My passion for photography began when I took a job as a photographer at a local department store studio. While not the best training, it was great experience on how to deal with children and their families for photo shoots. I was intrigued each time I watched a parent sit their child down in fury and then demand them to smile. I knew that being a photographer was in my blood, but this just was not the avenue that I was interested in.
I started looking at photographing inanimate objects because it was less noise and they never moved. I found that this became very boring after a while. After I looked at my varied level of fruits in a bowl and numerous other flowers and such, I decided I needed something more dazzling for my shoots.
I loved children, especially the smiles they give when they are so sweet and innocent looking, but that is only just a portion of the kids, the rest were difficult at best. I turned my attention to my biggest challenge, jewellery. ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ and I wanted to capture the beauty and fire that these stones provide. I have bought and sold on online auction sites for years and looking at the various pictures online, I saw I was not the only one with a problem when taking jewellery photos.
Jewellery is extremely hard to take a picture of, because of its shiny appearance. Diamonds especially tend to blur when placed in the middle of a flash of light. I knew that to be a good jewellery photographer, I had to learn how to showcase the quality of the stones and metals without that horrible glare. I bought two different cameras and used various lenses, but still the quality was not what would be expected from a jewellery sales professional.
I read about the EZ Cube that professional photographers placed jewellery inside to reduce the light and allows shadowing effects, but I didn’t have one and didn’t want to spend a great deal of money. I went to the drawing board. I created a cube of my own out of cardboard painted black, actually a cereal box. I found that the black helped to control the light and that the pictures were turning out amazing. I used a matte paper to ensure there was little shine to the setup.
Next, I began testing lenses and lights to get the perfect set up. The Diamond Dazzler LED bulb was by far the best bulb for shooting diamonds. I was simply amazed at the results. I was able to capture the fire and colour of diamonds and this bulb was helping me to do so. Armed with my new knowledge I began selling on local auction sites again, this time ready to produce stunning pictures to my clients.
I did a comparison, of all the pictures of those people who had used a traditional camera; believe me you could tell, with my new bulb and home-made box like the EZ Cube. I was floored by the results and how amazing the jewellery photographed. Then I began my sales testing.
I wanted to see just how much this bulb and shadow box would increase my sales. I listed 2 of the same rings with two different pictures. One picture I took with the new box and light and the other one with a traditional lens and a 16 megapixel camera. The first ring that was taken with traditional methods went for a modest $112, not too bad. However; the second ring went for $175. It doesn’t take someone with a math degree to see that when people can really see the fire and quality of a ring, it makes them more apt to purchase it. Using this simple technique, it is easy to create stunning pictures and increase sales or at the very least take amazing photos.
Article by Oscar Lovell
This article was provided by Oscar Lovell, a professional photographer and a photography lab expert.