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Photographing earrings for scale


#1

Photographing earrings for scale: Live model -vs- Mannequin

I have heard a mixed view on the topic of selling one of a kind
earrings that have been photographed on a live model for scale. One
is that it’s just fine, you merely state on your web site that they
have been cleaned before shipping. The other is it’s unsanitary and
the customer won’t really know if the earrings have been cleaned or
not, so the photo should be taken on a mannequin. Some have said it
hurts sales if the photo is on a live model others say it doesn’t
really matter. Being new to selling jewelry on my soon to be live web
site, I wanted some professional opinions on this matter. Personally,
I don’t view ears as a bacteria laden area like I would the door
handle in a restroom, and it seems like common sense to clean any new
jewelry purchased from a web site store or jewelry party. Anyone have
any experience with this? Thanks for your perspective and opinions.

Tisha


#2

I have heard a mixed view on the topic of selling one of a kind
earrings that have been photographed on a live model for scale. One
is that it’s just fine, you merely state on your web site that they
have been cleaned before shipping. The other is it’s unsanitary and
the customer won’t really know if the earrings have been cleaned or
not, so the photo should be taken on a mannequin. Some have said it
hurts sales if the photo is on a live model others say it doesn’t
really matter.- Tisha - Photograghing earrings is tricky in general.
I think mannequins look really stupid but that is what I use. I use
the mannequin like you said just for scale so I don’t really care if
the photo of the earring is detailed. I take other photos for
theup-close detail and leave the mannequin photo for last. I then
change the mannequin photo to black and white - makes it look a
little less stupid :slight_smile: :slight_smile: I would use a model but I don’t have one
and I live in the middle of no where. I would use my husband as model
but he is really hairy :slight_smile: I do not use these stupid mannequin photos
on my actual website or for anything else for that matter. You can
check out what I do with my earring pics: joykruse.etsy.com

Good Luck!! :slight_smile:


#3

Well you need a size reference that everyone can interpret.

A coin for example is not a good reference for international sales,
and a coin cheapens your item.

Archaeologists use metre sticks to give a size reference. A metre
stick now comes in many sizes, divided into decimal measurements. You
can figure out the size of an item when these are added into a
picture.

The do tend to make the image look educational though.

Regards Charles


#4
Photographing earrings for scale: Live model -vs- Mannequin 

I photograph all my jewelry next to pennies for scale.


#5

the most professional way is to use mannequins. earings, sure its
sanitay if u clean them afterwards, but whos going to like having
them been in previous ears OVER not. your call.


#6

Really, in the end it’s not whether YOU consider ears bacteria
laden… it’s what your customer thinks.

The other challenge with photographing real pple is… they look
real, with real flaws, etc… that’s distracting.

Personally I use a mannequin. I keep the mannequins eyes out of the
photograph, which cuts down on the “weirdness” of seeing these fake
eyes staring at you. I personally find the wigs look a little tacky,
so I just put a hat on her at a “jaunty angle”.


#7

Try and get the photograph to show the earrings approximately
life-sized, with good lighting, color, contrast, etc.

Michael
www.radharcknives.com


#8

Put a dime next to the earring to show the scale. Easy-Peasy!

John
Indiana


#9
Well you need a size reference that everyone can interpret. A coin
for example is not a good reference for international sales, and a
coin cheapens your item. 

I’ve used plain uncooked white rice as a size reference in photos of
very small earrings. Rice is eaten almost everywhere, so it should be
familiar to most viewers. Beans were another suggestion, but bean
varieties vary around the world so I wasn’t sure which type to use.

Someone on another list suggested using the end of a sharpened
pencil as a size reference.

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry
www.featheredgems.com


#10
Put a dime next to the earring to show the scale. Easy-Peasy! 

Easy, but not really a good idea for most purposes. Extraneous
objects included in images are frowned on in most publications, or
for jury images, or even ads. Unless your earrings are much larger or
smaller than earrings typically are, it is really unnecessary to go
out of your way to show scale. And if earwires or posts are visible,
those will indicate scale quite clearly.

I would be afraid that a dime might be seen as a comment on the
value…

Noel

P.S. During my years as a professional potter, I did use a coin in
shots to good effect, when I photographed miniature pots that could
not otherwise be distinguished from their full-sized counterparts,
like the ones in my piece Just My Cup of Tea", visible here:


#11

now, after reading parts of these posts on this topic, it has
inspired me to gget together a set of coins, for instance im using a
penny, quarter, dime, and nickle that i cleaned with rubbing alcohol
just for this occasion. i will be using the coins in pics and will
put them next to my jewelry for reference. having read another post
after doing the cleaning of the coins, introducing a new point, that
international people have different coins/currency so it would not be
of much help to them if they did not know what a quarter is in size
etc…

i come to the conclusion that a coin is great for my website
webstore, and i do not actually agree that the using of “extraneous
objects” like a coin is frowned apon.

i think in my case it will give some style to the picture and i am
proud to state that i did get the idea from this topic. thanks and
ass for value, i do not think it actually makes the pieces any less
valuable. thats just rediculous and petty


#12

That’s an appropriate use of a supporting prop, it satisfies all the
criteria.

It shows size, most people know the size of a tea bag. It’s a
related item, so the customer will not be distracted to think of
something else. The main focus is not on the tea bag.

The only thing that would make the image better is if the tea bag
was offset to above the purple-ish bowl. Currently your eye is drawn
from the blue teapot, to the tea bag to the string, then “cup of
tea”, then to the base of the silver spout. By moving the tea bag to
the right, you would change that viewing priority, and end up
focussing on more of the image.

Photography is quite fun and a powerful tool, when you start playing
with the way people look at things.

Regards Charles


#13

Hi Kathy,

Someone on another list suggested using the end of a sharpened
pencil as a size reference. 

That’s a good idea, but you have to remember that putting anything
in apart from the jewellery, you will change the perception of the
target audience.

A pencil would inspire thoughts of “precision”, and techniques.

If you added a flower, like a rose, you would add an element of
class, however due to the size of a rose, you would change the focus
of your image away from the jewellery.

The trick is finding something that will not draw your eye away from
the jewellery, provide a scale, and still appeal to your target
customer.

Regards Charles


#14
That's an appropriate use of a supporting prop, it satisfies all
the criteria. It shows size, most people know the size of a tea
bag. 

Sorry, I now realize that what I wrote was unclear.

First, there is no “size prop” in the linked photo. That teabag is
part of the piece, and though it IS exactly teabag size, it is made
of copper screen and filled with tourmalines (c.50 carats) and
diamonds (c.3.5 carats).

I linked the photo in reference to the miniature pots that are
inside the silver teapot. I was saying, when I photographed these
miniature pots (and others like them-- I made quite a few) on their
own, I used a penny in the shot because otherwise they just look like
regular-sized pots.

I also made a 4" chair that came apart into jewelry, and a few
people have told me they thought from the image that it was a
full-sized chair. But I still think it would look tacky to put an
extraneous object in the image, though I can see that for a web site
or online store, photographing a piece on rice or beans could work
well, depending on the style of work.

Noel


#15
It shows size, most people know the size of a tea bag. It's a
related item, so the customer will not be distracted to think of
something else. The main focus is not on the tea bag. 

Uh, it’s my understanding that the tea bag is not a prop, but is
part of the art work, as it is filled with diamonds and other

I think Noel was just showing us her miniature pots, not any coins.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#16

Why not just list the dimensions? Lenght x Height x Depth, thats the
quick and easy way to give a person the realitive, or exact size of
the product. Normally done in mm, but inches will suffice as well.
You can even incorporate this into the photo if you are just emailing
photos, if not list them on the webpage.

P@
www.patpruitt.com


#17
Beans were another suggestion, but bean varieties vary around the
world so I wasn't sure which type to use. 

Black beans, for color. But, for me, I think the whole beans and
rice thing is played out.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#18

i do not agree that adding a flower to a picture adds an element of
class. nature maybe. but not class. let me tell you this. there is no
trick in photography about not drawing the eye away from the jewelry.
the only thing is if u are taking the picture, u neeed to make sure
that the picture does not look like the item that u are selling is
the “flower” or “pencil” you use to promote size. its actually really
simple. i dont think some people on here understand that if you are
going to be relating and item to another item to get the size across,
you have to just make sure the 2 items are in the picture, rather
than trying to get the focus off the jewelry. for instance, if u have
a beautiful coin u are using for size comparison. there is absolutely
nothing wrong with using such an item to make the person thats
viewing see the coin. its up to the viewer what they see, its not
some kind of trick u can establish to get your jewlery piece to stick
out. let me tell you this, i do not think its the photography that
"sells" the piece but its the context of the way its shown.

eleaborated: u need to just make sure that there is not something
that actually makes the picture look dumb, like something orange or
yellow or green. id stick with main colors like blue red black
purple and pink white and gray. i do not believe that these "“so
called tricks” to establish the viewer to not draw there eye away
from the jewelry as that sounds wizardish and is actually frowned
apon in the real world :stuck_out_tongue:


#19

Adding any item to your photo for scale (such as a dime) will
indicate scale while creating a terrible photo.

I don’t recommend this approach. Rulers, dimes, quarters, eggs will
always diminish the quality of the photo.

Harriete Estel Berman


#20

Hi Pat,

Why not just list the dimensions? Lenght x Height x Depth, thats
the quick and easy way to give a person the realitive, or exact
size of the product. Normally done in mm, but inches will suffice
as well. You can even incorporate this into the photo if you are
just emailing photos, if not list them on the webpage. 

I hate to say this but a lot of people appear not to be able to use
measurement systems very well.

The discerning buyer will definitely will be better educated.

However if you want to catch the eye of the… less bright, then it
doesn’t hurt to give some visual clues :wink:

You don’t have to be bright to have a lot of money.

Regards Charles
P.S. Very condescending I know, but we do this to make money as well as
for the art/craft.