Making Friends With the Camera

If you think about all the things I had to teach myself about a year ago, when I started all this jewelry stuff, you would think I was either very brave, or completely clueless depending on your point of view. I still feel that jewelry artists who have been in "the biz" for a while could really pick over my work and find all the little flaws with it, but mostly that's just my own insecurity. Actually, I am very picky about my own work.

One area I did NOT plan to become an expert on very soon was photography, and particularly "product photography."  It is still not an area I ever plan to claim as my zone, but I hope you will give me some credit for serious improvements I have made this year. Well, let's just say that at first I just kind of propped things up on my desk, put them on a dark fleece cloth, and snapped. I guess that does for a rudimentary start, and my mantra to shake my fear was that any picture was better than no picture.  Really, it was partly true. There's also that thing they say about the most important part being the beginning. There is strength in knowing that, and a little healthy foolishness.

Hm. Well, I've definitely ramped things up since then; I've learned a lot, though not without some mistakes.   My most current generation of pictures coming out is, I think, finally looking more like the quality I need. I'm still finding things I wish were more perfect about them, and I'm sure I'll learn much more again in the future, but at least I'm shaking that fuzzy image problem. If you go on my website now, I suppose you'll see a mixed up batch of good pictures and, well, substandard pictures. Sometimes I can even get that "wow" shot I'm looking for.

I knew when I started, that I would have to make friends with the camera as part of my creative process. I knew that if I felt that photographing my work was a problem and an interruption to my "real" work, that I would never get around to it.  Really, I find the process of photographing my work quite relaxing, methodical, and over time - interesting. I am more impressed than ever with what the real camera pros can do with a shot.

I have to say that as a photographer, I'd rather be photographing geese flying over a lake or my daughter holding her latest artwork, but since I am photographing so many earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, I would be wise to make friends with the process. I know my husband and daughter think I'm quite far gone (no snickers, please) when I get out my photo equipment and am off to work on it.  I begin to feel that I am sending my little jewelry babies out into the world and I want to show you how proud I am of them. Okay, well maybe that more than you really wanted to know about me, but you get the idea.

By the way, everything I use is quite low budget, though little things do add up. I made my lightbox myself out of foam board, tape and tissue paper; I use the camera I already owned, and I get a lot of use out of pretty inexpensive photo props. I like to get the most out of what I have, and as I have found in much of the rest of my life - everything I really need, I already have. Sometimes I just have to use it a little differently.


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