by Sue Ashworth
First of all I’m no photography expert but I can tell you how to get to the stage I’m at quickly, and relatively cheaply, without you having to go through my 15 month learning curve and spending unnecessary amounts of time and cash…. basically I’m going to let you benefit from my mistakes.
If your passion is jewellery making, like me, you won’t want to spend lots of time taking photos but you know that only good photos will sell your product. Pop over to my website and if you like my style of pics come back and I’ll tell you how I do it.
For those of you who are back with me, welcome back, I’ll take that as a compliment
Here goes …
First of all there’s absolutely no need to splash the cash on one of those huge zoom lens cameras. Mine’s a small Panasonic Lumix FS16 Digital Camera – Black (14.1MP, 4x Optical Zoom) 2.7 inch LCD that pops easily into a small handbag. Great for holidays and nights out too. There are many similar models on the market that do a great job, just make sure they have a macro facility, usually shown by a small flower. This allows you to take close ups and small detail. The automatic focus on my camera chooses whether or not the macro facility is required, which makes life even simpler. Cheating a bit I know, but I’m a jewellery maker not a photographer!
I started off using my son’s huge camera but found it complicated and hard to get my head round. I also bought a light box …… not required, and some very powerful daylight lamps which I now use whilst making jewellery on dark evenings rather than taking photographs!
I’ve found, through pure trial and error, that the best condition to take pics is in daylight. Avoid sunny days because that seems to add glare. My best photos are taken in daylight, in my conservatory, without direct sunlight. I also, now don’t laugh, wear my white towelling dressing gown to make sure that no bright colours from my clothes are reflected in the jewellery.
Choose a background you’re happy with, I’m currently using satin draped over an upright chopping board but you can be as creative as you want with this.Try and create your own unique style.
I use lots of handmade ‘props’ for hanging earrings and balancing things but I’ll save that for another blog.
Don’t move in, or zoom in too close, your jewellery may end up out of focus. You can always crop the photo after loading it onto your computer.
I take about 20 photos of each item in lots of different positions, then narrow the selection down to 5 when I’ve uploaded to my computer. I crop and resize these using Microsoft Photo Editor then use a free software package called Gimp to add light if necessary …. and sometimes just a little sparkle.
If you’ve got any tips for taking quick and easy photos of jewellery please leave a comment … I’m dying to know.