Saturday Question: Where Do You Photograph Your Perfumes?

I know that not all of my readers have blogs or publish pictures on Instagram or Facebook. But if you do, or if you take pictures of your perfumes for any other purposes (e.g., for swaps or to sell), please chime in.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #55:

Where Do You Photograph Your Perfumes?

Do you do it – at your place or outside? Do you have any special set-up or do you improvise? Do you use any props?

If you do publish pictures publicly online, would you share a link to any of them that you especially liked or were proud of?

My Answer

Most of the perfume photos I take for this blog, Instagram is kind of a “spill out.” When I travel, if I have a travel bottle of perfume, I can attempt taking pictures in an unusual place, if it fits the idea of the shot. But mostly I travel with handmade decants instead of bottles, and those aren’t interesting enough to take pictures of them.

Since I don’t have a garden, and there are only that many pictures one can take in our tiny and not that picturesque backyard, every time I want to take a picture of a bottle, I start roaming around my house trying to figure out where I have sufficient light to

place a set-up that I came up with. It isn’t that easy to do: my house has a lot of shadowy spots and not that many sunny ones with suitable background to take pictures against.

I was considering a shooting tent, but none of them would be suitable for engaging Rusty. So, for now I try to use either natural light from windows or an additional light I bought for Zoom meetings (because I’m having exactly same issues trying to find a properly lit spot for those video conference calls).

Speaking of Rusty… Whenever I want to brighten my pictures with his presence, it limits my photo shoot location choices even further: I need to organize it in one of a couple of places where Rusty can naturally join in. And preferably do it when those are well-lit.

I usually do not do flat lays, so, not counting Rusty, my props are usually limited to flowers or some objects that have direct relevance to the idea of the photo. I admire people’s ability to do interesting compositions with multiple related (or not) objects, but I haven’t mastered that (yet?).

 

Where Do You Photograph Your Perfumes?

62 thoughts on “Saturday Question: Where Do You Photograph Your Perfumes?

  1. Hey Undina and crew,
    I’m pretty lazy when it comes to pictures (everything really). There are three major spots in my home I photograph. The most used is my bathroom. It has white tiles and a really strong light for doing makeup, plus it has a west facing window that gets light at an excellent angle. It’s so simple to grab the bottle and my phone and snap away.
    If there’s a large number of bottles I will use our dining table and sometimes for a small grouping they stand on top of a Liz Zorn painting (Jasmine Summer) that I absolutely adore.
    I will sometimes try to change this up but it rarely works.
    Portia xx.

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  2. Since I use my IG to document my SOTD, I photograph everywhere. I have a homemade light box that I used to use for my jewelry photos. I go out into my yard quite often, especially when I have blooming flowers. My piano is a popular spot – I really like those photos. Lots of photos on window sills for lighting. I have even taken photos in my car. Not all are successful and interesting but sometimes I’m just trying to get the image up, especially this year with my 365 project – can’t miss a day.

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    • I did notice your piano photos. Those are special, I agree. Though, the more pictures you take in different sets, the more successful ones you get.
      I applaud your 365 project, especially since it’s hard to make an attractive photo of a sample.

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  3. On my Instagram I publish a lot of flatlays. They are usually shot on my bed with an A4 size sheet of paper of various colors that match the perfume color. Most of my props are naturally found items, like nice rocks, seashells, bird feathers, pinecones, small pieces of wood. I also use potted plants or cut flowers if I have some at home at the time of taking a picture. I don’t take that many photos outside.

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  4. I don’t photograph my perfumes except for sale/swap. Usually I use a glass shelf in my bathroom as the light is good there and there is a blank wall that makes a good background.

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  5. I usually take photos on my “tree table” in my living room. It’s a console table made from one very large slab of wood from 1 tree and I love it. I also have good lighting there from inside lights and natural light. I’m not much of a photographer at all. I wish I had the skills of Lucas or Undina. I love your photos! But I muddle along. I like to add pretty crystal elements, candles or cut flowers. No garden flowers since I already discussed my camellia eating squirrel. Sigh!

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    • Thank you, you’re very kind.

      I’m interested in your table. Does it have a natural edge or processed? Can you share a picture? I’m curious because a good friend of mine who is into a woodwork talks a lot about those tables.

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  6. I don’t photograph perfume bottles often, but when I do it’s usually on my desk (for a dark background), on a chair (for a white or off-white background) or on a windowsill – then I blur the background because the bug screen texture is really distracting.
    I do admire others’ staging with glass, paper, and other kinds of setups!

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  7. I’m not on social media so don’t document my SOTD in photos. I occasionally share with interested friends. I don’t have any set place, but I like to use a background that works well colour wise. My kitchen counter is great because it’s soft white and the backsplash tile is similar, so works well with any bottle.

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      • Why thank you 😊 Not as good as yours, I don’t usually think of using filters but might try some tomorrow. I’ll see what Tony thinks🤣

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          • Brigitte, are you commenting from a mobile device?
            I’m asking because I noticed that recently when I comment from my phone, I often do not see my comment until I publish the next one. It is there, but I cannot see it even after the refresh. I don’t know why it happens and what to do with it, but just wanted to let you know because it seems like it is happening to you too. If you plan to comment more, just assume that the previous one published and do the next one. Otherwise, if you have another browser app, try opening the same post there – most likely, you’ll see your comment.

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  8. Because of lockdown I haven’t seen my perfume pal for 12 months. The only photographs I have taken are of the perfumes I have bought or had for pressies over the last year.These pics are to send to her. She’s sent me pics of anyrhing she’s bought.

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    • I have a question! Why do you take pictures of those perfumes instead of just giving a link online? Do you stage them in some special way? If yes, what do you use?

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      • Because it’s easier to take a pic on my phone then send it to her. She can then look up any details of said perfume on Fragantica. No, I don’t stage them. I just put them on a cushion on my sofa.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I tend not to be a great photographer so I don’t take many. If I do take pics, it’s usually on a bureau with some object d’art behind it. I wish I had a great model like what you have with Rusty!!

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  10. Great question!!!

    I’ve moved picture-taking from my bedroom (with the green bedspread) to the banister (but 😱 because of the danger of smashing the bottles). These days and the most lasting one yet is on top of a 16 inch diameter side table / plugging station (which I don’t use as one). It sits in front of my sliding glass doors and gets natural light although I usually close the curtains and turn the light on, unless I want the shadow effect. For background, I use placemats, cutting boards (only used for this purpose), owls 🦉and other figurines, most of the time. If I am including a kitteh, I have to use my recliner. I don’t think I’ve taken a picture of perfume outside. I’ve occasionally used my bathroom, the one I hardly ever use except to decant perfumes, store cleaning products and yes, TP 🤭.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. How I absolutely love a blog with followers who talk about furry grandchildren 😍😍😍
    I often don’t have great light for pictures where my tables are, so I often end up improvising on a chair, the floor… Soon though I can take photos again on the balcony, atm it’s still too shadowy.

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    • The funny thing is that by default I assume that people are talking about their cats… and only later realize that some of those are dogs :)

      You make absolutely wonderful compositions whenever you publish pictures! And I still remember your illustrations for your blog (and enjoy the one you did for my :) ).

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      • Aw, thank you. I did look into the blog, and there’s nothing there. I still lack the extra energy to start looking into if it can be retrieved and how.
        Yes, to the furry babies and grandchildren, I also take them for cats at first. We would! 😻

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t take many photos of perfumes because 1) I don’t think my photos are that good, and 2) we’re still in the middle of house restoration. But I have taken some photos on top of some light sky blue IKEA storage boxes where I keep many perfumes. They sit on a window seat that gets excellent indirect bright light. I’ve also played with using scarves as backgrounds. My furry girl Lucy is too silly to photograph with perfume and probably too large, though she’s a midsize dog of about 40 lbs. She would wag them right off a table! I should use IG more. You can see some photos of Lucy there, but not with perfume, lol!

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      • And if you scroll down a bit, you’ll see my actual favorite photo (2019!) of a Chelsea Pensioner. I caught this moment when a group of lovely young women in fanciful floral dresses and hats were entertaining passersby at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and behind them was one of the rare female Chelsea Pensioners, reaching out to caress some of the beautiful flowers. She was so unselfconscious, and no one else was interacting with her at that moment (though I had seen her a short time earlier, cheerily greeting visitors as the pensioners do). I just thought she was so beautiful herself, even more so than the pretty young women.

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    • There are two good ways (I can think of) including Lucy into perfume pictures: 1) positioning a bott somewhere on the level of her nose in the standing position and taking a picture of her sniffing a bottle or 2) putting it next to her face when she’s sleeping on the floor. But taking a picture in the second scenario requires either a special stick for your phone with remote or you laying down on the floor ;) I’m sure everyone will love those pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, various places… On the dark wood of tables, or on a brocade throw, against my bedroom wallpaper with its gold motif, or an interesting cushion fabric. Occasionally lying on a Persian carpet, if that isn’t too ‘busy’ a backdrop. I will never go to much trouble though. Oh, I would also add that I am quite given to ‘flat lays'(!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you should engage Truffle more, if necessary, attracting her interest by using yarn… Speaking of which, I think there might be some “niche” in using different knitting supplies as props (especially since you currently cannot go for their main “use case” ;) ).

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  14. Inspired by all of you and this discussion, I took my bottle of Ostara with me for a day trip to see millions of daffodils in bloom, and photographed it there. Quite pleased with some of the photos. I posted one on Instagram.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I commented on IG, I liked your photos.
      Did you take shots from multiple different angles? Usually “on the spot” it’s hard to envision completely how something will look in the cropped version, so I’m usually doing a dozen of different pictures for a single object… and then can’t decide which one I like more. Especially when Rusty is involved ;)

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  15. Pingback: Perfume Chat Room, March 19 – Serenity Now Scents and Sensibilities

  16. The short answer to your question, Undina, would be everywhere. I’m always looking for interesting locations to take perfume pics when I’m out and about (not as much I’d like due to the Covid situation, of course). These settings can be indoors or outdoors. Some of my pics are more stylised than others, but I try to get something different.

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