Taking Better Pictures // I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends

Taking Better Pictures // I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends

I'm trying to take better pictures.

I've got this great little shop full of awesome stuff. I spend tireless hours merchandising and making everything look beautiful, and then I take crappy, dark images of everything and post them to social media.

It would be impossible to capture the actual feel of the shop in 1D, but I can't help but think I could be doing a slightly better job.

Because I know that you can't be good at everything (Oh, I try...oh lawwwwwd how I try), I believe that asking for help is always a super great idea.

So today, in a fit of frustration at simply NOT being able to achieve what I want to with my photos, I contacted my friend Justine McNeely and asked if she could come see me in the shop, have a closer look at my Instagram feed, and give me a diagnosis/recommendation for improvement.

Best thing I did all day. All week even. (And I did some good stuff this week).

The first thing we agreed upon is a lack of cohesiveness in my social media feeds.

Personally, I think my followers like that I'm not striving for any sort of perfection. And that it's pretty obvious that I'm capturing moments as they occur without worrying too much about composition and lighting...but there are some editing features I could certainly be taking advantage of.

Justine's diagnosis? Pick a lane and set a few rules for myself.


When possible shoot products on one of 3 backgrounds in the shop so that viewers are taken TO the shop when they see the pics. Rather than having items on a boring old white background.

I believe Justine's words were "Walmart shoots on a white background."

Not that there's anything wrong with a white background (obviously) but it doesn't really speak to what makes Cheerfully Made special. If that makes sense.

FullSizeRender Group products together by layering on top of one another and don't be afraid to have them cropped within the picture. Shoot in the square so things don't get too disrupted when uploading to social media.


Brighten everything up a bit to make everything a little more "cheery". Adjust shadows and saturation, but not too much. Keep it real. Just not ugly real. Leave that for the kid pics :)

FullSizeRender (1) Already things look better. Not perfect, but better. I'm not trying to pretend I'm a photographer, but it's always fun to tweak a skill and get the perspective of someone who knows her stuff. Those three pics were taken just on my iPhone, but I did have Justine take a few product and shop shots because I think it's the balance I'm missing. Toss more professional shots in the mix and I'll give off a more polished look online. Maybe. IMG_8594 Look at this adorable place.IMG_8597 IMG_8599 IMG_8601

Stay tuned for a post about that wicked sign. Made by this guy.

IMG_8603 Don't follow me online yet? Check me out on Instagram and Facebook to see how things are going to evolve around here. I mean theoretically. Good to have goals. xo Em