Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Photography props and backgrounds

My thoughts…

I’m practicing again with my photos…

Backgrounds….

Many pictures of jewelry are done with solid background. Typically, a clean slate really focuses the attention on the piece not the background. I personally love black backgrounds, though some designers feel they are visually stale.

If you have a flowery swirly jewelry design, with a paisley, checkerboard or overly textured background the photography is going to seriously distract the viewer. You’ll want to give some serious thought to what are you selling, the fabric or the jewelry. Does the fabric detract or enhance your jewelry design.

Now, if your jewelry designs are going to be in a catalog or a similar publication you will have to follow submission guidelines; most often requiring a solid background. When using stark white background against color; especially dark colors, the contrast is extremely high. When photographing with a white background you have to verify the white actually comes out WHITE and the design colors actually comes out the proper color! Many photographs can be ruined simply because the white background appears greyish, off color, and the piece will often have an unusual color cast.

Props

Props can add character, tell a story; thereby ADDING TO THE VISUAL appeal of the design. The use of different colors and/or props can make a stunningly gorgeous statement. They should be simple and focus attention to the piece. The whole prop does not have to be in the photo to be effective, its shadow or texture can reflect the beauty of the jewelry design.

Some of my favorite props are things found in nature. While my designer friend Lola from Metal Chasers loves using antiques, especially glassware, bronze candlestick holder and similar objects. Lola was the inspiration for this blog and has greatly helped me improve my photography skills. Much of what I’ve learned about photography has been gleaned from Lola.

Recently I received a wonderful suggestion from eSMArts team member, Stacie of Creative Junque, suggesting that I use ceramic tiles as background props. Looking forward to trying this suggestion, I really believe this will add interest without distracting from my designs.


Practice, practice and more practice

I suggest, taking several photographs with several different props, backgrounds, camera angles, and lighting. This will give you a selection of photos, which gives you the ability to choose the photo that shows your design to its fullest potential. What works for one piece may not work for the next. The more photos you take, the more experience you will gain, you will find your style, and hopefully photography will become second hand…

I’m still practicing…

4 comments:

A Beaded Affair said...

Excellent information. We all struggle so to get the perfect pictures that sell.
Lois
http://www.abeadedaffair.com

Wezz said...

Great info! In today's digital age, a few pics more or less won't matter, so take more if you can. I generally take 20-30 pics per item, and then select the best of those. After that, I usually still need to crop and/or balance colors in a photo editing program. I pick the best 5 to put up on etsy. But I admit, it's practice, practice, practice.... I'm still learning....

Jewelry Elegance by jill said...

Lois
Everyone has there own learning curve, and each of us has a different eye to what makes a good photo. I will continue to struggle until I achieve the look that I feel best suites my style.

Jewelry Elegance by jill said...

Wezz
I'm very thankful for the digital age, and my digital camera. I do take a lot of photos, but I think I need to take more just as you have suggested. Certainly if we didn't have the digital cameras, our photos would be much slower to improve.