Thursday, February 25, 2010

A lesson in photographing jewelry




What I had intended to be an hour or so of photographing the pendants I got back from Clayworks yesterday turned into an entire day of frustration, a giant headache and oh yeah, no new listings in the shop to show for it. I'm kind of a perfectionist especially when it comes to my work which is why a few snapshots just will not do. There should be a dynamic photo for catching your eye plus enough descriptive shots to show the entire piece to someone who can't pick it up and try it on. I have pretty much figured out my formula for photographing my pots and can do that in just an hour or so depending on the amount of work that needs to be listed. Easy. Jewelry, not so much. I'm sure it doesn't help that for most of my shoot today I had left my overhead lights on and couldn't figure out why my sunlit photos had this yellowish cast over them. Duh. I finally built myself a modified white box with a dark gray backdrop and a sheet of picture glass on the bottom to try and simulate that professional looking reflection that you see in fancy catalogs. I tried some with props (pretty much everything in my house that is not nailed down), some without and some hanging. Here are my favorite from about 150 pictures I took today. Let me know what you think, I would love some feedback!

7 comments:

mikey said...

I think they look great! the bottom 2 are a bit abstract but the 1st one is so pristine and clear that it works wonderfully. maybe one on a mannequin or your lovely neck would be the coupe de grace

pinkkiss said...

That's a good idea. Maybe I can convince my darling husband to take the pics:)

Rebecca Dortzbach said...

I love the top and bottom, good job! It sounds like you know what you are doing and have spent a lot of time researching. I happen to have a white plaster bust of myself if your interested. it would probably show up pretty nicely against that as well. All said, Bravo. and i agree mith mikey too, it would probably look stunning on you:-)

pinkkiss said...

Ok, good. It seems that the top 2 are the easiest to read so I'm just gonna scrap trying to put props in the pictures. It's annoying anyway:) Thanks guys!

Jesse Lu said...

I hate to say otherwise now that you've decided, but I wanted to add my two cents as a regular Etsy shopper and a jeweler.

I think the vignette, or props shot, is what draws my attention and interest the most. Of all three photos, that would be the one I would click to get more information. It's the most interesting and, believe it or not, says the most about the 'feeling' of your work to me.

The first shot would be a great 'second' shot. The photo I would click on next to see what the piece looks like close up.

Remember... it's important to have an opening photo that reads like a store window on Etsy... one that gets the shoppers to come in. I know it's a pain in the butt to set props up, I've been experiencing this myself lately. But if you keep your props rounded up in one spot that you can access whenever you need to shoot, it shouldn't be that hard to include them. And it will make a big difference for new customers I think.

Plus, here's a really neat trick I came across today. It takes five minutes to make this doo dad and it works wonders for lighting.

http://parolanasema.blogspot.com/2009/12/7-valokuvauksen-salainen-apuvaline.html

You have to translate it from Finnish to English via Google translator, but after that it's so easy.

amy said...

Well this was hard to pick but I think the center one catches my eye the most. It is clear and the color stands out the most in that shot. But the bottom picture has a kind of professional jewelry display lookr to it, That also caught my attention. The top one is the mose obvious and self explanitory. I agree with Mikey, it would look nice on you (or me). All in all the pictures are nice but the necklace is beautiful.

amy said...

Well this was hard to pick, but I think the center one catches my eye the most. It is softly clear and the color stands out the most in that shot. But the bottom picture has a kind of professional jewelry display look to it, That also caught my attention. The top one is the most obvious and self explanitory. I agree with Mikey, it would look nice on you (or me). All in all, the pictures are nice but the necklace is beautiful.