Monday, May 8, 2017

New Photography Trends

Call me old fashioned, or just call me old, but I am not liking a new trend in photographing pottery. I am sure you have seen it... solid white background, often over-exposed. The pots look like they are floating in air.  Edges are not crisp, and often the colors are inaccurate. I am not totally against the white back drop... in some situations it works. There are some Etsy shops that use it and it is appealing if the work is in focus. I was curious if potters are using this new technique to apply for shows, and is it acceptable? I figured that the best place to take a look is the 2016 Strictly Functional Show. The majority of the work is photographed with the traditional gray scale background. There are some with the stark white background. Here is a link to the 2016 show:

What are your thoughts about this new photography trend? 

In the mean time, Jeff and I are still photographing the old fashioned way...


  1. I am bored with the fade to grey backdrop but I do think it shows off work nicely and is good for consistency on show posters and the like. I dislike the pure white and out of focus trend. It just looks like someone doesn’t care. I’ve been putting my pots in settings for social media but I also like to have images with traditional background.

  2. Working as I do with a lot of white glaze I need the fade backdrop to make my stuff viewable. If I ever start showing again I'll have to do some thinking about this.

  3. Nothing wrong with "old fashioned"! Your photos are excellent, and do show off your work really well. I must confess to feeling very sub standard by comparison... and, um... I even have been guilty of photographing my stuff rather haphazardly on a roll of white cotton canvas that I nail to a wall outside and drape over an old potter's wheel. I must "pull my socks up"! I do quite like the whitish background with some work, especially if I am going to make a poster or other advert; I can then clean up the background and feature just the pot and any text that I might need in a very simple way. I did experiment 3 or 4 years back with taking low angle shots of my crystalline glazed pots down on the beach with the sea behind. I quite liked some of them that way, but I noticed that people had trouble understanding the scale of the pots (generally thinking them vastly bigger than they were), and I have stopped doing that now. I also briefly experimented with black... which could probably work with some pots, but it would be easy to over do it! I like what Lori Buff said about putting pots in settings, and can imagine that domestic ware in particular would look great like that. Gently steaming orange coloured Pumpkin soup in a lovely hand made pottery bowl, is a wonderful image!

  4. I've been changing things up a little with photography since noticing, as Lori Buff mentioned, the trend of photographing pots in their "natural" settings. However, I still use a backdrop similar to yours for shows. I thought this was a good post by Mea Rhee on this subject:

    1. Melissa, thank you for sharing that link. I think I am in the same camp as Mea Rhee. Her "natural setting" photographs are grounded; her pots don't appear to be floating in air. I should set up photo shoot in another room in my house... I have the perfect walls for it, everything is still painted white from the previous owner!


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