Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baring it All - Just for YOU

Fancy Photo Studio
Yes, many people have asked for pictures, so today I'm baring it all for you!

I've tried many, many different methods and continue to read blog posts and articles about how to take the best photos of handcrafted jewelry.  Last summer I took advantage of all the nature around me and took outside photos.  I really loved bring that organic element into my photos.

But I live in WI and summer leads to fall... and then WINTER.  And I'll be gol darn it I'm not going to freeze my fingers off taking outside photos through the winter. 

So I needed to find a solution that worked indoors.  My good friend Stacy who's an excellent photographer shares anytime she finds great articles about photographing our items and one in particular really helped me.  (Sorry, I don't still have the link, but it was great!)
With some of my props

The article said use natural lighting from a window, but filter it with a sheet of tracing paper.  Put a table right up to the window and cover it with aluminum foil... with full sunlight coming in, this will appear white.

They also had a number of other "reflective elements" to shift the light back on the item you are photographing.  My challenge, in an old house, most of my windows are multi-pane and leaded glass.  Not good because of the shadows that it throws behind the paper.

I have two windows that I've found work great... one worked all winter, but then when the trees bloomed, I no longer got direct sun.  So I found a better window which happens to be right by my desk. 

So using the M setting on my little point & shoot Canon camera, and using a mirror to capture light on the front of the object with the natural backlighting, this is my "photo studio" set up.  Nothing fancy... trust me. 

Click photo to enlarge
At some point I will set up a silly photo tent, so I'm not reliant on Mother Nature to give me sunshine so I can take good photos.  Note in the photo the lilac bushes outside of my window.  Yes, the period of time I can capture just the right light for my photos is from about 11 a.m. until about 1:30 p.m. 

How do you photograph your pieces?  It's not just jewelry, it's any of us that are creating artistic treasures and marketing or blogging about them online.

Hope your day is terrific!
Photographing Arts, Crafts & Collectibles: Take Great Digital Photos for Portfolios, Documentation, or Selling on the Web (A Lark Photography Book)


Julianna Cannon said...

You only have a 2 hour window for taking pics? Photo tent. Get you one.

I have one similar to this (perfect size for beads and jewelry) and I use a single OTTlight either behind it or over it, depending on need:

Julianna Cannon said...

PS. $21.75 SHIPPED.

TesoriTrovati said...

I have a photo tent but I was never able to use it properly. I do use one of the big lights that came with it with two pieces of vellum taped over the top to diffuse the light. I have a 12x12 slate tile on my desk (I used to do this sitting on the floor with everything propped up on boxes, now it is right next to me! Progress!). I have it on top of of some of that beading felt so that I can shift it around for different angles. I use the high powered lamp to shine from one side and that is how I get my photos. I love the white though, I just have never been able to master it so I go more dark and grungy. Either way, I think that if you find a photo style you like that suits you and then stick with it you will be more successful than switching things up all the time. Great tutorial, Dawn!
Enjoy the day!

Kristen said...

Oh with the title I thought.....Well we won't go there right now K? Anyway you did give me some excellent ideas as I have no photo tent either and props are not something I choose well. That is a whole nother story!

Azure Islands Designs said...

Great tips Dawn...interesting photo! Will have to give it a try! Finding great lighting is key...
Thanks for the tip...

Stacy said...

I never thought about showing where my photos are taken or how for that matter. I love sharing links I find. My items are larger than jewelry, so I have a big wooden box that hubby and I built, I also have a piece of plywood with hooks for the bags and when all else fails I take photos in the house on my giant sewing table with a few props to make it all work.

Abracadebra Designs said...

Wow, Thanks for the tips. I too, rely on a big window. I Really like the idea of the aluminum foil. Can't wait to try it. The photo of the bracelet is lovely.


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