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Everyone who etches glass for sale knows just how hard it is to get good photographs of their finished projects. Even if you hire a pro, chances are they have never had experience with glass, and you will end up paying for their learning experience. It took us years to find (and train) a professional photographer to get the shots we wanted. In the process, we learned to do 90% of our own photographs.

We have decided to share the information we have learned over the past 30 years about how to do it yourself and get good results. So, this seminar is oriented to glass etchers who want to learn to take high quality photos of their own work for a portfolio, brochure or the web, with a relatively low investment in equipment. It is NOT oriented to professional photographers and does not present in-depth professional techniques that would take you years to master. You will be amazed at what good photos you can take with just a little information and equipment.

This seminar will cover how to set up for and take the photos in a low cost "studio" setting, including backdrops and inexpensive lighting. (For example, we use inexpensive flood lights rather than strobes. They are cost effective for our use, though not for pros who shoot hundreds of photos a week.) You will also learn basic photo manipulation in the computer to improve results from the camera, and we will present information on how to lay out a portfolio of your work. (Though we will discuss and demonstrate location shots for installed pieces of glass, there is not a detailed presentation of this topic.)

Students should bring their cameras, so they can actually take shots of the setups we create. Students should have some experience with cameras and understand how to use the camera they bring. (Sorry, but we just won't have time to help you figure out how to operate your camera!) Make sure you have a way of downloading your shots so we can work with them in our computers. Students can bring one or two pieces of their own work to photograph. Get your portfolio started in this class!

Which of these photos would you want in your portfolio or brochure? Anyone can take the one on the left. After this class, you will be able to take the one on the right.

Student requirements: Experience with cameras is required. We prefer you have experience with a good digital camera (8 megapixels or better). You must also have basic computer knowledge to get the most out of the computer presentation. We prefer experience with an image manipulation program or a paint program (like Adobe Photoshop, Corel PhotoPaint, Jasc Paint Shop Pro, or similar). You may work with either PC or Mac computers, since we use both.

Features of this intensive class.

  • Learn where to get photo ready backdrops in a large selection of colors and how to set them up
  • Learn what type of inexpensive and easy to learn lighting to use
  • Learn how and when to use props to enhance photos
  • Learn how to get good photos faster, with fewer retakes
  • Learn the procedures for getting the photos into your computer and how to manipulate the photos with software tools
  • Learn where to get great brochure blanks and how to lay them out for your products
  • Learn how to create a professional looking portfolio quickly and easily, using many high quality photos you don't even have to take yourself
  • Learn the difference between photos that are good for printing and photos that are good for the web