Posted by Abby on 5:38 PM

After endless weeks of research, it seems I may have finally figured out how to work my camera. :) I spent a majority of the last two days re-shooting my jewelry, editing and cropping pictures, and uploading them to my etsy shop...

Here's how I did it.

First, I had to find the right set-up. I read TONS of how-to's about creating my own light box. But here's the thing--I didn't want to spend a ton of time trying to rig something that may or may not work. So it was worth it to me to purchase a professional one, seen at the left. It works great--the little lamps create just enough light (when aided with my "craft" lamp) and it gives me a way to shoot my jewelry indoors. Which, in South Carolina, is a WONDERFUL thing. No muggy, sweaty, mosquitoe-y photo shoots. :) Plus...Scooter gets to watch!

Next, I had to figure out how to work my camera. Now keep in mind, I've had my Canon PowerShot A630 for a couple of years now. It took GORGEOUS pictures of some of our most memorable experiences: our Disney World vacation, our trip to Vegas and the Hoover Dam, Christmases and birthdays and everything in between. (And you've seen the pics I've taken of our kitties...beautiful!) But shooting jewelry....teeny, tiny jewelry.....well, that's a whole new beast. There are new settings to explore, the white balance to adjust, not to mention lighting problems so you can capture the detail of the close-up item you're trying to shoot. I spent WEEKS looking through tutorials, reading up on the macro setting on my camera, and STILL wasn't getting anywhere. Finally, a fellow TeamSC member said, "Hey, Abby, why don't you look up your owner's manual online for your specific camera and see what you can find out?"

She deserves a medal.

There it was, a detailed guide teaching me how to use this "macro" setting that I'd been unable to access up to that moment in time. Fantastic!!! Wonderful!!! Hallelujah!!!

Now, I had to figure out how to "float" my jewelry...I didn't want to just shoot it lying flat, especially the my genius husband helped me figure out the set up to the left. We bought cheap little styrofoam cones and cloth-covered stem wire (used in creating bouquets). Et Voila! Floating earrings!
At that point, it just became about getting close enough without getting fuzzy, and the macro setting was absolutely CRUCIAL in accomplishing that. The set-up with the wire was working beautifully, especially with the white background---it almost seemed to disappear. With a little help from the photo uploading software on my computer, we end up with the final results...
FINALLY! Pics I can be proud of.

Here's just some proof of how much my photos have improved:

Woo hoo! In celebration of finally "defeating the photography beast," I've slashed the prices in my shop----some items as much as 50%! Here's hoping my weeks of education in the photography field will yield some etsy sales!!!!



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