I think that most online shopowners and bloggers can agree that photography has been the bane of their existence at some point, at least in the early days. I know that I had tons of issues with jewelry photos. It can be difficult to get a good close-up shot of a really small item, but once you know a few tips and tricks, you should be set to go. Let's discuss:
1. Run screaming from distracting backgrounds!!!
via My Etsy Shop
I'm a little embarrassed to even remind you guys of the horrors of some of my earlier images, but I think it's helpful to see a progression from suckage to salvageable. I'm throwing myself under the bus for this one, but don't take your pictures in front of hideous backgrounds!!! These train cases both sold, but I'll let you in on a little something - the green one sold at a higher price. Because of the background, the object looks brighter, cleaner, and just nicer. I've got a tutorial for a $10 fold-up "photo studio" like the one I used in the right picture here.
2. Use your macro setting for close-up shots of small things.
via Serious Eats
If you have a digital camera, it almost certainly has a macro setting. It's that little flower guy you see circled in the above image. You can typically set the camera to automatic, in which case it will detect when it's appropriate to switch over to macro. Just hold the camera very close to your object and very steady and then press the shutter button halfway down until it focuses. It may take a bit of practice.
Using macro will take you from that blurry creature on the left to the sharp, visually pleasing little nester on the right. It also has the nice effect of leaving your background soft and out of focus, really drawing attention to your subject.
3. Set the scene.
via My Etsy Shop
Don't even get me started on everything wrong I did to that poor little deer... It's blurry. It's overexposed. It's over-edited. *sigh* Fortunately, she found a home anyway. However, this brings me to my next point: While I used to opt for a clean, solid white background, I now like to incorporate bits and pieces of my home into my photos. I think that it adds intrigue, and it's especially important in jewelry photos to help your customers gauge size.
Let's consider this a running list. I'll add more photography posts later, with tips on such things as framing a shot, getting the right perspective, and using your camera's settings. Let me know what questions you'd like addressed!!!