Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Picture Perfect!!

With the growing trend of online sites to sell your handmade goods from the comfort of your home comes the compelling question of.."How do I take a great picture of my designs?" Yes, ladies, not only have you started your own "niche" in the beading world but now you have to become a professional photographer too? NO, Don't worry, you can do it!!

Jewelry is one of the most difficult objects to photograph. Reflections, Shadows, and Lighting are just some of the biggest problems, when taking pictures of your homemade goods. But with these tips you'll have others asking how do you get those great photo's?

Step 1
First, you must understand your camera features. It will be MUCH easier to take pictures of jewelry if you have a good macro zoom. This will make your pictures crisp and clear, and not blurry. This macro zoom is usually defined by a little silhouette/icon of a tulip or flower and is used most often for close-up pictures of small objects. Turn this feature on if you have it.

Step 2
You'll also want to purchase a tripod to take jewelry photographs. A tripod is important for holding your camera steady. This allows your images to come out sharp and clear. You may think you can get by without one, but even taking a shallow breath during jewelry photography can cause the camera to shake, ruining your beautiful image. Tripods are generally quite reasonable in price and can often be found for under $30.00.
Step 3
Many people are tempted to use the flash because they think it will make their beads and/or diamonds shine brighter. And they couldn't be any more wrong. DO NOT I repeat DO NOT ever use the flash. Natural light is your best bet. Although it isn't extremely consistent, with flash all you will get is ugly reflections and darkened backgrounds.

Step 4
Choose a background. It can be a piece of a material or a piece of scrap-booking paper. A light pattern is perfectly fine, but make sure that when you put the jewelry item on the background, that the background doesn't take away from the item. Some people prefer a solid background. It can even be the traditional black, white, blue, or red.

Step 5
Now the hardest part, lighting! Lighting is a very big obstacle during photography like this. The best light, like I said before, is natural light, but if you live in the north pole where there is no light 10 out of the 12 months, than you have no choice. The best artificial lighting is a natural sunlight bulb. Never use fluorescent lights, as they tint everything green and tend to make things appear darker. Some people may purchase and use a "lightbox" or
make their own. It provides a soft, all-around light source that will help you eliminate shadows while still giving you the perfect coloring and they are very inexpensive.

Step 6
Haha! the fun begins! Turn on that macro, make sure the light is even, and shoot away! Do all different angles. From the side, from the top, the bottom, the chain, the gems, everything. Don't even think about it. Just shoot. Take around 15 shots for each piece because it's guaranteed that you will not use half of them.

Step 7
After you've taken your pictures, don't delete any of them directly off of your camera just yet. Take time to look at them on a bigger screen, your computer monitor, that is. Go into your editing program and brighten, change the tone, or sharpen your photos if need be.

Step 8
Ta Da! And Happy Selling!


Alison Kelley said...

Great tips, thanks for sharing them!

Trish said...

I can't believe it...I was just posting on my blog how difficult it is to photograph jewelry and I needed to learn more...and one of my followers follow you...click here I am/thanks for the great tips/great blog!

Anonymous said...


Alice said...

thanks so much for all of your useful info. It is very helpful to those of us just starting to get an on-line shop going.