April 2024 Newsletter

Find a PDF version of this newsletter here:

Upcoming Events

  • General Membership Meeting-April 17th @ the fairgrounds Country Kitchen building at 7 pm (doors open at 6pm)
  • Swing into Spring Online Market April 1-30th on ACF Website and Facebook
  • Summer Show Welcome letters and maps will be available for pickup at the April Meeting. If you don’t attend this meeting they will be mailed after the meeting


Your 2025 membership tier will be determined by how many membership participation credits you earn in 2024. (credits reset every year)

You can earn credits by attending meetings, making donations, volunteering at events and attending the mini zoom meetings. See ACF Handbook for more details.

You can monitor your progress throughout the year by checking this list:


Summer Weeknight Market

Planning for this event has been tabled until 2025. If anyone is interested in taking the lead for planning this event - Let Lindsay know.

Don’t forget about Nametags!

Vendors are required to wear name tags for ACF’s shows. They can be any name tag you wish - make it yourself or order a fancy one. If you would like to order a name time through ACF the form is available on the ACF Website and at meetings.

Find order form online here - https://5bvxzwsexv5wrucc-28618326094.shopifypreview.com/pages/name-tag-orders

Other events

Flathead Faerie Festival

July 27 & 28 at Centennial Farms applications are available at www.FlatheadFaerieFest.com This event is hosted by fellow ACF members are due by May 20th.

Find applications online HERE - https://www.flatheadfaeriefest.com/applications

How to take professional product photos at home

Article by Christina Williams

There’s a good chance your product and website photography is a customer’s first experience with your business. So, the quality of your photo’s matters. In fact, customer research from Etsy found that 90% of people surveyed said image quality is the most influential purchase driver. That’s ahead of the cost of the item, delivery cost and customer reviews. Bad photos not only create a negative image of your business but may also cost you inquiries, people’s trust and ultimately, sales.

But here’s the thing: When you’re just starting your business and money is tight, forking out for professional product photography often isn’t an option.

In this article, Julie Halloran and Jessica Gabeler an in-house creative team share tips on how to take professional product photos at home by covering: lighting, composition and format. You’ll learn how to build a DIY studio you can set up on a chair, the dining room table or the living room floor without any fancy gear. And how to take professional photos with your phone.

To take your product photos from amateur to pro, you’ll need:

• A camera or smartphone

• A source of natural light

• A table

• A piece of white card

• Clamps to secure the card to a table or chair

1. Take photos next to a window

Find a spot with plenty of natural light and experiment with different setups using a table or chair. Taking your photos at the same time each day improves your chances of having similar light each day. But since some days are more overcast than others, a light meter app is a practical and inexpensive tool that lets you measure the amount of light reaching your DIY studio setup.

2. When using natural light indoors, switch off artificial lights

Electric or incandescent lights affect the white balance of your photos. Different light sources emit different colours of light. So, remember to switch off any artificial lights like standing lamps and ceiling lighting.

3. Understand directional light

Front-lit is when indirect natural light hits a product head-on.

Back-lit is when it hits your product from behind.

Side-lit is when the light hits either side of the product.

4. Use a reflector

If your setting needs a little light boost, an inexpensive option is to place a white foam board directly across from the light source to even out you’re lighting. The reflector bounces light back into your scene and brightens up angles of your product your natural light source can’t reach.

Apply composition techniques to make your product stand out

“Effective product photography draws people’s eyes to the area of the photo you want them to focus on.”

1. Build a texture collection

What interesting textures do you have around your home and garden? You don’t need marble countertops to style your product photos with that elegant stone texture. Just one marble tile set up on your dining table is enough to create a natural backdrop for your product shots. Spare bathroom tiles, different types of wood and textured papers all work as interesting backgrounds for your shots.

2. Include a prop to show scale

Ever wondered why so many product shots feature a cup of coffee? Using a simple hand-held prop like a mug or pen in your composition helps people get a sense of your product’s size. And it doesn’t just go for small products. If you sell accessories for larger products, show those products in situ to give people a sense of their scale. Flat-lay photography is a top-down photo style where you take a bird’s-eye view image of your products in a natural-looking setting with some props. If you sell homemade cookies, show them on a table next to a book and a cup of coffee to illustrate how people could enjoy them. It’s all about capturing the mood of the environment where people will interact with your products. One of the most helpful tools for achieving great top-down product photos is a tripod. You can pick up a reasonable product for a low price, especially if you use a smartphone for your product shots. Using the timer setting on your camera or phone on a tripod avoids any shadows of your body in your images too.

3. Focus on your product

Nowadays, many phones can achieve a crisp image in the foreground and a softer background when set to portrait mode. If you’re using your smartphone camera, put some distance between your product and the background. This makes it easier to focus on your product and bring it to the fore and achieve that dreamy blurry background that’s so popular on Instagram. If you’re using a digital DSL camera and have started shooting in manual mode, the lower F-stop settings (also known as aperture) can help you achieve the crisp foreground with a soft blurry background. Just make sure there’s plenty of distance between the subject and the environment. A wide F-stop setting in the lower numbers like 1.2 or 1.4 with your lens on full zoom with the largest aperture possible should help you achieve this but experiment for yourself with different settings.

4. Find your photo’s sweet spot by applying the rule of thirds. As the name suggests, the rule of thirds is a composition principle that breaks an image into thirds. Two vertical and two horizontal lines split the frame into nine equal parts. When framing your product shots, ask yourself: What are the points of interest (e.g., a specific product feature or detail)? Where am I intentionally placing those points of interest in relation to the line intersections?

5. HAVE FUN!!!

Share your event calendar to get social media post assistance!

Did you know that our web & social media admins create social media posts for members when there are upcoming events? We then send those post panels to you and you can post/share them to your own Facebook and/or Instagram pages. This is free for all members - all you have to do is let us know which events you’ll be attending this year.

Update your event schedule HERE - https://airtable.com/app2Sv83QH4SZUkCv/pagPNiCf8XaTqbTOm/form

Create / Update your profile page on the ACF Website!

All ACF Members are entitled to a FREE profile page on the ACF website. All you have to do is provide the content. This is a great way to get extra online exposure for you and your business - even if you have your own website.

Send profile information and updates HERE -


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.