Being in the jewelry/crafting community, you begin to see so many people that have stunning pieces and amazing talent, but have NO IDEA how to photograph and edit their photos to get the most out of their pieces. When I first began photographing and listing my piece, I was one of the worst photographers ever! I had no idea how to use any of my camera settings. I used busy backgrounds that didn’t flatter my pieces, but in some cases actually overtook my designs in the photograph. My lighting was terrible. I relied purely on direct sunlight, which is not exactly flattering all the time for crystal jewelry. I did everything wrong!
While browsing the Etsy and ArtFire communities, I saw how lovely some shops are and how put together their photos seemed to be. So I started looking into how to create a well polished store front with pieces that took center stage in my photos. I wanted to have a store that really looked professional and would actually SELL something! After all, what’s the point of having a store front if it never actually sells anything right?!
Google searches and Etsy forms became my best friend. Everyone recommended shooting in a light box to have controlled lighting settings, regardless of the season or the weather outside. That was certainly going to make my life easier. I was trying to shoot my pieces on my exposed patio in some of the hottest days of the year. I swear I lost 10 pounds just trying to photograph! I looked into purchasing a light box, but the cheapest ones I found were around $100.00! NO WAY! Luckily, I found a fantastic tutorial on creating a light box for less than $5.00!
To create my light box I used:
- A shipping box that I got from the trash at my work (FREE)
- Masking tape that I had on hand (FREE)
- A single sheet of white poster board I got at the dollar store ($1.00)
- A sharpie, glue, on hand (FREE)
- A box cuter, again that I had on hand (FREE)
- Tissue paper ($1.00)
I first measured 2 inch boarders around four sides of the box (front, top and both sides) and marked them with my sharpie. Then, carefully, I cutout those panels using my box cuter. I kept the two inch boards in tact so that it provided support around the box.I reinforced some of the thinner areas of the box with some duct tape
Then I cut strips of my poster board to line the inside of the box and glued them in place. The white board allows the light to be reflected back up into the box.
I laid my largest piece along the back of the box starting at the bottom front of the box with the top resting against the top back of the box.
There should be a nice curve at the back of the box. The board will not sit flush against the box. If you were to place the board flush against the box, you’ll get a shadow in your photographs where the back of the box meets the bottom. Keep a nice curve along the back of the box to prevent any shadows.
Finally I attached my tissue paper around the open edges of the box with my tape.
I went to my local Joann’s looking for a flower and a single sheet of scrap booking paper that would make for a lovely, subtle background for all of my photos. I wanted my store to look polished and unified by choosing a background that would work well with all of my pieces. I chose a subtle scripted piece of scrap booking paper for $0.55, and a fluffy white fake flower for $3.99 to create my background. These were the most “expensive” part of putting together my light box.
Hopefully creating your own light box will be a great first step to taking beautiful pieces of your pieces!
Happy Beading Everyone!
Mandy of NiteDreamerDesigns