Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ask The Mavens

The questions have come in about photographing jewelry.  If you're going to sell your jewelry or enter competitions it does not matter how gorgeous your work is if the photos don't do it justice.

So here are a few of our tips for taking good photographs.

Cindy's tip is:
To increase light, use white cardboard as a reflector; to add sparkle, a bit of tinfoil can be used to bounce light where you want it; to cut down on glare, or eliminate reflections in shiny bits, use black cardboard.
Nancy's tip is:
Photo shop is your FRIEND! Sometimes an edit or a crop can make a big difference.

Mikki's tips:
When I first had to take photos of my jewelry I thought "No problem", I'd had photography training at college so thought it would be a breeze.  Boy, was I wrong. My photos were ghastly!  I immediately searched online for any tips I could find, tried everything, and every combination until I was happy with the results.  Did it work?  Well...I started having my work published online and in magazines and I won a few, yes it did.

Lighting is key but also the layout is important.  Having something in the shot with the jewelry...hanging earrings on the rim of a glass, some flowers, shells, stones, etc can make it all so much more interesting.  However, if you are entering a competition be sure to read the rules because they will often request the jewelry be shot against a certain color background, usually white or grey, with nothing else visible.

Daylight shots are great, they bring out the true color but can be tricky. Try shooting in the shade on a bright day to avoid the glare of the sun. If you are lucky enough to have a window where the sun streams in set up your shot there....too much sun? try a sheer white fabric over the window to diffuse it.

I take most of my shots in a little white box that I made, and I have to say it works extremely well. I'll be giving the directions to make your own for under $5 in my blog post on Tuesday.

I also tweak my photos with MS Digital Pro....typically I'm adjusting the lighting a tad or cloning out something in the back ground I didn't see when taking the shot. Photos are great for reminding you that you forgot to trim a thread!

Just a little about photos....if you have a specific question head on over to our forum and ask....we'll do our best to answer.

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