Photography is everything

 

I hate cameras.  They are so much more sure than I am about everything.  ~John Steinbeck

I ran across this wonderfully done picture of a beautiful necklace by Nina Bagley yesterday. http://www.etsy.com/shop/ninabagley?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Simple and artful

Simple and artful

I really enjoyed the subtle photography of this work.  For those of you too young to remember, the necklace is placed on an empty photo album page from a very old photo album that was originally meant to hold tintype photographs from the late 1800s.  The placement of the necklace carefully frames the necklace and emphasizes the dangling accent without taking the viewers mind away from the beauty of the piece itself. Good photography is always a concern to artists.  We all know how to take the standard picture against a black (or white) background, and it is always important to have at least one pic of this type for every piece if you plan to submit to professional magazines, etc.  But for the majority of us, who sell on Etsy and send photos off to juried art shows, we need pictures that showcase our work without boring our audience.  An Etsy site made up of purely silver jewelry on plain black background will not keep a potential buyer looking for long.  The secret is to find a good compromise between classic black, and a background which is too distracting.  Here are some examples of what I think are good and bad choices for backgrounds.

Lovely necklace, but the model is a bit distracting.

Lovely necklace, but the model is a bit distracting.

By all means use a model, but don't show a face - too distracting

By all means use a model, but don’t show a face – too distracting

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You can barely see the earrings for the sea shells.

Same theme, but now the emphasis is on the earrings.

Same theme, but now the emphasis is on the earrings.

Hanging jewelry from the side is a vase is usually effective, but crystal offers too much reflection, and you see too much of this vase.

Hanging jewelry from the side is a vase is usually effective, but crystal offers too much reflection, and you see too much of this vase.

earring

Closer in, and no distracting reflections from the crystal, make this a much better shot.

I love rock backgrounds, but there is way too much going on here and it takes away from this amazing necklace.

I love rock backgrounds, but there is way too much going on here and it takes away from this amazing necklace.

Perfect

Perfect

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, my least favorite way to see jewelry presented – the hand!  We are not hand models folks, and even if we were, there are simply better ways to photograph our piece. 959ac819066e7ccd71133dea602008a4 This is by far one of the more beautiful pair of earring I have seen, but instead of looking at the earrings, I am checking out the hand and wondering how the artist keeps her hands so much nicer than mine when we are both metalsmiths!

2 responses to “Photography is everything

  1. Good illustrations. For the earrings, you could crop just around the earrings and soften the edges with photo editing software and the pic would work. As long as you use a quality camera, it’s better to take a photo from a distance, then crop it in the editing phase.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to illustrate what a difference the background makes for showcases our work. I have always had a difficult time with photography. Because I sell only one or two things (I made hula skirts, blouses, tops), I use the same lauhala mat background for each as the bright fabrics need to be front and center. I do occasionally add a hula implement to the photo for interest.

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