One of the greatest challenges I’ve had in running my jewelry business is product photography. On trips I’m always the one taking photos, but that’s done little to prepare me for photographing my own products. Since starting my business I’ve learned a bit about lighting and aperture and composition. I’ve read every Etsy photography guide, and I’ve bugged photographer friends with all sorts of questions. After almost 2 years of development, welcome to my current product photography set up.
First of all, I shoot my product photos with a Cannon SX120IS. I am in love with this camera! It was affordable and has been great for both my product photography and regular photos. It is a DSLR-like camera, so it as close as you can get to shooting with a DSLR (the fancy, cool cameras with interchangeable lenses) at a much lower price. If you don’t have access to a DSLR , what you want to look for is a camera with an aperture priority setting and, even better, a manual setting. These are what you use to get the shallow depth of field look that is so popular for Etsy photos, where the product and background become more out of focus the further away they are from the camera.
Second, as much as possible I shoot my photos outside on my patio. You can get good photos indoors with the right lighting and/or the help of photo editing software, but I have learned that it is easier (and I have the best luck) with shooting outside. If it is a bright, sunny day, I use my lightbox (the white thing you see on the table in the photo) to diffuse the light. Too much sunlight can be just as bad as not enough. If it is a bright, cloudy day, I forgo the lightbox and shoot directly on the table.
This particular day of shooting was very windy. For most of the shoot I was holding the lightbox steady with one hand (the wind was pushing it around like a sail) while shooting my camera with the other. Serious photographers might scoff at my method, but sometimes you do what you gotta do to get a task done! I think the photos from the shoot turned out well, despite the challenges of the day. What do you think?