Jewelry Photography 101
So you have your latest Leetie jewelry shipment & you're ready to share it with your online tribe! Here are some tips & tricks so that you can capture the fun color & style of each piece and have those pics lead to sales.
Keep it simple
So you have this great necklace you want to shoot & the color reminds you of the beach. That's great. But we recommend you keep the seashells & beach sand out of the picture. In a world full of over-styled photographs, we have found that the most successful stock photos are simple. You want the jewelry to be the star of the show. Keep backgrounds clean and fresh and free of extra things. Setting up your jewelry for a show or a pop-up sale looks very different than the set up required for crisp product photography.
When I first started branding Leetie years ago, I used to love neon green & watermelon pink. I shot way too many cool pieces of jewelry on these backgrounds, looking back. But because that's all I used, my 'brand' had a consistency. I don't recommend neon backgrounds, per se. But I do recommend that you pick 2-3 backgrounds & rotate them through your product shots. I now use: white crisp almost no-background, a rustic beat up blue coffee table background, and a chippy white board. Lately I've been thinking of changing those up, but for now there has been consistency & it creates for recognizability when presenting your images.
There are a go-zillion articles online that give you some fantastic photo-pro tips on how to make your product photography the best it can be. Pinterest is a great place to find some that are easy to read & won't make your eyeballs spin. But in my experience, I have found 2 ways to produce well-lit, crisp images that convey the truest colors. 1. I shoot when there is nearby, diffused natural sunlight. This does not mean placing your jewelry in that bright streak of sunlight that is cascading across your table. You want to place it next to it. Be sure that the sunlight is behind you and not behind the shot. This will make for best color trueness. 2. Use an Ott Lite or or some kind of CFL bulbs that produce true colors. I usually only use these lights when shooting on a white background because they help when trying to make the background wash out.
Washing out the background
I use an iPhone 6, a few sheets of white printing paper and an Ott Lite. Then I pump up the 'Brightness' & 'Exposure' on my photo app about as high as I can without compromising the color accuracy. There is also a great website called FotoFuze.com that provides a super easy-to-use tool for removing backgrounds.
One really great way to encourage your would-be shoppers to envision how their jewelry will look when they wear it, is to include lifestyle shots in your presentations. This could mean taking a pic of a model wearing the necklace. Or it could mean a picture of you opening your recent shipment with a look of excitement on your face. Lifestyle shots provide info such as the size of a piece, scale when work, but also the mood you want to convey. Selfies are considered lifestyle shots & work wonders because you not only act as the model, but you allow your peeps to get to you know you better by showing how YOU would style that piece and what YOU would wear with it. A lifestyle shot alongside a good, crisp product shot provides a 1-2 punch of power.
We have some amazing photos that have accumulated over the years. Some were shot in-house, some we had professionally shot over the years. When we went to rebuild this website, we got in our own way because our photos were not organized. Since then I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your pics labeled well, and stored in folders that make sense. This way, when you're looking to build out a folder titled 'The Lola Hoops' you know exactly where those photos are collected. We use Dropbox.com & pay a low monthly fee for storage space. If you are good about removing out-dated photos, you'll likely be fine using their free plan. You can upload directly to Dropbox from your phone & share files easily. I highly recommend it.