Both here on crafthaus and at Luke & Eloy Gallery, I often encounter wonderful artwork. Unfortunately, sometimes this artwork is really great, but the photo does not do the work any justice. In fact, the photo can be so "bad" that it puts the work in a terrible light, and thus diminishes its prospects at being considered for a show - or for being considered to go online at crafthaus. Magazines and other publications are faced with the same dilemma.

I know that there are plenty of books out on the subject, and often they are very technical and hard to understand. I hope to spark a conversation amongst those who seek advice and those who can give it, simply because they have been there, done that.

Please join me in adding information, ask questions and/or correct me where I am wrong. Thank you.

These are my "helpful hints" for the do-it-yourselfer:

1) Use a really good digital camera, preferably one with a macro lense, which enables you to take jewelry pictures from up close. If you don't, no matter what you do, your images will end up blurry, and therefore unusable.

2) Use good lighting. I take all of my pictures myself, not that they are so great, but just to show you that it can be done :-). I always use natural light, setting everything up next to a window, but without direct sunlight shining in. Most professionals would probably advise against that, preferring other setups, but this low-tech approach works for me.

3) Photograph one piece at a time, as close up as you can, and try to keep the image "straight" and centered, no angles and try to avoid distracting backgrounds such as grass, fabrics and so forth.

4) Photoshop: Adjust the light if need be, but DO NOT GO OVERBOARD and change the piece to make it appear something that it isn't. Big no no.

5) If all else fails, try to have some key pictures of your work photographed professionally (we do have photographers on crafthaus that you can contact - and I hope they'll chime in), at least have a few really great images of your work readily available to show.

6) Experiment: Take a look at other images that you see online and in publications, note what it is you like about them, then try to replicate that set up/effort.

It is a learning experience for sure, but it can be done !!

I look forward to your questions and comments. Thank you !

Brigitte

Tags: artwork, how-to, image, jewelry, photo, photographer, scale, small

Views: 537

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

YOU HAVE DISCOVERED THE MAGIC THAT MAKES IT ALL HAPPEN!

:) Yeah, love the risers. Usually they can't be seen as I clip the black fabric (aka an old sheet) around the frame. This keeps the underneath lighting from bleeding out where I don't want it and has the added benefit of covering up my homemade risers if a client ever comes over in the make believe future I have in a corner of my head. Actually, a few artists have already approached me to do shots but I tell them I am not quite ready and refer them to a pro.

BTW- Did you notice that at the ends of each leg is an upside down solar garden light top? After the landscapers destroyed them last year I had to find a way to re-purpose them :)
That's great, you are Re-Purposing. It's all the rage now.
WOW! I really need to update these setup photos. Ive gone all studio strobes & much more...Update soon!
Hi Brigitte-A fellow artist just parted with way too much money for some horrible pictures of her gorgeous jewelry. I don't know what recourse she has as she did not sign any contract with this photographer.

Any suggestions for a photographer in the Phoenix/Scottsdale Arizona area?
Sincerely,
Laura Lang
3circlestudio@gmail.com or lslang@cox.net
I recommend that this person go back to the photographer and ask for a reshoot. She/he needs to supply specific criticism about what is wrong with the photos and how to improve them. The photographer doesn't want bad "word of mouth" or a poor recommendation.
The complaints need to written down in very polite language.

The Professional Guidelines has two new documents that might help with developing a structured critique for the photos.
Two new documents are:
GUIDE TO PROFESSIONAL QUALITY IMAGES
http://www.harriete-estel-berman.info/profguidelines/qualityimage.html


WORKING WITH DIGITAL IMAGES EFFFECTIVELY
http://www.harriete-estel-berman.info/profguidelines/digitalformat....

To find a photographer, did you look on the SNAG Web site. www.snagmetalsmith.org. There is a list of photographers.
Another idea is to go to a local school and ask around for a person interested in a job.
We agree with Harriete. "Bad" photography is most often the result of the photographer not understanding the expectations of the customer. Almost all professionals will reshoot if you are also professional, polite and specific about what needs to be corrected, as Harriete said, in writing.

Be aware that it is your responsibility to communicate your expectations to the photographer up front if you want a specific style of lighting, composition, background, etc. Expect to pay an additional fee (usually a % of the original fee) if the reshoot is based on meeting specifications not communicated in the original shoot.

That said, photographing jewelry is a very specialized niche of photography. Not all photographers have the equipment and experience to do it. Best practice is to look at the photographer's portfolio for jewelry experience prior to contracting them. Ask specifically to see samples of jewelry photography. If they don't have any, or you are not impressed by what they show you... find another photographer.
Thanks to everyone for their comments and suggestions. I have read Harriet Estel-Berman's articles. They are always the greatest. My friend learned the hard way with her choice of photographers as jewelry was not his niche. He did reshoot some items at a negotiated price, which was fair.
I appreciate the discussion of these posts. Thank you all.
Laura Lang, Three Circle Studio

RSS

A modern metalsmith/metal artist can be found working in traditional metals as well as in nontraditional materials. The designs can range from the classic to the extravagant, and the techniques can either be centuries old or decidedly current.

The wide range of expression preferences, design options, materials, and processes has lead within our field to unfavorable misconceptions, misunderstandings and in some cases even outright disdain between artists. Can the metal and jewelry field overcome its division and send out a much-needed signal?

We appreciate and respect our historical past and acknowledge that current materials have a rightful place in jewelry/object making!

Arriving at this message is the goal of this traveling exhibition opening at the SNAG conference in Boston 2015, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA - Aug 19 - Sept 20, 2015, Equinox Gallery, San Antonio, TX - Oct 16 - Nov 15, 2015, Baltimore Jewelry Center, Baltimore, MD - Dec 11, 2015 - Jan 08, 2016, Brooklyn Metal Works, Brooklyn, NY - Feb 5 - Mar 4, 2016.

DETAILS on exhibition premise, call for artists, submission guidelines.....

Latest Activity

Stefanis Alexandres liked Charity Hall's photo
9 hours ago
Stefanis Alexandres liked Alena Stukavcova Dolezalova's photo
9 hours ago
Lyndsey Fryman liked Brigitte Martin's blog post We are updating: crafthaus members' etsy shop links
9 hours ago
Lyndsey Fryman posted photos
9 hours ago
Brigitte Martin commented on Lyndsey Fryman's status
"Glad you're having a good time ! Thanks for the note. "
9 hours ago
Lyndsey Fryman posted a status
"Hello to all! I am having way too much fun clicking on all the little nuggets of information packed into this webpage. Thanks Brigitte!"
9 hours ago
Profile IconKelly M Nye and Rene Lee Henry joined Brigitte Martin's group
Thumbnail

Co:Operation GARNISH

Can the metal and jewelry field overcome its division and send out a much-needed signal?We appreciate and respect our historical past and acknowledge that current materials have a rightful place in jewelry/object making! Arriving at this message is the goal of this exhibition cooperatively arranged by Rachel Timmins and Brigitte Martin.Please join this group to stay informed !! This is the official exhibition blog.See More
10 hours ago
Lyndsey Fryman joined Brigitte Martin's group
Thumbnail

crafthaus online Exhibitions

Online Exhibition project on crafthaus. Exhibitions are member-curated and change monthly. Calls for Artists below!See More
10 hours ago
Lyndsey Fryman liked Brigitte Martin's group crafthaus online Exhibitions
10 hours ago
Lyndsey Fryman is now a member of crafthaus
11 hours ago
Rachel Kassia Shimpock is now friends with Teresa F Faris and Vincent Pontillo
13 hours ago
Stefanis Alexandres posted photos
20 hours ago
Ligia Rocha might attend Claudio Pino's event
Thumbnail

The 40th Anniversary of Aaron Faber Gallery at Aaron Faber Gallery, New York

October 1, 2014 at 1pm to November 1, 2014 at 1pm
New York, USA. Exhibition: Oct.1 -Nov.1, 2014See More
22 hours ago
Atelier Hg liked Brigitte Martin's blog post What's Up With Taxidermy Lately?
yesterday
Claudio Pino posted an event
Thumbnail

The 40th Anniversary of Aaron Faber Gallery at Aaron Faber Gallery, New York

October 1, 2014 at 1pm to November 1, 2014 at 1pm
New York, USA. Exhibition: Oct.1 -Nov.1, 2014See More
yesterday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"SECTION 1:INTRODUCTIONClarion Events and Handmade in Britainhave created CRAFT to provide a commercialplatform for designer makers who wish to reachan audience of professional retailers andcollectors. CRAFT is a new trade event forleading…"
yesterday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"craft&design magazine, which celebrated its 30th year in 2013, is published 6 times a year by a small family business owned by Angie and Paul Boyer. craft&design features work in all media by makers working in the UK, together with news and…"
yesterday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Make:ShiftThe future is in the makingMake:Shift is a two-day Crafts Council conference exploring innovation in craft practice and how makers contribute to innovation in science, engineering and medicine through new materials,…"
yesterday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"There's a lot going on in craft and design right now, especially in London, with the spectacular Goldsmiths' Fair running now until 5th October, The Knitting & Stitching Show and MADE London next month and Handmade in Britain at…"
yesterday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"The September 30 deadline for the AJF AA is fast approaching. The purpose of the Art Jewelry Forum Artist Award (AJF AA) is to acknowledge promise, innovation, and individuality in the work of an emerging jewelry artist, and to help to advance the…"
yesterday

© 2014   Created by Brigitte Martin.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service