Thursday, October 28, 2010

Holiday Boot Camp Week 4 - Photography Tips

This week is all about photography.  You can not sell online without great photography.  It takes time, a little know-how and lots of practice to create great product photos.  Lucky for you Etsy has the tips you'll need in one convenient location: Etsy's Photography Guide.  These are great tips no matter where you sell you work online.

My Photography Tips:
1. Use your macro lens - the little tulip icon on your camera.

2. Use a tripod.

3. Photograph in natural indirect light, if possible.

4. Keep your backgrounds simple and non-distracting.

5. I use a piece of vellum to filter out the light and reduce dark shadows. I hold a sheet of vellum a few inches above my jewelry in the direction the light is coming through.  (It also helps bright up your photo too.)

6. Use a photo-editing program to crop your photos.

7. Take at least 10-20 pictures of each piece - you'll end up with 5 good ones!

8. Make sure to vary your perspective - above, at eye-level, move that camera around.  Work it, work it.

9. I like to have one close-up, or as I call it the "glamour shot", that would look great in a treasury. 

10. Make sure to have at least one photo that shows the entire piece of jewelry laid out for one of your 5 shots.  And bonus points if you can have the piece modelled in one of the photos.

Check out jewelry magazines and books for ways to style your photography.  I love Stringing and Bead Trends for ideas for great props and backgrounds.  Visit the Bead Trends blog and scroll through their Etsy round-up features for wonderful examples of jewelry beautifully photographed.

Personalize your photos - don't just choose a background, make sure it relates to your style of jewelry and your brand.  Use the props and backgrounds to define yourself in the market place.  Don't try to emulate another seller's style too closely - find your own signature.

Here is the Boot Camp newsletter from last week in case you missed it. 


Rosalynn said...

Thank you for the helpful tips Heather. I love the "work it, work it!". That gives me a much more fun approach to the sometimes tedious chore of photographing finished items. The sources for examples of well photographed items, as well as your own wonderfully staged photos, is very much appreciated.

Alice said...

Photographing my jewelry is my LEAST favorite thing about my business! I use a photo light box, the macro setting, and Picasa photo editing program, and still come up with photos I am barely satisfied with.

Thanks for the tips!

Michelle Mach said...

These are great tips! It still amazes me how many photos I need to take in order to get a great one. I'm going to share your link on Twitter today.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips! I love how you photograph your work, Heather. Thanks for sharing!

Holly said...

Great article! I'm so behind on the Boot Camp stuff and so look forward to your round up every week :) Awesome tips on using vellum, and thanks for the link to the Bead Trends blog!