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Figuring Out Your Audience

Lesson 14 from: Craft Photography Fundamentals

Candice Stringham

Figuring Out Your Audience

Lesson 14 from: Craft Photography Fundamentals

Candice Stringham

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Lesson Info

14. Figuring Out Your Audience


Class Trailer

Session 1


Introduction to Craft Photography Fundamentals


What Your Visuals Say About Your Brand


How to Become a Photographic Author


How to Use Natural Light for Your Product Photography


Setting Up Your Photo: The Basic Rules


Becoming the Viewer to Take Better Photos


Shooting 3 Setups: Creating the Backstory with Images


Lesson Info

Figuring Out Your Audience

So I wanted to show, again, a few brands that I work with and the difference between them, and when I'm photographing, what I'm thinking. So for My Mind's Eye, we are doing party supplies and craft and scrapbooking and I like to stay kind of elegant and clean and beautiful and our lady like sunglasses and lipstick and purses, girl things. Girly imaging. I mean, I can probably pretty much guarantee you that 95% of our customer base are women, so that's how I'm gonna market. Okay, Paper Bandit Press is funny and sarcastic and we know that the client base is sort of the renegade crowd. They value funny homemade items. That's important to them. So we're still high key here and bright, we're still attracting that, but we're adding in really bright colors in a way that I don't do with My Mind's Eye. So here you can see, we're mint and pinks and creams. And even when we get into Halloween, I like to try and keep things a little bit brighter and high key, because I know that our customer likes...

that. So here, again, you can see that still white and bright, but it has a completely different feel in the styling, and what I buy for Paper Bandit Press and the styling is completely different than what I buy for My Mind's Eye. So I have separate prop areas for both, that we'll be talking about later. And then these are from A Handmade Mood, and I actually have a high key and a low key for us because depending on what the mood for the week is, our imagery changes a little bit. But we stay pretty classic, I'd say. So we've seen these. Okay, so this slide is in here because you really do have to consider who your audience is. Not just who you want your audience to be, but who your audience is. And this slide, a picture of a dog, is here because I think he's the most adorable dog ever. It's my dog, his name is Dickens, and we put scarves on him, and it's Texas and it's hot, but he looks cute. Well, I can think that this is the cutest photo in the world, but if I'm showing it to a cat person, they are not gonna think it's the cutest photo in the world, because it's a dog and it's not a cat. So I can make my dog as cute as possible, I can do everything in my photo to make my dog be the cutest dog in the world, and a cat person is going to look at it and be like, "Meh. It would be so much better if it was my naked cat." Right? "Or my grumpy cat." And I will look at their cat picture and I'll be like, "Yeah." I'm not gonna watch a cat video, it's a cat. So cat or dog person. That's kind of how I like to differentiate audiences. Because if you're talking to a cat person and you make that dog so cute, it doesn't matter. So we need to really really look at who our audience is. So Candace, it would be great to, again, hear from some of the folks in here and if you through this have thought about who is your audience. Okay, I'm gonna point to you because at lunch, we were just talking and she was talking about how actually going out and selling in a real craft fair changed her mind about who her customer is. I'd love to hear more about that. Yeah, it was actually very interesting because I've never done it before, so it was more like to friends or online. And being able to see the people that go to your booth through the day, I started noticing who would actually be my customer by the way they dress, by the way they did their hair, by just how they carried themselves. And that was just really interesting, because now designing jewelry, I think of those people and the people that bought from me and even gave me a better understanding of who my customer is because it gave, I thought it was a younger audience, and I would notice that it actually it's a little broader than that. Which is awesome. So I think that's something to point out. A lot of times when we're in our online world, we are thinking of the customer we want and not necessarily who our real customer is. And so it can be good to invest in doing something live to sort of see that. To see who comes over to your booth and who looks at your product. And if it's not who you want, than maybe reanalyzing a little bit of how you're presenting yourself. Or maybe it's much broader than you thought, and you really could reach a lot more people by just changing your online styling a little bit. So that's extremely helpful. And another thing that I would do is the people who follow you on Instagram, do you go look at their accounts? Okay? They're nodding yes. So that is awesome. Because a lot of people will just be like, "I just want followers." And they don't know why, right? But go to their pages, see what they're Instagramming. See what they're talking about on Facebook. And see if you can then connect through that, right? So we want to know who they really are, not just who we hope they are. So any other comments about audience? Well, I make pillows. Let's see if we can see them. This is the Suture Tower which is a huggable. I always say I'm making the world more huggable. That is awesome. And I really love architecture, but I like the contrast of the soft and the, this is a radio tower. You would not think someone would want a pillow of this, but I did. I always think of my customer as Penny from Big Bang Theory. If you go to her house, it's very eclectic, and she's a very warm person, and I think of my customer as being very warm, and they want to hug things. So I do struggle a little bit with, because I use all reclaim materials, so I don't have a consistent look always, so I don't have that option, because I've tried to make that part of my brand, but it is sort of a little bit challenging sometimes. So I love, first of all of that, who you know your customer is, and then again, that you can relate to her because you know her from the show. You know what her qualities are. You could very vocally say, "This is who my customer is." That's a really beautiful thing. Consistency I think just comes more in what you put around it if you are using different materials. But honestly, I can see the other one, I think there is a consistency. Because it is structure, and it is soft. That's your consistency. They're not small pieces. But it's San Francisco, I mean, if you'd ever been here, you would know this is a little bit of home. I don't know. No, I think those seem very consistent. They're just even gathered up like that. Oh, really? Well that's good. (laughter) I think that that's something though. Like a lot of times, we question ourselves. So it's good also to ask other people around you like, "What are you seeing of these things?" And they will be much better, people who love you, at vocalizing what you're good at or what you're style is, because they love you and they're gonna see those positive things. Whereas we only see like, "I only had two customers this week. "People must not like what I like." And we start to really worry is there something wrong with me? But you know what? I have this thing. There are enough people in the world that if I love something, there's probably a million other people that love it to. It's just that we hide it. I'm not gonna tell people I love Justin Timberlake, but I really love Justin Timberlake. Well there's a million other people that do too, that are my age, they're just blasting it in their minivans and not letting other people hear it, right? So I have to find my people.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Creating Visuals For Your Brand Assignment
Slide Presentation for Lessons Part 1
Slide Presentation for Lessons Part 2
Prop List

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This class taught by Candice was amazing. She teaches in such a step-by-step, easy to understand pace. She shares so much of her own tips and tricks she uses to create beautiful images without spending a fortune or having all kinds of expensive equipment. Having the DSLR lessons included was really great for anyone who wants to do more than the camera phones are capable of. Learning the basics of how to use a DSLR is confusing for most people, but Candice broke it down in the simplest way possible. Social media is all about imagery, so if you want to put out the most beautiful eye-catching photos, then you want to learn how to use more than the camera phone. I don't have a business where I need to take photos of things I sell and I still enjoyed her class so much. As a photographer, I am going to use her ideas and insight when I photograph things for fun. There is so much to gain from this class. I would highly recommend taking her class. She is a wealth of great ideas and information and has that friendly personality of someone you'd want to sit and have coffee with.


A wonderful class to get you going with craft/product photography. Candice provides (and shows) fantastic examples and it's really fun to watch her work through a shoot, moving items, etc. to create the final image. She also covers some basic photography tips which is very helpful. Great class! I definitely recommend to others!

Melinda Malamoco

I loved this class! Candice is so personable, clear and relatable. I would want to hang out with her and be creative! I have been taking pictures for YEARS, and for my Etsy store for over two years, and I still learned a lot in her class. The lessons are set up in a way that you can follow, take what you want and don't worry about what you don't need. I will say that I got a TON of ideas for how to better display my brand, what my personal style is and how to be consistent with it. I so recommend this class for anyone who has small business or just wants to be able to take better pictures of their products. Okay, off to build a prop kit!

Student Work