Each time I update the photographs for my Etsy shop, The Dream Faire (and it has to be done to keep product photos fresh and appealing), I always think I’ve finally figured out this photography thing.
I’ve only read just about everywhere that you should keep jewelry photograph backgrounds neutral, and for my first attempts in 2009 I used a sheet of gray poster board — and my pictures were horrible. Then I started using scrapbook background pages and thought they looked pretty fine — until I came across items whose color I just could not capture. Then I thought a woodsy background would best compliment my creations and re-photographed my whole shop.
In my latest reading I discovered that, when using a single color background, it should not be shiny or reflective (like that old gray poster board). I had an “ah ha!” moment and dragged out my suede and leather collection (for all those books and bags I’m going to make one day). A rich dark chocolate piece (that photographs as dark gray) caught my eye and I tried it out with a few pieces using the recommended good old indirect morning light (instead of my light tent with “daylight” lamps). That it has been overcast for most of the past week has been a stroke of luck; now I just have to get up earlier to catch the soft light.
So here are some before and after photographs from the past week:
It’s pretty clear to me that the “before” photos were extremely overexposed; trying to look at them now makes me feel like I’m looking in to the sun (ouch!). The “after” photos, while not perfect (the short depth of field is making focusing the pieces exactly as I like a tad difficult), are clearly much more homogenous and (I think) sophisticated; plus, the colors just !POP! since they don’t have to compete with other colors.
It’s a heck of a lot of work, but I think it is so worth it.