Friday, October 29, 2010

It's always a struggle...

One of the things that I have noticed about trying to make it as an online jewelry designer is that you have to wear a lot of hats. I don't just mean the usual small business hats like bookkeeper, sales manager, etc. You also have to wear a photographer's hat.

I have had some luck in the past with taking pictures. By luck, I mean that I've managed to have a pretty decent point-and-shoot that captured some decent shots. I can occasionally frame a shot and pretend I know something about composition. However, all of that flew out the window as soon as I sat down and tried to take pictures of my jewelry.

First, I tried pictures with a grey background. It was nearly impossible to get the entire piece in focus, and also, there's the issue of making them square so they work with Etsy's framework. I read some tutorials and decided that I needed to use natural light.

Sadly, my natural light photos turned out...poorly. I used some of them, but I wasn't satisfied. I ordered a little studio set (one of those expandable light sheds, two lights on tripods) and tried that.

The results were still not great. Here, for example, was my original main picture for my peacock feather necklace set:

This was when I was first working with my light shed, and a horrible background.

I've now figured out two issues that I was having; the manual settings were set to ISO 800, and the white balance was a bit off. Last week I took a new set of photos, and the color still seemed wrong. It was okay for some of the sets of jewelry, but this particular set was giving me grief. It looked too yellow.

So I tried again tonight. I adjusted the white balance again, and I took this main photo for the same set:

I wish that there was a magic formula to taking pictures, that I could just input a few numbers and go to town. Sadly, this is not so. And with a small business need to have very good photos to stand out. I'm going to try to keep experimenting and keep taking pictures. I can only hope that I improve.

Don't forget, my blog is moving! I'm posting at both places for now, but eventually it will be located solely here. Thanks!

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