Sunday, October 2, 2011


Tonight, I gathered an old corn cob, a copper mesh basket, a shell, a fan of coral, half a geode, a silk handkerchief, three vintage wood clothespins, an antique clock face, and an armload of colored, textured papers, in an attempt to get some serious backgrounding going on in my Etsy shop (

You go look at it. Go on, it okay; I'll wait.

 The backgrounds. They are . . . okay. Adequate. Decent. Alright.

Sparrow Salvage is the picture-taking master. And she was kind enough to post a blog about how to take amazing pictures for Etsy, starting with the backdrop.

These are my before pictures.
 You gotcher oxidized brass focal with rough fluorite nuggets, carved bone, and ceramic beads.
 Oh, right, and there's a lampwork one. And some jasper. Ooh, and Baltic amber chips.
And bitty shell heishi beads on the end. Right. So, boring background. Yes? Here are tonight's.
Sparrow talks about giving your item a "feel" or brand concept that is fluid throughout your shop. I guess I'm still figuring that out in mine, but this piece is sorta rough and tribal while (to me) still seeming a little flirty. Y'know, like a cave-woman dressing up for a night out on the . . . plains. Caves. Whatever.
So there's that geode I was talking about; just a hint of it 'cuz I wanted the focus to still be on the piece; and you can see the layering I'm doing with the multiple shades and textures. Not sure how well they're workin', but that's my attempt at nuance and layer and substance and stuff.
Didn't help that the lighting pretty much sucked. These pictures have been auto-leveled on photoshop, and that is all. Mebbe photographing in the daylight would help these out, too.
So that's pretty much my cavewoman necklace. Maybe the backdrops are too soft for the boldness of the piece? I'm still figuring this out. With any luck, Sparrow will be by to help me in my muddled attempts.


  1. Luck is on your side! I'm here to help, though you're doing pretty good on your own! I love the angle on the 3rd last picture (where you see a hint of geode!) and as you said daylight would help enormously here. I also love the angle on the 3rd pic from the top- if you can get that angle on a more suitable background you'll be home and hosed (as we say here in Australia).

    The pale blue is a great contrast colour to the brown tones in your necklace, but honestly I think the bleached wood you use in some of your shop listings is a fantastic background, so I would try building on that.Maybe tear that blue fiber paper in half and layer that on the bleached wood, with the geodes and lace just visible? (I'm doing a post on props soon!)

  2. You are amazingly fast (especially for someone who's on vacation); thank you SO much for your feedback.

    Erm. The bleached wood is not going to be available to me for the forseeable future, as I have settled into my school abode once more; I have the outdoor choice between the black crinkly or pavement. Inside . . . a wooden table.

    I cannot WAIT until your props post. You have a true gift, Sparrow. How many times can I bother you about perfecting my technique before you toss me to the wallabies (as I imagine they say in Australia)?

  3. HAHA! I don't believe I've ever heard of anyone being tossed to the wallabies... though we do say 'Ill feed ya to the gallahs'.

    And you may pester me as much as you like, I like to think it's what I'm here for.

    I'll ramp the props post up the list of priorities- hopefully I'll get to it this weekend. It'll be a double-banger, with lots of tips on basic camera settings and lighting, since people seem to often have trouble with these.

  4. I looked up your gallahs - I think I could take 'em if it came to that. ;)

    I really appreciate your willingness to be pestered; I feel honored that you're willing to work with me as I stumble through making pictures reflective of the spirit of my work.

    So excited about your props and camera post "in which you tell us what to do." I'm on pins and needles, as we say in America!