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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    September 6th, 2007
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    Unhappy Need help taking product pictures
    We sell handcrafted jewellery at craft shows and online. I've taking pictures for about 40 years and always thought I was a fairly good photographer until I tried my hand at taking pictures of the jewellery.

    Can anyone provide me with some ideas on how to take product photos, especially on how to arrange lights, reflectors and the product itself.

  2. #2
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I am not an accomplished photog (but fairly good); I use a tripod and flash; I place the target within a 'tent' of loose, white cloth to diffuse the flash; I take several pictures with a natural external light and a combination of natural and the flash; I download all to a temp directory and weed out most there; if necessary I will finish by using one of the photo manipulation programs (PhotoStudio by ArcSoft - came with my scanner) to lighten or darken my choice; finally I get rid of the rest of the pictures to save on disk cluster and rename the winner to a meaningful name; I use an older Fuji S6000 camera set on 1 megabyte pictures with a built-in flash and a macro (close up) lens. I use the free PixResizer program to transform my final JPG picture into one set for 800x600 or 640x480

    Charles

  3. #3
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Not sure what you budget is but you can get something for less than $100.
    Google for Tabletop Photo Studio or mini photo studio


    In my previous life, one thing you need to worry about is lighting and the flash.

    Taking the pic is just 1/2 of it. You need to edit it via photoshop to make it more presentable.

  4. #4
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Rhea's Avatar
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    I was going to recommend what Eric suggested. We're considering buying it for a family member who sells stuff on eBay. I think it's used a lot by those folks.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Lanadili's Avatar
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    The company I work for recently bought a camera and a "tent" so we could take our own pictures of all the beauty products we have. What I have found out the hard way, after many hours of trying to adjust the lighting, moving the product around, etc. is that most of the work comes AFTER you take the picture. You can load it up into PhotoShop and manipulate it to however you want it to look.

    There are some tutorials online that show you how to use PhotoShop with products and how to take out the background, make the picture brighter, etc.
    Those tutorials have helped me tremediously and made my products look 10x better.

  6. #6
    Member lookingfortips's Avatar
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    September 13th, 2007
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    This is one of the best tips I' have ever received in regards to my product pictures- take them outside! I was having no luck with product images before until my husband introduced me to this idea.

    It might not work for you but at least give it a shot. Buy some white or black felt cloth (whichever provides the best contrast for your jewelry) to use as a background (available at a cloth store or even your local Super Wal-Mart). Then try to be outside when it is sunny. Do not take the photos directly under the sun, though- find a shady spot. You will still need to try different settings on your camera. I suggest using some flash but not the strongest.

    You will also need to remember that even experienced photographers have to perform digital editing on their photos. Once you take a picture you are happy with, it is crucial to spend some time editing it on Photoshop to remove glares, shadows, etc.

    Best of luck.

    Also, just to clarify- when I suggested my mother take her product photos outside she told me over the phone that they were looking better but she didn't like, "all the trees and grass and stuff in the background." I told her she is supposed to edit out the background! LOL! The only reason you are taking photos outside is to take advantage of the natural light filtering- not because of the background.

  7. #7
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe
    Not sure what you budget is but you can get something for less than $100.
    Google for Tabletop Photo Studio or mini photo studio
    p.s. Check out eBay as you can get something for less than $60

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador joyaz's Avatar
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    I've heard some people have good results using a flatbed scanner for jewelry photographs.

    Some info -
    http://www. home-jewelry-business-success-tips.com/scanners.html
    Last edited by Haiko de Poel, Jr.; December 3rd, 2007 at 11:50 AM. Reason: unlinked the affiliate page, tsk tsk.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager MotoMerchant's Avatar
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    I found this to be pretty helpful! I made one myself a few months ago and just used it for fun, but I am sure it would work for you as well. Takes a little handywork and crafty-ness, but.... can't beat cheap!

    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07...to-studio.html

  10. #10
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Such fancy methods you all have...
    I just put down a white cardboard and click away with my point-and-shoot...then Photoshop the h*ll out of the result.

    But don't bother running to GoodBulbs to see how that turns out. Most of *those* pictures are professionally done (nope, I'm not giving away my source ), mixed in with a few scans.
    The ones I did are THESE ...
    You can practically tell which were my first attempts and which came later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe
    Not sure what you budget is but you can get something for less than $100.
    Google for Tabletop Photo Studio or mini photo studio


    In my previous life, one thing you need to worry about is lighting and the flash.

    Taking the pic is just 1/2 of it. You need to edit it via photoshop to make it more presentable.
    But with a box, you don't get the fun of cropping out all the junk that'd otherwise be encroaching into the picture!

  11. #11
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    If you have a Ritz Camera Store near you - just give them a visit. Most Ritz stores stock two different kinds/sizes of photo tents. I believe both are in the $100 range. I recently bought one and hope to be giving it a workout next week. I also realize there will be some post-production (PhotoShop, et. al.) work necessary to achieve results to produce a good online catalog.

    The "outside" idea in shaded sunlight also works. Try it both with and without "fill" flash.

    Here is an indoor shot with just flash, but the frame background is filled with a gray shirt...for an article on soldering technique. This is just an experiment and needs to be improved on. The highlighted circle area was done with PhotoShop Elements. I am hoping the photo tent will produce better results...

    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  12. #12
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    I have a photo tent and a photo dome. I still have trouble obtain true colour (color for our America friends) and cannot seem to get a white, clear or transparent background. I tried using a blue background and remove it using Photoshop but I lost some of the detail in the jewellery (jewelry for the US guys).

    I just bought 150 watt 5000 K daylight bulbs and will be trying them tomorrow. What I would like to know is where do I setup the lights in respect to the product. I ussually have the product lying flat. Is there a better way?

  13. #13
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I just found a new software that does wonders!

    From blah to pro in 10 minutes!

    http://www.blingit.us/ They have a program at CJ, but I used a plain link. (*cringe cringe CRINGE!*) There's a 15-day free trial. So now I'm trying to fix all my pictures within those 15 days

    One thing I will note is that it's probably best to ignore all their ideas about adding "bling" to the product pix, and just use good ol' white backgrounds.

    What it's really great at is getting rid of the backgrounds without killing the edges of the products, and making tweaks which let the products look their best. I think it does so well because, unlike Photoshop, it focuses on just a couple of aspects of photoediting, ones which pertain to product pictures, and does those aspects WELL.
    Last edited by Leader; December 3rd, 2007 at 02:05 AM.

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