Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking Back A Bit to Goals for 2009

As a former special ed teacher, I honestly believe that goals need to be attainable, not just something we reach out to with little to no hope of achieving. It's sort of like loosing weight.

Most of us feel that we need to loose weight. I know I do. I'd like to set a goal of loosing 20 pounds this year. In order to do a reality check on this goal, I have to ask myself a couple of questions.
1) Is it realistic to think I can loose 20 pounds in a year?
2) If so, how am I going to do it?

Last year, about this time, I asked myself what I needed to do to improve my online sales. (Little did I realize, at the time, that the economy would tank.) I set two goals for myself, with one being much more important than the other. My main goal was to improve my photography. Photographing my beads is something I have struggled with since day one.

When I did my reality check, I answered yes to question #1. I then proceeded to develop a plan.
1) I decided to look at my photo set up and, with my dd's help, improve that. (Jenny is a professional photographer. You can visit her Etsy store here.) If she lived in town, I would have just hired her to take the photos for me.
2) Determine which time of day had the best light for me to shoot the beads.
3) Eliminate the glare on the beads.
4) Improve my artificial light.
5) Try to shoot my beads in as much natural light as I could.
6) Improve my photo editing skills.

With Jenny's help, I was able to improve my photo set up. She made me a frame. In the beginning I used white paper as a background. I had read that white was the best background for most beads. Didn't work very well. I eventually went to the garage and found some tiles that were left over from the ceramic floor that was installed in the basement. I also found an old book and a bamboo mat to cover the join in the tiles. I used a light weight piece of white fabric to cover the top of the frame to diffuse the light. I have recently added an old mirror to give my beads a little bit of reflection. Bingo! I now have a respectable photo setup, and the quality of my bead photographs has improved!

I learned that I just don't have enough natural light in my house to shoot my beads. In the winter, it's just too cold to go outside and use the natural light the sun produces!

Since I use Picassa I have limited options when it comes to editing my photos. The good thing is that I honestly can't do any color changes on my beads. If I can, using this program, I don't know how.
I am debating whether I should buy Photoshop Elements. If you use that program, could you give me some feedback? I'd appreciate it.

I think I can give myself an accomplishment on this goal. My bead photos have improved. I'm very proud of that fact.

Goal 2 was taken care of by the Google Data Base. I wanted to improve the names of my beads and bead sets. I have found using the Google Data Base, the best thing you can do to improve your ratings is to spell out exactly what you have in the bead or set and not worry about a fancy name.

This goal was not truly completed, but I did learn from it.

2010 is quickly approaching! Next blog, I plan to look forward.


Miss Val's Creations said...

Photographing jewelry and beads is so tricky! It definately takes a lot of patience and trying different things!

Genie Sea said...

Splendidly done! I agree with setting realistic personal goals and accompanying with a doable plan of action! Fantastic! May your plans for 2010 come to abundant fruition! :)

Pretty Things said...

Awesome! I'm going to have to borrow your mirror trick.