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: 516

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

Rule the World!

Crafthaus Online Exhibition

RULE THE WORLD

Friends of Carlotta Gallery, Zuerich, Switzerland

What are the adornments of dictators, despots, and the plain delusional? What do they need in order to let their real personalities shine through? What tools do tyrants have to show that they are in charge? See for yourself!

Image above:

Grandpa Wooley

"LOOK", Brooch
Internet photocopy of Gerard Depardieu and Vladimir Putin,
Plexiglas, fabric, imitation leather, yarn, wood, silver brooch

Latest Activity

2Roses posted a photo

2Roses_Secrets_ofthe_Heart

Over the last 20 years the State of California has consistently cut funding each year for arts education in its public schools. Several years ago, arts were eliminated all together. The reaction to this from the artistic community was to raise funds…
2 hours ago
Susan Lee Stephen shared Brigitte Martin's blog post on Facebook
5 hours ago
Susan Lee Stephen shared Brigitte Martin's blog post on Twitter
5 hours ago
Susan Lee Stephen liked Brigitte Martin's blog post Daniel Agdag - Sketching with Cardboard
5 hours ago
Randi Harper liked Amber O'Harrow's discussion Last day at Arrowmont
13 hours ago
Brigitte Martin replied to Amber O'Harrow's discussion Last day at Arrowmont in the group Retracing my steps: Explorations in Fiber Sculpture at Arrowmont
"Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Amber. "
20 hours ago
Amber O'Harrow added 2 discussions to the group Retracing my steps: Explorations in Fiber Sculpture at Arrowmont
21 hours ago
Kelly Marie Novak posted photos
yesterday
Brigitte Martin posted a blog post

Jenny Ayrton (UK) - Molten Wonderlands

Jenny Ayrton captures miniature wonderlands in molten glass. Based on often overlooked everyday scenes she creates stage-sets upon which viewers may project their own story. A full-time mum six-days of the week she takes inspiration from the domestic world, often finding that the little things trigger the best ideas; A…See More
yesterday
Alena Stukavcova Dolezalova posted a photo

On Screen

Ring, sterling silver, bronze, pyritquartz
yesterday
Laura Roberson liked Angelina Ciulik's discussion The MASSC Jewelry Challenge
yesterday
Kelly Marie Novak is now friends with Kimberly Jackson and Kathleen Garrison
yesterday
Harriete Estel Berman posted a status
"What would people think? Making a ceremonial object for a museum exhibition from unwanted, ordinary "pushke boxes" seemed irreverent."
Thursday
Harriete Estel Berman posted a status
""Tin, Tzedakah and Seeing the Ordinary" can change the direction of your work. http://j.mp/1nY2CXp"
Thursday
Brigitte Martin liked Amber O'Harrow's discussion Day 4 at Arrowmont
Thursday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Are you displaying your Dealer's Notice? Please note that the Hallmarking Act 1973 states that it is an offence for a dealer not to display the current notice in his/her premises. Any previous versions of this notice will need replacing with…"
Thursday

© 2014   Created by Brigitte Martin.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service