Behind the Scenes: Photography Set Up for Jewelry
I'm a novice photographer so any knowledge in this post is from play and experimentation. Bottom line...I have no technical expertise in photography :)
Nevertheless, I thought it might be fun to share my funny set up and learn what other people have discovered about doing jewelry photography.
I've seen a lot of light boxes out there that are nifty and easy to make from cardboard or plastic boxes. However, after experiencing a lot of disappointment photographing college artwork, I decided to invest in an EZcube Light Box. If you are committed to photographing your work on a constant basis, this investment pays off in the long run because your pictures are better, people can understand your work more clearly, and things sell more rapidly.
Also, don't underestimate the value of good lighting. I tried the outdoors and several other light sources, but after much experimentation I found that photographing my silver charms under EZcube's Daylight 30 Watt bulbs to be the option I liked best. I bought them about two years ago and they are still running. More importantly, I don't work my schedule around Portland weather or the time of day for when I want to take photographs.
Even though I photograph during the day, I have found that if I wait until night when the room is completely dark and turn on only one bulb, I get photographs that have a deeper sense of color and reflection.
From the photo, you can see my set up is rather comical and all culled from stuff in our garage: portable lamps, plastic chairs and a small table.
Here are some other tips that seem to make things run smoother:
1. I tried to create white space outside the EZcube so light reflects back into the box. I used anything that I could find lying around my house: white construction paper, blank white canvas, and a white towel.
2. I also put a book inside the EZcube to create a flat surface and to raise my jewelry up a little bit. For some reason this has made it easier to photograph with a tripod.
3. I use a tripod so that my camera stays completely still and will create sharper images in any lighting condition.
Though set up is important, honestly nothing makes photographs sing like a great digital camera. After much research and talking to other artists I settled on a Canon PowerShot G10. I LOVE IT!! It's simple to use, I get great color, the scene settings are easy to understand, the macro feature functions well, and the software works perfectly with my Mac.
I'd love to hear about your makeshift photography studios and find out any more tips that might make this aspect of my business more successful.
For musings on running a jewelry business, check out my entire Behind the Scenes blog series.