Thursday, August 19, 2010

You're hired....I need a consultant...

I'm back soliciting your much needed advice. Y'all were so great coming to my rescue with the bag suggestions. (I'm still looking, which is okay, because it's still humid-as-my-shower and hot-as-hades summer around here, so the fall bag can wait a couple more weeks.)
I've been thinking about the overall "look" of my shop and I'm here asking for some advice on pictures, the never-ending topic of discussion on Etsy.
I need some help with the backgrounds.
I've been using this lovely History of Tennessee book (circa 1938) with some vintage-looking scrapbook paper for my softer pieces.

Compared with this gray scrapbook paper that I nabbed from my sister.
What do you guys think?

I think the book background looks good with bead embroidery, and the pieces that I'm making with the softer more earthy colors...

But, I just can't imagine putting this in front of a book, I mean, come on...

Oh, and which is a better picture for the shop pic of a ring?
The no-finger shot....

Or, the on-the-hand photo. (My only concern with this...hand model, I am not.)
Your comments would be so helpful. You guys spend as much time browsing Etsy as I do and I know you've got an eye for this kind of thing.
Oh, and does it look wierd to have different backgrounds in one shop? I mean, should I keep the gray background for the bright pieces, and the book background for the softer pics?
Okay...I'm done now. Thanks guys!


  1. I think all of the photos look good. But propping the pieces against the book seems to capture more light and make the pieces brighter. I love the hand photo. It clearly gives scale to the ring and shows off how it will wear.

  2. I really like the book shots. Much more interesting, but also not too busy. I like the stand alone shot of the ring...but the hand shot gives the viewer scale.
    Bead happy!

  3. For the first one, I think it's going to depend on which one gives the correct coloring. The pieces look different depending on the background. The second picture looks like it was taken with better light though, which shows off the beads better.

    I think with both of the other pendants, your lighting is also better with the gray background.

    With the ring I think it is definitely beneficial to have a picture of the ring on a finger, so potential buyers can have a better idea of the size. Plus, they can have a better idea of how a beaded ring looks on a finger.

    With the concern of more than one background, I think it is probably more interesting to have multiple backgrounds as long as your lighting is similar in both.

  4. I like the shots with the book as a background. I like how the necklace is propped against the book and gives it dimension. The stand alone ring is nice, but I like to see how the ring looks on a finger. Again that gives the customer/viewer an idea of how the ring can be worn.

  5. Generally, I would say not to do the book/ vintage paper route because it's getting a little ubiquitous with all of the vintage brass type stuff out there but your pieces stand out enough on their own that I like the look and I think that it works well!

    As for rings, I always do both, one with the hand and one with out. I usually try to bend my hand, trying not to make it look wierdo and gnarled so every can see how it looks without exposing my non hand model hands. :)

  6. Ok so here it goes. First I love the book but the piece looks more vibrant on the gray paper! And I love the finger shot because you get the scale(no guessing involved) Your work is beautiful and looks fabulous every time you post so keep going!


  7. I am of a mind to stay away from props. I like yours, not too distracting, but often when I see props they either detract, or I am thinking that I would like to buy the prop not the piece (don't worry, that isn't the case here, as your work is beeyootiful ;-)
    I do believe that the main shot of the ring is nice, but on the hand is probably important for scale in at least one of the shots. I like to use a slate tile as it provides texture, is different depending on which corner I used and is neutral enough without being too bland. Also it gives the same look to my pics which is important. I will be watching what others think as I am about to launch myself into Etsy too!
    Enjoy the day!

  8. Although I like the book background, I think you attract more attention to your pieces without it.
    Re. the "hand shot", yes I think it provides scale, but there is a disadvantage. I am refering to a certain shop, and there are always several shots. I have often thought - oh what a gorgeous bracelet or necklace, but when I see it "live on the person" I think it is too small, hangs weird etc. Those shots have sometimes drawn me away from buying.
    But then again - is it the right thing to do, because you do not want to disappoint your customers and that way they know what they will get? Difficult question.

  9. I like the hand shot for rings, but a shot without is good too to show detail. I don't use backgrounds (with the exception of the stainless steel curvy hair stick I use to hang earrings on) because I think they are distracting. Yours are better than most I see, but the lighting isn't as good in those photos. I use a gray background that came with my light box. I find it works for both light and dark colored jewelry and makes a photo of my jewelry part of my overall style KWIM?

  10. For the "main" shots, (the whole shop pics), I usually think it comes accross more polished if all the items have the same backround. And typically I think that it's better without the props. But I believe that is just for the main view. I think it's fine to have a bit of fun with the other four pictures once you get to the item's page. And definitly have a picture of the ring on. We need to see that knuckle relationship:D And there is nothing wrong with your hands!!!

  11. LOVE the book. Have you thought about shooting non-prop shots against paper that matches the color of the paper in the book?

    As for the ring, for Etsy, use both shots! It gives scale.

  12. I prefer the book shots, but I agree with the other ladies that the second photo has better lighting (the colours of the beads are more vibrant).

    In all of your photos, regardless of the background, the jewellery is about the same distance away from the camera. So that seems to pull them all together visually.

    Yours hands are gorgeous, btw! Nothing to worry about there ;-) I much prefer the hand photo as I can get an idea of the size of the ring.

  13. Ditto - the second pic had better lighting, but I do like the paper under the book. I also really like "model" shots in one of the assortment for a piece because it gives some scale.

    Great pieces!

  14. I say use them all - they're all great. BUT I would use the book photo as the main one. Up close, artsy photos are more visually appealing. Then the other photos give the needed detail info. My .02 :)