Thursday, April 3, 2008

How important are photos? The Results

I have several people who were kind enough of to send along some before and after pictures. Many of them show a dramatic difference. As you check these pictures out, ask yourself which one you would most likely click on and which one you would be more influenced to buy. Again, most of us are not professional photographers nor can we afford to hire one. But that's okay, you can see from these pictures that you can learn to take better pictures, at least well enough to get people to take a look at your items. I will start with mine and I will also add any comments that came with the pictures.

Silver River Jewelry

6000 pictures later lol!

For me, the photos are the hardest part. I have been making jewelry for years and continually seek to improve my work. I sell very well when a person can see and touch the item. Getting the pictures right is tough.


For me, better pictures came by listening to what everyone was saying in the forums and practice, and more practice!

The sock monkeys are 2 different ones, but they are both made out of the same socks, so they should be the same color! I took the first one against a wall in my kitchen, using artificial light. The second picture is on tissue paper, using natural light from a window in my living room. I also used a different photo editor (iPhoto) and was able to adjust the color much better, and make the white background smoother.


My pictures were SO BAD before!


calloohcallay Here's a before and after of mine. The first one was taken with some photo lights (good ones, but I failed to block the window light at the same time, and who knows what else I did wrong). It's harsh and flat. The second one was shot with natural lighting and the colors are much better, the whole effect better (it sold after this).

So, you can see how bad some our pictures really were! Some people changed backgrounds (some of us more than once I am sure!). Some did a lighting/locations change. Some changed the angle at which the pictures were taken. Some of us did all three lol! There isn't any magic wand its just trial and error and more trial and error. Use that MACRO button, this is one of the most important features on your camera. Lots of people swear by natural light and it is one of the best ways to take pictures but if you don't have much access like me ( I work a "day" job and 8 months out of the year it is too late in the day to use natural light. And my weekends are packed, not much time to take pictures then. And it does rain on the weekends.) then don't be afraid to experiment with a light box. There are several very inexpensive ones that you can build yourself. My favorite and the one I started with is from . This is a super way to get started with a light box for little to no money laid out. Play with your backgrounds, look outside for neat things to use in your pictures, try scrap booking paper, or material you have on hand. Just go for subtle and not too busy so that your items stands out. I would recommend staying away from red as a background for jewelry as it just doesn't seem to lend itself well to photographing. (keep in mind this is just a suggestion and if you can get it to work for you go for it). Last but not least, use an photo editing software program. This will allow you to adjust your pictures if the all of the above is not enough. (I use my software on ever single picture.) If you don't have any software, download Picassa or Gimp. I find Picassa to more user friendly for those that have no experience with this type of program.

Good luck to everyone, I hope these pictures inspire you to continue to improve your photos. Thanks to all who were kind enough to show those before pictures as well as the after. ( I look at mine and think sheesh! I can't believe I put that out there for the public to see lol!). Many thanks also to all of the people on the ETSY forums who so generously give out their advice on photographing pictures. You certainly shortened my learing curve.


outofthepinksky said...

I'm awaiting the arrival of my new camera. I discovered my hand-me-down camera was bought in 1999 and has 1.7 megapixels :P Gotta give it credit for working this long though!

Sanni said...

What an interesting idea for a blog post... Thanks for sharing!

RetroRugrats said...

Thank you for sharing. I am the worst photographer. It is so challenging to be the jack of all trades in your shop--everything from accountant to photographer.