Thursday, October 6, 2011

Photography for a Web Store


My web store is exhausting, I guess I only have myself to blame. It was decided that the web store needed a little jazzing up so hubby re-shot the banners in black. We then realized that the colors were a little off with the new black banners and this led to a complete redo of the color scheme. You would think that this is where it would end, I don’t think so…

We then realized that some of the buttons were intrusive on our new more elegant themed website, so they had to be moved. This got me to thinking that maybe we needed a background. So this meant time spend on the computer working with Photoshop for my husband who created a background out of the business logo. I think he now needs a vacation from my web store. It’s not even his business which makes it worse. Well, he shouldn’t of gotten so good with a computer.


Anyways, this has now led to the requirement that we photograph all the jewelry with black glossy backgrounds to match our new banners. Once again this is something that my husband does well, but really doesn’t want to do. Black is difficult to photograph, especially if it is glossy. It shows every bit of dust and this can drive you crazy. The problem is things look pretty good when you’re taking the photos, only large dust shows up to the naked eye. It’s when the pictures are downloaded to Photoshop that all those little microscopic specks make their appearance. Some people say that you should never photograph jewelry on black just because of this problem. But is this realistic?

Many jewelry photographs are done in a box. This computer enhanced light box removes all shadows and backgrounds and gives perfect yet semi-washed out pictures. These boxes are not cheap either, the best one are quite expensive and can add substantial cost to the production of photos for a website. The other problem I have with these photos is the lack of depth. While these photos are professional they have an unreal quality that doesn’t make the jewelry look like it actually exists, it seems almost like a drawing. It can wash out some of the detail and give a flat appearance to store photographs.

 Photographic box picture of Hershey Kiss bracelet in sterling silver

Since I am not enamored with this type of photography I’ve stayed away. The cost has also kept me at arm’s length. I don’t feel the need to spend that kind of money for a system of photographing jewelry that I do not like anyways. But am I doing myself a disservice because this is the way consumers expect to see jewelry on the web? There are many jewelry website that use this system and most of the stores depict their inventory in this manner. Consumers become accustom to this style of photography and may think something is wrong with a web store that shows jewelry differently. 

 Same Hershey Kiss sterling silver bracelet photographed on glossy black background

This is not necessarily a good thing. It’s a myopic view of what jewelry should look like, not what jewelry actually looks like. This is why I’m trying to convince my husband to add different backgrounds and different views of my jewelry to the website. While he may hate me when this is all done, I’m hoping this will expand our views on the website. You never know, some people may enjoy the different perspective. If anyone has their own opinion about what makes for a good jewelry photograph I would love to hear it! Sharing information is always helpful.

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