Lifestyle Product Photography Tips for Handmade Shop Owners: Photographing Jewelry

Hi guys, and welcome back to the
Tizzit.TV channel. This is Deb. I’m the founder of, a website dedicated to helping you start
and grow a successful handmade shop. Today’s video is a little bit different. It’s an extract from a full course
that I’ve done with my friend, My-Van, all about lifestyle photography and
how to take lifestyle pictures for your handmade products. This specific bit of the course that I’m
going to play for you now is all about how to stage and really a behind the
scenes look at how a professional photographer organizes her shoot for
lifestyle photos when it comes to jewelry. Let’s dive in! Okay, so we are
back with video number two, which is not toys – it’s jewelry. Okay. So the products here that I want to
highlight are these geometric earrings and necklace – you can kind of see them now. The idea behind this is that the jewelry
is made of brass and so I wanted the background and the props to be monotone
so that the material of the jewelry stood out on its own. The end result you’ll see is just pretty
much all gray with the exception of the jewelry being a contrasting color. So here I am using contrast again. The earrings I’m working with are stud
earrings and what I recommend with stud earrings is that you take out the backing
on it and try to stick the post into styrofoam that’s covered in fabric or
some sort of foam board or something. Here I used a ring box
to stick the earrings in. In that way you can see the
design better and they’re not flopping over.
Does that make sense? Like you’re not catching them at an angle. This way they lay flat a little bit
better. And then I use the lid of the ring box
to set the necklace on and now I’m just kind of fussing with the chain to kind of get it set around. That’s a really good idea as well. If you’ve got in your product
line earrings or rings, and you have this box that’s like
your branded packaging – that’s great. You can add that to the
picture as well because again, you’re being cohesive with your brand
and showing the actual details of what will come in and what it looks like. Yeah,
absolutely. If you have some sort of
really cool packaging, definitely use that in here as a part
of photography because then that really shows your brand and your
story a little bit more. So let’s talk about the
background that I used here. This is just basically a piece of foam
board that I got from the Dollar Store and then I wrapped it
with some gray linen. You can use any kind of fabric. I like using really neutral, solid colors in general,
because it appeals more to people when I’m not
trying to use too many different colors or patterns in my backdrops. It also allows the
product to stand out more. So this is just fabric wrapped around
foam board, really easy to create. It’s lightweight so you can move it around
very easily and store it away easily. I’m a big fan of foam boards as backdrops. You’re spending so much time
on that little chain there. Oh my gosh.
They take a lot of time. I know! I love that you’ve got little
tweezers there, like: “Come on, you little thing!”. This was created just for this video. So imagine if I had done it for a client
– it would have been a whole day’s worth of fiddling with the chain. It’s not exactly perfect as an end result
because I was doing it for the video here, but I just wanted you to see it takes a
lot of work even just for this example. I think it looks great. And, you know, at some stage you’ll have to stop going
to far with it and driving yourself crazy. At some stage if the chain is going
to be there make it look nice, but not too perfect and move on. And maybe there’s where those trial shots
with your iPhone would be useful too because you’d would want to see how it
looks in the picture and then at the end it may look very different than
what you see with your eyes. Yes.
So that little pill box at the top there, that’s an example of a prop that I have
that I don’t show it in the camera but has a hole on the side
so if I were to use it, it doesn’t function very well, but it
looks kind of good on camera. However, I didn’t use it for this final photo
because I felt like the gray didn’t quite line up cause that’s kind of
like a pewter silver color. It didn’t really line up with
the gray of the other props. So I’ve introduced this little
antique key at the bottom, which I ultimately like better because
I like the round shape of the key at the top,
you know what I mean? It kind of reflects the roundness of the
dish and the round shape that I created out of the necklace. It’s also less distracting I’d say, less
shiny. At some stage you also tried, I don’t know what it was,
it looked like a card, but it was white and light gray.
I don’t know what it was. You sort of quickly put it on and quickly
off probably because it maybe looked a bit too bright and so your
eyes go straight to that
element instead of focusing on the actual product,
which is the jewelry in the middle. Yeah. Let’s talk about this
ribbon I’m playing with. If you noticed when I put the ribbon down, it came off of a card and so there are
a lot of creases and wrinkles in the ribbon. A styling trick that I have is to take
out the wrinkles I use a flat iron or a hair straightener on low setting and I
just kind of run it through and it takes out the wrinkles immediately. So then I’m playing with the
ribbon here and ultimately, when I take a test shot, I don’t like the way it looks
so the ribbon goes away. I spent all that time flat ironing it
and making it all look beautiful and then just I don’t like it – but that happens all the time. Yes, and again, take all
those trial shots in between. I feel sometimes when you play
with something like the ribbon, and you’re like: “Oh, I’m not sure. I’m going to take it away.” and then
you forget to take that picture in the meantime but the ribbon was actually nice,
you wouldn’t have had this picture. It’s also a backup, you can
also go back and go: “oh, actually that’s kind of nice.
I’m glad I have a picture with it.” That’s true. That’s a good point.
That doesn’t happen to me very often, but it has happened a few
times, where I’m like: “Ooh, I kind of maybe need something there”. It’s nice to have some options.
Anyway, here I am taking away the ribbon, I think it was just a
little too distracting. A good rule that photography has – I
don’t know if you’ve heard of it – is the rule of threes. Yes, but let’s definitely
explain what it is again, because I think it’s important. Okay. So basically the idea is that
when you have an odd amount of objects, it creates a better sense
of balance to the eye. Whereas if you only had a pair of objects
your eye doesn’t really have anywhere to fall on. But if you had one, two, three lined up objects then your eye
kind of immediately goes to the center object:
“follow me!”. So that’s where the rule of
three comes in, which is nice. It’s basically a
balancing trick in photos. Some rules are meant to be broken –
I don’t always use rule of threes, I don’t always place an odd
amount of objects in my photos. It takes practice over time, I just kind of developed an
eye for what feels balanced. Having background in interior design has
really helped because I’ve already been trained in how to look
at things a certain way. So when I came into
styling and photography, it was kind of a natural move for me. So anyway, does that make sense? Yes! Let’s talk about this little
thing that you’re using right now. Okay.
So when I took the test shot, I noticed that the ring box looked
not perfectly square and it’s probably because my table isn’t
really flat or level, so it kind of creates this kind of
weird angle. What I want to do now, or what I was trying to do is to create
a lift or a rise to the box so that it looks more square on camera. What I used there was a cosmetic wedge, one of those sponges to apply
foundation to your face. I like using those because you can
cut them to size and they’re cheap. I just kind of cut a little piece off
and placed it under the box in order to give it a little lift in one corner so
that it looks more square in the photo. The funny thing is it looks as if it
wouldn’t be square for what we’re seeing now but then looking at your iPhone it does look square. That’s why trial shots are so important. When you’re looking at it
in styling it looks fine, but then you take the trial shot because
it really matters what it looks like on as a final photo.
It doesn’t matter what your eye sees, it matters what the photo looks like. In this example it looked kind of like
a kite shaped box instead of a square. So that was a little fix that I did there. Now I’m just kind of adjusting angles
to see what I like and how it works together. I like the mood that you set
for that picture. I think it’s, I don’t know what that brand would
be like, we could try to make it up, but has this vibe, that you
went dark gray and gray. I know a lot of people are saying
that flat lays need to be on a white background, they need to be bright
and it’s not always the case. If your brand has a bit more of that
sort of, I’m not gonna say moody, but those darker tones,
that actually works really well. Don’t be afraid of playing a dark object
on a dark background because it still looks really nice. Oh yeah. I think I’m kind of out of the norm when
it comes to shooting my styling work because I like the more
masculine looks then feminine. I gravitate towards that more so that’s
why a lot of my work is so moody looking, if you will. But that’s
just a personal preference. Again,
whatever your customer likes best. Here’s the final shot. Yeah,
that looks very nice. The chain works very well
with that key as well. It’s not the same color and
it’s not the same material, but it definitely looks cohesive. Yeah, it does, doesn’t it? That’s it guys, as I was explaining
just before I played this video to you, this is an extract from a course that
I’ve created with My-Van that’s available for the members of my membership site
– and I’ll link to that all below. I’ll also link to My-Van’s website
because she’s got an awesome ebook that I recommend you go and check out. I do not get any commission
or anything for saying that. I just genuinely think that it’s a really, really helpful tool if you’re trying
to learn how to take lifestyle product images for your handmade products.
I’ll link to all of that below, as well as to my free resource library
where you’ll find many guides and workbooks and checklists to help you
start and grow your handmade shop. It’s all free, so make sure to
check all of that good stuff below. And if you found this video helpful, hit the subscribe button to make sure
you get notified when I release a new video,
which is every Tuesday, always with the goal of helping you
start and grow your handmade shop. Thanks for watching and I’ll
talk to you soon. Bye. Bye.

3 Replies to “Lifestyle Product Photography Tips for Handmade Shop Owners: Photographing Jewelry

  1. That was cool! I loved the paintbrush and tweezer hack. I should add them to my photo kit <3

  2. I just got into your videos. I really like them a lot.
    Very helpful! thank you for your content. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *