Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Personal Tips to Other Etsy Sellers! Tip #1

I have decided to start giving a tips whenever I come across something I can share to improve my Etsy store or that of others and I welcome your opinions in the comments linked to each posting . My sister and I have been spending a fair amount of time shopping and working on my Etsy store and we keep discussing things we have found that we like or dislike in mine and other stores.

My store sells jewelry, so many of my examples will be for jewelry sellers but can probably apply to other stores as well.

My first Tip is regarding photographing jewelry on models/yourself.

It is debatable whether or not to photograph jewelry being worn or modeled by someone and listing it with your photos in your store. I have resisted doing this in my store for several reasons. The first is that it is hard to tastefully or artistically photograph jewelry at close up range while it is being worn. The other downside to this is that buyers may assume that the earrings or jewelry being worn in the photograph is the actual pair to be sold and thus it has a feeling of the item being used by someone before they buy it. However having stated some of the negatives I am starting to change my opinion and think that there is a right way to model or photograph jewelry being worn and here is why.

I get a lot of convo's requesting pictures of of my earrings or jewelry being worn so that they (the buyer) can get an idea of the scale or size the jewelry. Despite listing size details on all my item descriptions it still is not as good as a photo. It takes a lot of time to answer all these convo's not to mention the time photographing the jewelry and downloading or attaching it to the convo's.

So I have mulled over solutions that would allow me to show the scale of my jewelry in my store listings and some of the solutions are:
  • Photographing jewelry with something else in the picture to give it perspective. Sometimes this is done by using a ruler or a coin beside the jewelry. I do not feel this is a good solution for me and my store. I feel that I work very hard to photograph my product in such a manner that it gives a uniform image of artistry. I do not feel that a coin or ruler in a photograph compliments the image and brand that I am aiming to sell.
  • Color close-up photo of a model/myself wearing the jewelry. I have tried this many times and I feel it always looks less that ideal. I find that every skin blemish is visible and all artistic perspective is lost. I just think once again this is not the solution for me as I feel it would take too much editing and airbrushing and makeup to photograph some thing like an earring up close. There are a few stores that do a good job with this. It appears professionally modeled even if it may be modeled by the store owner, but unless you really know what you are doing and have a great model at your disposal it can turn out less that ideal. So if you are struggling with this you may want to try the next option.
  • Black and white close-up photograph of jewelry being modeled. This is my newest solution of choice. I feel that a black and white photograph of someone wearing the earrings or jewelry masks most skin blemishes and also looks more artistic. Also for me the black and white picture does not make the item feel like it is the exact same pair that the buyer will receive (psychologically that is). Black and white also allows me to photograph an earring being modeled once and I can use that same photo in black and white in listings of the same design in a different color option. This saves me time re-photographing each color option being modeled.
My keys to successfully using modeled jewelry is as follows:
  1. Try to pull back as much hair out of the frame as possible.
  2. Take photo as close up as possible.
  3. Crop the photo and convert it to black and white in a photo editing program before posting it to your store.
  4. Make the modeled photo the last photo of your listing.
I have just started this with some of my listings and am slowly trying to implement a black and white photo to most of my listings.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Iconic Christmas Tree.

The mad rush after American Thanksgiving once again left us in a hurry to chose a theme for our Christmas tree trimmings (as we try to make different types of homemade adornments each year). The topic of this years Christmas ornaments and experimenting with painting on wood crossed paths and the result? Painted wood Christmas tree ornaments with a Russian Icon focus materialized.
First we selected choice trimmings from a pile of damp, algae and mud ridden scraps that had been left outside derelict for sometime. 3 buckets of warm water and a rag, 24 hours inside the warm entryway drying, and electric saw later our well weathered, textured, and unmeasured wood trimmings were ready for color. A trip to Michael's and 2 bags full of paint, brushes, gold leaf and ribbons later we were set. The three of us (my husband, and sister and I) sat down with artistic exuberance to a table laden with latent creative potential and well...dug in with glee.
Our spirits dampened as our first attempts were anything but masterpieces. My saints looked like shepherds and my sisters first attempt at a gold-leaf halo turned into a sombrero. Yet with time our muse of old Russian icons found artistic encouragement in those we hold dearest this time of year -family, and well for my sister a flock of sheep.

My Newest Earring!

I love just fiddling with wire and playing with my torch. I usually have no agenda and I like to be surprised by what comes out of the process. The simpler the better as long as the creation has a good shape and balance. I was doing just that a few days ago and look what came out of the process. It is my new "Curly Sprout" earring. I gave my sister the first pair. I know I should save it for Christmas but I get so excited and I like to see my jewelry being worn so I gave her the first pair. She even wore them to church today and I got to study them on her during church and make sure I loved them still... and yes they are now my new favorites. See that's her wearing the first pair in the photo above!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Front Page!

Yay!!! I made the front page of Etsy today. "starwillowstudio" selected a beautiful Treasury list that was featured on the front page. I sold the "Buds" earrings while they were on the front page so a BIG thanks are in order for starwillow. Not only did she feature me but she sent me a message to let me know that the earrings had sold and that if I re-listed she would get them back on her treasury list. Now that is a dedicated curator. She also sent me a screen shot of the page before they sold. That made my day!


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