I really love shipping out things.
I love putting things into their tiny pretty boxes. I love hand-decorating said boxes. I love adding tiny extras like dried flowers or leaves or candy. And then I like to add some extra drawing on the outer box as well. Sometimes I’ve made a quick drawing of a squirrel, when it’s acorn related stuff. Sometimes I just add some whimsical flowers. Once I drew a tiny (disproportionate) map of New Zealand.
I also love to make and write thank you cards. Every thank you card design I use I’ve whipped up real quickly right before shipping something out. I’ve been packaging an item and then when it’s time to add a card I realize that I don’t really have one at hand that would feel appropriate. So, I begin drafting a new card to fit the theme. It’s fun to make a new card for a specific occasion and person.
The unfortunate downside is the time-cost, obviously.
Couldn’t really do it that way exactly, if I was an actual business sending out tens of packages each day. But then, of course, I could put to use that packaging station tip and save time by having everything at hand all the time. And I would probably design appropriate thank you cards in advance, whenever a new type of product gets listed. And I would have an actual stock of candy for the sole purpose of trying to put at least a tiny bit of extra smile on the person’s face who’s opening the package. Right now I usually have to go out and buy a new pack each time, because an open pack of candy tends to diminish and disappear (only candy wraps remain) by the time I have a need to send out next shipment. Of course, with candy, there’s also the possibility of the receiver having allergies, avoiding sugar, not even liking sweet things. But I hope it’s still better to receive one than not to receive one. I mean, you can always give it to someone who can it it? Right? Although, if I were sending out tens of shipments daily, I would probably find one brand to stick to and print additional ingredient labels, if this brand would not have these listed on every individual piece (sometimes they have ingredients only on the outer package).
Here’s a collage shot of some thank you cards I had at hand one moment and a shot of some candy:
I try to be reasonably eco-friendly too, with all the packaging. I recycle newspapers, whenever possible. And if I have any leftover (gift) wrap at home, it gets used. Sometimes I opt for using new clean paper too, because sometimes newspaper seems just a little too much. And I don’t always have them at hand anyway as I usually read them electronically.
I know it was just last post, where I kind of shared my attitude towards product photography according to which I’ve learned to not worry about it too much or spend too much time on it. But there’s this cherry/plum blossom card, which is just gorgeous in real life, but which didn’t photograph well at all despite me trying several times. It came out like that:
This picture is not exactly wrong. I took it in conditions which are normally pretty good – full sunlight. But somehow the essence of the card just doesn’t come across. I put the card up with these pictures, as despite trying several times I couldn’t get better results.
Today I was messing around with my old iPhone as I tried to get some voice memos off of it and into my computer. (I can’t help but to mark how frustrating the process was. I mean … what is it with Apple, why can’t one access the data on their own device directly? All I can do with it when I connect it to my computer with a cable, is to download picture and video files. And I can only download those – no chance of transferring anything to my phone. Anything else, any notes or voice memos or any other content I might have there I have to EMAIL. Ugh. Anyway, sorry about that.) I also had some photos accumulated in the phone which I saved on my PC, and among those I found couple of first snaps I had done of the cherry/plum blossom card so I could quickly show it off if I wanted to. And I have to admit – despite being somewhat blurry, this time the tiny iPhone cam and nonexistent lighting turned out to be way better at capturing this card than full sunlight and actual camera.
Usually the sunlight routine works out just fine, but with trickier objects everything just gets more complicated. It’s like that whole #TheDress thing. My first reaction upon seeing that dress question on Facebook was something along the lines that I’d really like to see it in better light and from a different angle, it’s really a horrible shot to judge colours by. Of course the news that some people actually see it as dark blue and black was very surprising to me, and it was more surprising to find out that it actually IS dark blue and black. Seriously. Now I’m all uneasy about how some people might perceive any of my poorer Etsy shots.
I also think that that dress thing illustrates nicely what must be going on in with all sorts of things, not just colors. People just perceive things differently, assign different meanings to different things and most of the time you just don’t think that someone else might see the same thing in a light entirely different (btw, sounds like really conveniently fitting metaphor here!).
As for product photography – for now, I have both of these photos above up at Etsy with the product description. And I’ve begun really looking forward to getting myself a decent camera.