards.  At this point – as you can see above – I’m tearing out my (overgrown) hair because I haven’t yet gotten one shot where the white cards look truly WHITE.  In case you’re wondering, I’m shooting with good cameras (Canon Rebel xTi and my Panasonic Lumix)…and yes, I’ve tried numerous programmed white balance settings, as well as importing custom white balance settings.  So far, even using the neat Expodisc white balance-setting lens with my Canon hasn’t resolved the issue.

Here’s the best I’ve managed so far (and these photos have already been corrected in my photo-editing program):

Simply put card photo for blog

note card and envelope2770 watermark

Since I’ve been relying on natural sunlight alone, tomorrow I’m going to go a different route and try this approach:

In the meantime, if any of you photography buffs have helpful advice, I’d love to hear it!


  1. ma

    well, just exactly what is wrong with those photos? They are all great, as far as I’m concerned. Esp the one of the frustrated artiste. I’m gonna put that one on my web site…..
    xoxo mm

    1. Joana

      Hi Ma,

      Well, the white cards look bluish/purplish and not really “crisp” like I want. I may try photographing on a white background again – although that’s hard, too, because then there is even more white to deal with.

      But for tonight this frustrated “artist” is hitting the hay!
      XOX – J

  2. Helen Reich

    You’re so funny! I agree with your mum, those pix are really pretty good. I can understand that you want a purer white, so when you figure it out, maybe you can help me shoot purples that look purple instead of blue. I have tried to find the white balance on my camera, but I just can’t seem to get it to work.

    1. Joana

      Hi Helen,

      I’d be happy to help you find the white balance setting on your camera. What camera are you using?

      In the end, today after another long session of photography (with a new set up/new lights/new camera setting) I have decided to give up on the white-on-white realistic product photography goal. I’m going to put up digital mock-ups of my cards (still haven’t decided if I’ll include the real envelope in the mix, though) and will use the real photography for the more staged shots (like the one I posted in this blog post.) I figure since so few people write hand-written cards any more, perhaps seeing a pen, cup of coffee, etc., might actually help people to understand what a greeting card is for. Hee hee….

      😉 Joana

  3. lilbrigs

    Photoshop, under image > adjustments has a “photo filter.” You can choose to apply warm or cool colors; I’d say that’s an easy quick fix. If not I’d play with exposure, color balance, whatever. 🙂

    1. Joana

      Hi Lilbrigs,

      Thanks for the good tips! I did play around with the “temperature” of the colors in my photo-editing program…and did more of the same in the photos I attempted today. In fact, I found that sometimes I needed to do the adjustment a second time after I had re-sized the photo for the web. I still wasn’t 100% successful today, but I think I’ve hit on a compromise that I can live with for now. Once I get more of the items in my shop converted I’ll post a link for y’all to check out if you’re interested.

      With all best wishes, Joana

  4. awatercolor

    Hi .First of all don’t tear that pretty hair out. Otherwise love the photo.
    although the whites look good to me I am sure you are right and all this effort will pay off.

    1. Joana

      Thanks, Andrea! I should make sure to tear out the grey hairs at the very least, right? (After this endeavor I might just have quite a few more!)

      As Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

      😉 Joana

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