digital camera

or: Should you use models or props?

A jeweler on The Switchboards asked about using models for product shots of jewelry.

Here’s my answer:

Well, it’s much harder to get good shots of jewelry on models — you need bigger lights, bigger back drops.

If you look on Etsy and elsewhere online you’ll see some really awful model shots. Excellent grooming on the part of the model is essential. You should also be able to tell what part of the body is being shot. I’ve seen some pictures that just make me go, “huh?”

Another one I really don’t like is the “broken body part off of a mannequin” shot.

My two cents is don’t do a model shot unless you can do it very, very well. A bad model shot can hurt you much more than a straight up, just the jewelry shot.

In general, too many pictures on Etsy and elsewhere are not straight up enough. They’re distracting, contain irrelevant items, or the background is more interesting than the product. Worse, part of the product is out of focus.

The purpose of the background is to draw my attention in toward the product, and answer my questions about the product.

Product shots are not a time to be artsy.

Next up I’ll post some of my own product shots on a display neck and show you a good example and a bad example.

(c) 2007 Elaine Luther All Rights Reserved

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