I’ve been running pretty hard for the last year to get my business up and running, and, the thing is, I’ve mostly been running in circles.  I don’t know what I’m doing, and I’m scared that I’ll fail, so I haven’t really felt like I know where I’m heading with this whole thing.  Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter.  Since I’m not sure where I’m going, *anywhere* is going to be better; it’s easier to change directions once you’re moving than to get moving in the first place, in my experience.

So today, I picked a direction.  I will be continuing to work on my custom sewing as jobs come up, but I’m going to make a push with the jewelry I’ve been making and get it onto Etsy.  I promised V that today I would take pictures.

Thanks to my awesome friends and our Communist approach to sharing, I have all the equipment I need.  D provided a DSLR camera I could borrow, and my housemate and resident artist provided lighting and a tripod.  Clever use of a dressform, props and some random things in my studio let me set up a background, and things to photograph the clothes and items on.  The little stepstool that V used as a child to do dishes helped me not shoot up at the dressform (She’s taller than I am, even when she’s lowered all the way).  Mo, my darling kitten, provided a needed reminder to take breaks.  As it turns out, it’s hard to take pictures while she does her parrot impression, seen above.

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I turned my sewing studio into a photography studio with a creme colored sheet and a white tablecloth; I added some small hooks into my ceiling so that I can easily do this again.  I’m fortunate; I’ve taken a photography class (waaaaaay back in High School, but I remembered some of it) and I had a friend who majored in photography who used to have me model for him occasionally, so I’ve seen lighting used, and had a reasonable idea of how to set this whole thing up.  I also remembered enough about how a fancy manual camera works that I wasn’t totally screwed.  Mostly, I remembered what was possible, so I was able to search for information on how to actually do it; things like making a narrow depth of field, and convincing the camera not to use the flash.

Unfortunately, all of this took me the better part of today, and while I did get some good photos out of it, I didn’t get any photos of my jewelry that I’m happy with, so I’ll be continuing that effort tonight and tomorrow morning.  I did, however, get a rather vivid reminder that my jewelry work is quite good, and extremely tiny.

It's a matter of scale.

The top chain is a commercially made chain that I purchased years ago.  It’s silver, but somewhat tarnished.  The lower chain is my handmade chain using fine gauge sterling silver wire and antique micro-seed beads.  The gold beads are some standard sized seed beads for comparison, and I included a ruler for scale.  I highly recommend clicking the photo to view it full scale.  My chains are difficult to see detail on unless they’re very zoomed in.

As it turns out, it is fairly challenging to photograph untarnished silver; it keeps overexposing and looking white. If I get the chain to look good, the background looks too dark; that’s a white tablecloth in that picture.  I guess I get to keep working on it.

One thought on “Photography”

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