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Pretty As A Picture

Photos are a critical part of my work with Cutoff Crafts. Our new Square Shop is rolling out which means I need to have a bunch of earrings individually photoed and lovingly described. Since my jewelry is all handmade, each piece gets its own special photoshoot.

A good series of pictures makes or breaks an online sale. If my pieces look stunning in real life but have lackluster photos, the online sales will flop. After all, the world can only see what I post. I have to advocate for my jewelry as best I can and provide the most accurate evidence so customers can judge if they want to buy something or not.

Here's how I make my pictures speak positively about my jewelry and make sure everything is as pretty as a picture.

First, I make sure to have a clean backdrop. I always sweep, mop, or rake the area to remove any loose debris. A single hair can ruin an otherwise beautiful composition (see photo).

Second, the backdrop sets the tone of any photo. I enjoy emphasizing my outdoor rural location, so my photos often include natural flowers, leaves, and stones. 

Third, there are stages for art all around us. I like to try different locations, settings, and accent pieces to see how they change the feel of my jewelry.

Here is a piece on cement stairs:

One on a log:

One on a leaf:

Faceted crystal and gleaming metal can be extremely finicky to photograph in a flattering light. I take a deep breath and do as many shots as I need. For a single pair of earrings I may take 40-50 photos. Although most times I can get away with around 20 photos per piece.

Sunlight can be a lovely ally or a terrible opponent. If I am working with a phone camera sunlight is often a wonderful boon. I have to be careful though, too much sun can cause awful streaks and blurs.

Here is a cloudy shot:

Here is a lovely full sun shot:

Here is too much sun:

Photoshop, GIMP, and other photo editing programs can be a wonderful aide but it is best if I can get the cleanest base photo I can. Photo editing tools are often a bit of a roll of the dice on if I can salvage the shot - also the less time I am manipulating photos the more time I have to make wonderful pieces of jewelry!

Hopefully some of these tips can help with your own photography adventure!

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