Thursday, March 26, 2009

My very high-tech photo station

I'm always interested in how other people photograph their jewelry and sometimes spend hours blog-hopping & Flikr'ing to checking out other photo setups. Part of this is a learning experience, so that I can take more effective pictures of my own work, but some of it also is just to see what other people were doing. I do think that this research has improved my pictures significantly, and I only hope that it'll continue to do so!

That being said, I've made a light box for myself out of a cardboard box and tissue paper following instructions on someone's blog. (Don't ask who, can't remember! Sorry ;) ) That worked out very well, and is where a majority of the pictures on my ETSY shop were taken. I situated the light box in my dining room window, which has an east-facing exposure, and used the natural light of mid-morning to take my pictures. I liked the light box...but so did my cats, who would sleep in it if left on the table....and so did Erin, who played with it...but after a while decided to try other options.

And now, here is what I'm using! It's soooo simple, and easy to set up, and I don't have to worry about kids or cats playing with it and destroying it! Plus, I'm being Green ;) Repurposing something! Which is always good, right?

Yep, a plastic bag! Someone recommended this on another blog, and so I've tried it! Isn't it so simple? The white bag dilutes the light quite efficiently! And I'm loving the pictures I'm getting this way :) Again, I'm in the dining room, east-facing window, mid-morning. What's supporting the bag, you ask? An iron serving rack, used to hold a bowl of chips! Pretty unique, if you ask me ;) And this rack also allows me to take hanging earring shots easily, and if I feel like hanging a necklace to see how it falls, I can arrange it to do that too!

Oh, and yes, my backgrounds are sheets of scrapbook papers - another web tip! Alot of jewelry is displayed on white or black backgrounds, but for me, I just prefer a subtle background. Neutral, subtle and (usually) earthy-looking :) It seems to suit my developing look to a "tee"! I've got a nice stash of papers that I can pick and choose from, depending on the look of the piece and the look I'm going for. I also use several different papers during a photoshoot, and choose the best photos to use.

After I've downloaded the photos onto my computer, it's a simple trip to Adobe Photoshop for some quick editting - cropping, perhaps a little bit of sharpening and fine tuning, and resizing - and the photo is ready for use! I will say that I do not edit the color of the digital image, unless it's very off, and then I edit strictly to bring the true colors of the piece back to where they should be, with the piece sitting next to me. Of course, individual colors will vary according to the monitor you are using!

And there you have it - my photo station and how I prep my photos for my ETSY shop! I hope you enjoyed :)


Kat's Kreations said...

I love it!!!
My current photobox is actually a clear storage container that I've drilled holes in the sides for pegboard pegs to hold a piece of plexiglass and clip on true-lite ott lites for night time photography (have a day job...). It is working great for me so far! But I love the fact you can use your canopy bracing as props! Kudos to you!

sarah said...

thanks for this post, very informative! and your photos do turn out beautifully.


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