Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Photography, my old nemesis, we meet again!

It's been brought to my attention that I might do better business if my photos were better. Ah, here we go again. The never ending quest for better photos. Every time I hit on something I think I like, it turns out to just not quite be right.

Above is an example of the crisp white background. It takes a lot of photo manip to make that happen, and it's almost impossible if the item in question is white. I don't want to go back to that.

(Item: Mr. Skully-Man)
The gradated background came about from my stint photographing the Layne's Legacy -- Beading For A Cure auctions. It looks professional, but also boring... too boring for Etsy, perhaps. But these photos are admittedly easy to do, which makes the time from completing the item to getting it listed on-line much quicker.

(Item: Her Airship Sailed Through Time)
Sometimes, for no apparent reason, Blogger decides an image needs to be sideways. This was one of those days. Anyway, I've been taking a lot of pictures on the brick planter outside my front door. The benefits are that it's a neutral but not boring background and natural sunlight is the best. The bad part is that there's a few-hour window of good lighting, and sometimes the bricks are gross and dirty.

(Item: Midnight Dancer)
I used this wooden box as a background for a while. It provides a nice, natural-looking backdrop for earthier pieces like this one. On the other hand, sometimes it comes out a weird, gross yellow... and the dimensions of the box mean I have to lay large necklaces out at a weird angle.

(Item: Elvensoul)
And then there's scrapbooking papers. They're large, they're cheap, and they have some pretty patterns on them. I enjoy choosing patterns that compliment the item being photographed. But some may find this a little too "busy." Plus if I choose different ones for different items, it gives the shop an eclectic look that may or may not be good.

(No item link for this one, it sold a while ago but remains one of my favorite photos)

So what do you think, blogosphere? What style of photos floats your boat? Or do you think I should discard them all and take a different approach altogether?


  1. I like the photo of the Airship piece the most. There's nothing distracting the eye from the art.

  2. Scrapbooking backgrounds. My fave.

  3. I actually really like the scrap booking paper. You said that was one of your fave photos so that's a good sign. I also like the eclectic look, but you could keep it black and white, or geometric etc, for a more unified look. I also suggest taking pictures of the item on a human. I like that sort of thing for scale. I volunteer myself whenever I'm around ;)


  4. I like the photos that are a closeup of a focal bead or point of interest in the jewelry. I actually think you could afford to get much much closer on your main pictures! It's always nice to see the whole necklace once I'm interested; but what catches my eye is, say, the pixie curled in her pomegranate. I think you could fill the square with that. At the size of the squares in a quick search, the more you show of most necklaces, the less unique they look; emphasize what makes the pieces special with closeups!

    For longer views, I like your wooden neck-stand.:)

  5. I am 100 percent with Carapace. For the main pic, super zoom on the focal. Interesting angles are alluring, too. You can show the rest of the piece in the alternate photos.
    I don't think the brick does your work any justice. Sometimes props work, but just a snippet of them. Your work is so beautifully detailed that busy backgrounds are distracting.
    You can do this!!!

  6. Thank you everyone for chiming in!

    Deb, that's why I like that background, too, but sometimes it seems so boring. I like it for submitting to contests and such, but I'm not sure it's punchy enough for Etsy, you know?

    Amy, I figured that was what you used for your work ;)

    Meghan, I may need to borrow your cuteness for some modeling! What do you think of using a dress form or mannequin when I don't have a model?

    Cara, good point on the need for more close-ups. I took some today, need to see how well they turned out! And I like my wooden neck-stand, too, so I broke it out again :)

    Julie, thank you for confirming that the brick needs to go. And for the encouragement!

    All, I took some sample shots tonight, I'll post them over the next few days.