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Photography in the studio

I’m looking to start a conversation regarding photography in the shop/of jewelry and sales, if that’s not too much in one. I know lots of us spend ample time photographing our jewelry and processes - for end use in social media, online shops and education

I photograph pretty casually, I use my phone and am happy with the ease of use and quality is good enough for me

  1. I’m looking for a camera tripod (not sure if tripod is exactly the right word) that can be clamped anywhere in the shop and hold my phone securely, and hopefully be flexible or jointed so the camera angle can be adjusted in several directions. I want to take more photos of my works in progress/myself in the studio and still have both hands free. Also potentially plan to use it for shots once I have a light box set up. Any others have one they recommend or a good place to purchase?

  2. anyone have tips for setting up a light box for shooting? Maybe there’s even an article here I’ve missed for setting one up. How do you deal with the glare that is so common when photographing silver pieces??

  3. finally, for those of you selling online what are your favourite websites /platforms that you have used? I have some experience with Etsy but am exploring other options. Any one have experience with the new “square” website option? Shopify?

Thanks! :blush:

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Here is a system I like called the Arkon Mounts…It is my newest one that I got for videos etc. I tried to attach a pic but it wouldn’t let me. Email me at Cumminskay@Q.com and I will send…I use my iPhone exclusively. google and you will see a video.

Get a remote picture taking fob and pair it with your iPhone. click it to take pics without touching the phone this works will any tripod. I also have a shorter one that I have used for years. I have no idea the name. So both of these will be able to handle a photo cube. Best wishes. great pics are the difference in EVERYTHING. Kay

Photography is definitely not one of my best skills. I take tons of pictures in order to get one or two that are decent. Practice practice practice! For my set up, I have a portable light box that I bought from Regal many years ago. If look for “portable light box” on Amazon, it’s just a foldable fabric box with white walls and roof. I shine my lights through the walls to diffuse the light which takes care of some of the glare. I found the rest is just positioning the lights, the piece and the camera. I did find a fantastic tip, take a piece of white posterboard and cut a hole in it for your lens. This takes care of a lot of the problems I was having with reflections. I don’t have a tripod for my phone, I’m still using my little digital camera with a tripod.
Happy snapping!

I photograph a lot of my jewelry. You can see the results on my website. Following is a link to a quick document that I put together that describes how I take pictures of my jewelry. I don’t have a lot invested in this setup with the exception of the lights…Rob

Note: The link may not work. Let me know and I will fix it.

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Amazon is a great place to find a phone tripod. They have ones that are able to clip or stand onto any surface (if you want one with a clip search for phone tripod clamp). If you have a camera, then yes you are correct you would search for camera tripod.

Halstead has an excellent blog with info about photo set ups, how to’s and how to edit your photos https://www.halsteadbead.com/articles

You can get a light box for cheap or make your own (google DIY light box). Amazon and B&H are good places to purchase from.
Tips when photographing silver- set your white balance (always), use white paper or white foam core to reflect the light (tissue, toilet paper (yes) or paper towel can be used in a pinch), use your zoom function on your camera instead of moving the camera closer (avoids the reflection of you and the camera in your piece), use the macro setting, watch lots of videos on youtube on how to photograph reflective objects. Google photographing jewelry and you’ll find more info than you need!

I’ve been looking at Square, they continue to update and upgrade their new selling platform. I have my site on squarespace. A lot of artist/jewelers use shopify. Sign up for a free trial for them and play around with building a site. See which one you like. They all have different features so it’s up to what you’re looking for. Big Cartel and Wix are other options.

Marketing on social media is where all the traffic is now, especially Instagram.

Hope my ramblings helped!!

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Lots of good advice from DCadefdesigns. I second Wix, that is where my website is right now, but I am sure that there are others that work well. The big difference for me was when I went to an ecommerce site. With Wix, that was just a for pay add on to the free site. I know that lots of people use their cell phones and they get good pictures with them. I have done it myself, but if you can, it is good to invest in a decent camera that lets you go manual, white balance, shoot in a macro setting that you control and much more. It is really just another form of creative expression. Silver is really hard to photograph and you have to play around with lighting, depth of field and reflections to get good results. I say that I spend more time photographing and documenting my work that I do making it. I many cases this is really true. I have an older page bookmarked on how to photograph jewelry. It is at the following link. I think that it still works.

I am glad that I don’t make my living making jewelry. This is a great discussion. Keep it going…Rob

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Hello Photographers,
If you use an iPhone for your photos, DO get a tripod…they’re fairly inexpensive (like $10 or less). To take a photo without jiggling, use the timer feature on the phone. I get everything set up and when I like what I see on the screen, I set the 3 second timer. Touch the ‘button’ and remove the hand from the phone. Watch the screen count down and take the photo. My iPhone also has a 10 second timer, but I’m too impatient to use that!!

Everyone, use your mask and stay safe,
Judy in Kansas, where the last week has been HOT and today a lovely cold front brought rain and cooler temps. Gotta’ harvest the tomatoes and peppers.

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I am doing a virtual Craft Fair to stand in for Colorscape Chenango in Norwich, NY. I put together Slide show with Video Editor in the Photos App on Windows 10. And a quick website using WIX. I have used WIX before to set up a site for my band and I will build a new site for both when I learn to speak WIX or find a site builder that is a little more intuitive.

For photos I use my Pixel Android phone. And I am thrilled with the capabilities of the camera. I use a $16.00 Cell telephone mount from Walmart that is designed to fit on a motorcycle/bicycle handle bar and it is on a microphone boom stand.(I have several)

I have used the white field photo studio as well as various back grounds. The white field utilized natural and LED light. I am not overly pleased wth the result but that is my lack of experience. The other photos used natural and LED light as well and my back grounds are a well used fire brick and my new favorite, a sheet of silica carbide wet dry sand paper, #320 but not finer than #1000 grit. The grit seems to absorb stray light sources and it diffuses shadows well. I find the silver needs vibrant but also contrasting background to avoid a too clinical appearance.

Good Luck with your project. Let me know how it comes along as mine is still well underway.

Don Meixner

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I bought 2 light boxes from Doug Baldwin (a specialist photographer of jewelry and craft) a couple years ago and they provide non-glare sources of light. really great! You can find him on the internet.

here is an example of the effect of the light boxes

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Awesome idea thanks. I just ordered a fob/remote

Thanks I was able to open the doc! Looks great and not too difficult to set up

I use the gem box to take my pics for my website and for use on fb and insta.
As far as platforms I use Wix. Etsy just wasn’t working out.

Not sure if others have found this device but through Rio Grande, you can purchase a GemZoomU Zoom lens to fit over the camera lens of most cell phones. I’ve eliminated the need for a tripod with it. I anchor my arms on top of a book that sits in front of the digital light house that I use. Photos can be seen on my website as well https://www.ellenlyonsjewelry.com. This lens has made a difference in photographing my pearl knotted line. Yes, I still use a professional photographer for certain pieces but I’m really happy I invested in this app. Website for the device is https://www.gem-zoom.com

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