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: 544

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

2014 Crafthaus Project Grant Recipient

Crafthaus is pleased to announce that Leisa Rich's project "Invisible:VisAble" garnered 968 votes of 2,575 total votes cast (37.59%) and is the 2014 Crafthaus Project Grant Winner.

Starting in November, we all look forward to following Leisa's crafthaus blog about her project.

Thank you to everyone who voted. Much success for all projects!

View all voting results.

Latest Activity

Maya Sabbatini liked Mark Fenn - Studiofenn's group Tales From the Tool Box - Chapter One
2 minutes ago
Tom Supensky joined Melissa Cameron's group
Thumbnail

Coming up from the south

Jewelery works from emerging artists from Australia. Curated by Melissa Cameron.See More
3 minutes ago
Profile IconTom Supensky, Sophia Georgiopoulou and 2 other members joined Mark Fenn - Studiofenn's group
Thumbnail

Tales From the Tool Box - Chapter One

Thank you for viewing this on-line exhibitionThis exhibition is a showcase for narrative work, with over 234 images it was decided that the exhibition would be in two parts with chapter two being on-line in January 2015I would like to personally thank all the makers who took the time to submit work for this on-line exhibition. Image left: Dauvit AlexanderTitle - "Blood Will Have Blood: A Macbeth Brooch" Image Credit: Photography by Andrew Neilson, Neilson Photography. See More
4 minutes ago
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Karina Gill - Contemporary Silversmith http://www.craftinfocus.com/focus_november_2014.htmlKarina GillSilversmith Karina Gill received a BA (Hons) in Three Dimensional Design from the Surrey Institute of Art and Design in Farnham.  Since…"
5 hours ago
Jennifer Merchant commented on Brigitte Martin's group SNAG
" UNIQUES Call for Entries SNAG's next UNIQUES Sale is on eBay, December 1-15, 2014. Deadline for including your work in the sale is November 1, 2014. Learn more"
10 hours ago
Jennifer Merchant commented on Brigitte Martin's group SNAG
"Call for SNAG Volunteers Want to help SNAG at SOFA Chicago? We are looking for a few people to help out at the SNAG table. All volunteers get free daily admission in exchange for helping staff the booth and tell people about SNAG and membership.…"
10 hours ago
Jennifer Merchant commented on Brigitte Martin's group SNAG
"  Steven Gordon Holman SNAG-Sponsored Lectures at SOFA Chicago    SNAG Emerging Artists 2014 November 7, 9-10 am Steven Gordon Holman, Lauren Tickle and Demitra Thomloudis     Carrying Devices and Other…"
10 hours ago
Leisa Rich posted photos
10 hours ago
Leisa Rich commented on Brigitte Martin's group Crafthaus Project Grant 2014
"I'll keep you posted! Thanks, Crafthaus for this great grant opportunity! "
14 hours ago
Ruth Packham left a comment for Brigitte Martin
"Thanks for the the information I will have a better look in the next few days.  "
15 hours ago
The Justified Sinner commented on Brigitte Martin's group Crafthaus Project Grant 2014
"Congratulations! Excited to see what comes of this."
17 hours ago
Ruth Packham is now a member of crafthaus
22 hours ago

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!

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

© 2014   Created by Brigitte Martin.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service