Thursday, October 23, 2014

Simple Jewelry Photography - My 3 Secrets

Simple Jewelry Photography Secrets

I'm often asked about my secrets to taking good jewelry pictures. I've been selling on Etsy for 6 years, and as you can tell from my before and after pictures, I've learned a few things along the way.

I would never refer to myself as a photographer and I have constantly struggled with my photography over the years, but with a lot of research and practice, I now feel like I've gotten a good handle on it. Here are my 3 top 'secrets' that I've picked up over the years.

1. The Right Camera and Lens
Have a good camera with the proper lens! Sorry, but this really is essential. The iPhone just won't cut it, at least not with jewelry. Jewelry photography has its own set of challenges and to get the fine detail that is needed, a good camera with the proper lens is important. I happen to have the Canon EOS 40D which works very well. But, here is the real secret - the 100mm Macro lens. Unfortunately, it can cost between $300 to $500 just for the lens. But, if money is an issue, the 50mm lens also works very well and you can get it for around $100.  These lenses allow you to get really good detailed close-up shots. 
    2. Natural sunlight. 

    This isn't as hard as it sounds. I still shoot indoors but next to the window (see the video link below for my 'perfect' location). Shooting next to the window allows me to get the natural sunlight that gives the best effect. I add 2 lamps on either side and I get a beautiful, natural setting that works for any color jewelry I photograph. Even better, with this setup I have no need for a light box. I've tried light boxes in the past with inconsistent results.

    3. Wear White.
    I went years without knowing this great secret. When you are taking pictures, the color bounces off of your clothing and wearing white makes you a natural reflector - cool huh! Wearing a different color shirt can create an off-color cast on your images, making the background color look dull or unnatural. I had always wondered in the past why some photo sessions turned out all wrong. Once I learned this secret, I've always had consistent photography.

    Here is a video of my photography 'studio' setup:
    Theresa Rose Designs - Jewelry Photography

    I hope these 3 tips help you. Please leave a comment if you found this useful and/or you have additional tips to share.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    How I Designed My Own Website Without Hiring a Webmaster

    How To Design a Simple Website

    Creating and maintaining a website doesn’t have to be a monumental task. I think one big mistake people make is that they look at big company websites and are immediately intimidated by the scope and grandeur of these sites. For most of us, it’s just important to have a presence on the internet that contains pertinent information and links to our product offerings on our shopping site, such as Ety.

    While I maintain a successful Etsy shop, I also have my own website. This site shows my latest jewelry products in a slideshow and then has links to my Etsy shop, blog, facebook fan page, twitter, and pinterest. There is also an ‘About’ page and a ‘Contact’ page. It took me one week to create and I used all free code found on the internet! I can modify it at a later date as my needs change. But for right now, I have all my important information on one site.

    I found a great site on the internet called Free Website Templates. I browsed through their templates until I found one that had the style I was looking for. One caveat -  there are some templates (usually the best ones), that do not allow you to download the code. You can only edit and publish from their site. I quickly dismissed those. There are still many free downloadable templates to choose from. 

    Once you download the code, then it’s just a matter of replacing their logos, images, links, and text with your information. Fortunately, I used to be a windows programmer, so I do have a lot of comfort in coding, but html code is very straightforward and anyone can edit it in a simple text editor. The source code is not cryptic and one can usually decipher it readily. If you’re stuck on a piece of code, just google it! You’ll find all the descriptions you need.

    The most difficult task was replacing the main body picture with the slideshow pictures. I found a great site on the internet that gave me the free code for the slideshow – with all the instructions needed to integrate their code. There’s even a discussion board to help!
    The company is Dynamic Drive and their website can be found here:

    Once I edited the files, cleaned up my images, I copied all the files onto my hosting site (I use and I was instantly on-line! It was a great feeling to type in my website and see my jewelry on the internet.

    I’m happy to help anyone who may have a question regarding what I discussed today. Please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll help any way I can. I realize that programming can be a bit daunting, but it is so worthwhile to have your own website!

    Here's the link to my site: Theresa Rose Designs

    Monday, October 6, 2014

    Expanding My Business - fibi & clo Sandals


    fibi & clo - cute and inexpensive sandals

    I'm so excited to announce that I'm expanding my business! As my handmade jewelry line has grown and business is booming, I have been looking for opportunities that complement my jewelry. Quite accidentally, I came across Fibi & Clo at a Wink, Women's Inkorporated networking event. As I continued to see the shoes and sandals (due to Facebook posts), I became more intrigued with the company and their products.

    A couple of weeks ago, I took the plunge and signed up to be an independent fashion agent with this marvelous company.

    So, why am I excited about this opportunity? Here are my reasons:
    1. Um, it's shoes!!! Beautiful, blingy sandals - nuf said.
    2. I now 'own' my own shoe company and I get to share these shoes with my friends.
    3. The quality of the shoes is great and because it is a direct-selling company, we can offer the shoes at almost wholesale costs - ranging from $30.00 - $99.00.
    4. They literally sell themselves. Even my husband is a believer now that he sees people's reactions when I wear them.
    5. I don't wear uncomfortable shoes (just ask my daughter!), so finding pretty, feminine sandals that are both comfy and flattering is always a struggle. These shoes are seriously comfortable! I can walk around in them all day. I won't sell anything that I won't wear myself.

    One of the biggest draws for me was that this company is fairly small, especially compared to other direct-selling companies. There are only 2000 independent fashion agents in the entire country! So I consider this a ground-floor opportunity. Not very many people have heard of fibi & clo, so the market is wide open.

    Sun Cascade Sandal - $49.50

    Please visit my fibi & clo website to see all the available styles: fibi & clo.

    If you are in the San Diego area and wish to host a shoe party, please contact me at The hostess incentives are amazing!

    $245 IN SALES – 1 pair of flat sandals or $49.59 credit toward a more expensive shoe.
    $550 IN SALES – 2 pairs of flat sandals or $100 credit toward shoes of your choice.
    $1000 IN SALES – 3 pairs of flat sandals or $150 credit toward shoes of your choice.
    Also receive two items at 50% off and earn gift certificates for referring friends!

    So, what do you think? Do you see yourself wearing these great sandals?