Budget photographers?

Hello Everybody,

Can someone recommend a good photographer? I absolutely must get
pictures taken of my work, but I don’t have a lot of money to spend.
I checked the archives, and there are many many choices, but I can’t
afford an arm and a leg at this time. I don’t need a lot of pictures
taken, maybe three or four pieces.

Surely there’s a happy medium between world famous photographer, and
well, me.

Thank you,
Susannah Page-Garcia
Moonshine Metal Creations

Hello Susannah,

I had a very similar dilemma a couple of years ago and decided to
buy a digital camera. By using a micro program in daylight without a
Flash you can get the most amazing results. I have been complimented
on my work by fellow artists thinking I had commissioned a
photographer! Another advantage is that you can quickly photograph a
piece before sending it out or elements that you wish to reproduce
you can just zoom in and capture all the details you need. I have
also used it as a guide to how my work is finished the micro program
is very brutal and therefore keeps me on my toes as far as finish is
concerned. Try it because no one can photograph your own artwork like
yourself! (see some photos pamelaharari.com)

Good Luck

Surely there's a happy medium between world famous photographer,
and well, me. 

You might give Amy O’Connel a look. See

She has very nice images, and the rates ae less than many of the
professional photographers. Persaonally, I think that it is better
to learn to take your own photos for everything except maybe large
show jurying and print publications. It is especially cost effective
if you are producing a lot of different pieces and need to get
images of them on a website or even for records.

Paul Ewing

Hello Susanna,

Why not get a friend with a good digital camera to take the pictures
you need and then download them onto your computer, this would not
involve any money at all.


Hi Susannah

I had mine done by Azad. The pictures are in the Orchid gallery, so
you can judge for yourself. He quoted me a price and I said “per
piece?” and he laughed because it was a quote for the whole job. Nice
guy too.

Kim Starbard

if you are in the Chicago or Milwaukee area try Scott Fine at
finephotodesign@hotmail.com. He is an independent photographer who
has done an excellent job on my jury photos. Since we trade photos
for computer help I’m not sure exactly what his prices are but it’s
worth a try.

Amy I

Hi Sussanah,

Do you have a digital camera or know someone who does? Amazing
things can be done to make just average photographs look amazing with
a few simple software photo tools. I definitely think it’s an
afordable option.

Good luck,


I’d be happy to help an Orchidian. I just set up a studio for
photography to support some instructional articles I’m working on. I
could use some different items to test lighting etc.

Daniel Ballard
213-689-4872 at PMWest

the best advice i can give you is to go out and buy a Canon powershot
at least 4.0 mega pix, or a Nikon coolpix. these are very easy to use
and they make great pictures. I have used both. they cost about $200
to $300 dollars. good photos will cost $125 to $300 each


Hi, Pamela,

By using a micro program in daylight without a Flash you can get
the most amazing results. I have been complimented on my work by
fellow artists thinking I had commissioned a photographer! 

I took a look, and I like your work, plus your closeup compositions
are very striking-- you have an excellent eye and your camera does
zoom in impressively! But I feel that the images are a bit muddy,
and lack the punch and sparkle that proper lighting would give.
Sadly, there is still no substitute for images taken by someone who
does it all day, every day. (IMHO)

I do not say this because I am a photographer or have any other
personal involvement, other than having to shell out for a
professional myself.


Tim McCreight turned me on to Robert Diamante. His prices are really
fair, he works fast, and his pixs are perfect. www.robertdiamante.com

Yours Truly,
Elizabeth R. Agte
Jewelry Artist


My wife Merylyn is a member of the Orchid mail list and showed me
your email question and the thread that followed it.

I feel that you are looking for a photographer and not wanting to do
this yourself. Noel has the best advice. To add to this I would
recommend you find someone in the area that you leave. This makes it
easier for both of you. I would recommend that you start with the
photo department of your local City College, they know the local
photographers and the local photo clubs(which is a good place to
start). They may also have a student interested in jewelry
photography, and the department will have the lighting and equipment
for the work. Jewelry photography is an art on to itself, I think a
photo student would be interested in adding this kind of work to
their portfolio.

If in the future you would like to do the photography yourself I
would recommend that you read Charles Lewton-Brain’s “Small Scale
Photography”. It is a great starting point. After shooting jewelry
for almost 3 years now, I agree with Charles the minimum camera you
need is a Digital SLR with a micro lens. You point and shot cameras
usually have an f4 to f8 maximum aperture which will not give you
the depth of field you need for jewelry photography. This is what
gives you the muddy look that Noel was talking about.

Good luck on your search.
Zygmund Zee


I agree about upgrading from point and shoot to digital. Also,
perhaps you could have a photographer friend show you how to
photograph your work? That way you don’t have to rely on a
photograper to take pictures of your work and can easily and quickly
get pictures of your work.


Doing your own photography, even in the “point & shoot” digital age,
can still be a hassle for people who are not long time photography
junkies. I know a lot of artists who always do their own photography
and a lot who don’t want anything to do with it. Starting off cold
turkey, with no photo education of any kind is going to be time
consuming and ultimately frustrating for quite a while before you get
proficient at it.

If you do have the basics of photography down there is still a big
difference between landscapes and jewelry photography. Lighting
becomes an issue, as does focus, what camera to buy, and, most
frustrating of all for the high polish crowd, reflection control. And
then there is the post-processing issue. You will need to learn a
photo editing program. Adobe PhotoShop proper is not necessary but
PhotoShop Elements, PhotoImpact, or an equivalent will be necessary.
There are few digital images which can’t be much improved after
loading onto your computer. This is especially true for product

This issue is related to the “CAD at home or hire out” issue in that
there will be a learning curve that will be steeper for some than for
others in terms of getting a viable approach and adequate product. It
is going to cost continuing bucks to hire it done, but if you can use
the time more productively - and less stressfully - by turning the
photo work over to someone else then it is money well spent.

If you want to check the out the do-it-yourself approach I would
suggest finding someone nearby who does their own and asking if you
can watch once or twice. This will give you an idea of what’s
involved, what you’ll need, etc. In other words, a starting place.

On the issue of what camera to buy I’ll have to take exception with
Zygmund. With a little research you can find a 4-8MP point & shoot
camera which will be very affordable and more appropriate to your
task than the cumbersome and expensive SLR style digitals.

As for depth of field issues, small sensor, small focal length,
point and shoot cameras have as much depth of field as their bigger
brothers due to the smaller sensor and shorter focal lengths. If you
want corroboration - and the math - check out this link:

P&S cameras have more or less distortion in their macro capabilities
and checking out several at www.dpreview.com would be recommended. In
general if the macro function is accessed at the telephoto end of the
camera’s range you’ll have less perspective distortion than cameras
with wide angle macro. In most cases this is not a big issue, but for
a dead on shot of a very geometric piece you might find the straight
edges appearing curved in the photograph.

If you care to check out photos I’ve taken of my work with an older
Nikon CoolPix 4500 (4MP) then go to my much neglected website:

I’m late for work,

Les Brown

L.F.Brown Goldwork
17 2nd St. East, Ste. 101
Kalispell, MT 59901

At time you will want to have slides made from your digital files,
their are some companies that will do just that. Although it may
seem pricy, keep in mind that using a SLR with slide film and having
it processed cost about the same, but you don’t know what it looks
like before you invest the money. Here’s an example of a company that
does conversion of digital files to slides (not they also have a
Print Fine Art that looks pretty exciting to me):


Good luck and best wishes,
David Woolley
Fredericton, NB
Diversiform Metal Art & Jewellery