Behind the scenes: how I take my photos

People often ask me about the photos I take for my jewelry website on Etsy. Some friends who want to have Etsy shops worry that the photos are too much work. While pretty pics can be a bit tricky, I don’t think they take up too much time or are too difficult, once you find what works. I don’t think mine are the best out there by any means, but I am happy with them and I feel like they show off my work in a good way. Here’s an example of one I like. It’s simple, straight forward and didn’t take long.

The main thing people want to know is about my photo studio. I don’t have one.

Here’s a photo of where I shoot most of my pics.

Yes, that’s a table outside and a bunch of pots.
I shoot almost all my earrings hanging from one of the pots you see. After experimenting by hanging the earrings from different things, photographing them on the ground, etc, I found I like the pots best. They are easy and the light is usually good enough on all sides. In a perfect world, I’d toss in some lighting or at least a light reflector card to even it out a little. To help, I only take the photos in the afternoon to avoid harsh lighting. Again, they aren’t perfect, but they get the job done.
I also experiment with different backgrounds. Almost all my backgrounds look like this:
Today I decided to try this. It’s a plastic bowl. When cropped in close, you can’t tell it’s a bowl. I’m not sure if I like the bowl yet, but I needed something to make the browns in this pair pop out. I might try something else later.  
I have also tried close ups with the earrings laying flat. I do this mostly to avoid problems focusing, because when it’s windy out, the earrings don’t hold still. I don’t like it as much as the hanging earrings, however.
Here is an example:
The other day I also tried this:
 
I wasn’t too happy with it, but I thought it might have potential for another pair.
The other thing I tell people is to not be afraid to experiment.
I needed a good photo of this bracelet I made. Hanging it didn’t work, so I took the saucer from underneath my pot, turned it over, and rethought what I wanted to do.
A shot from above  wasn’t going to work. So I changed angles and took this close up, which I like better than any overall shot.
I don’t use a fancy camera, just an old Canon G-9, which has a macro function. The macro makes all the difference. I use an aperture with a large depth of field, like f 2.8. That gives the photos the ability to have one earring in the foreground in sharp focus while the background blurs out, like this:
That’s it for today!
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