Designing Diva is giving away FREE pendants!

That's awesome news. I found her site Diva Buzz, when I was featured in November as part of her "Wish-List Wednesday" Blog, where she was wishing for something I made.
What a feather in my cap!

Once I started poking around and reading, I found her offer to give you one her glass pendants free*.
*Ahh, the asterisk.
Its free, but you have to pay $4.95 shipping. Not bad!
Here's the link to read more and see if you fall in love with her work.

Choose from her designs HERE

As a glass fuser myself, I was interested in how this worked. I think its a fun way to get people into your shop and poking around. I was hooked and started reading.
Have fun, and if you decide to get one, let me know!


Stock Photo Product Shoot!

above, basic photo set-up from a birds eye view
below, what it ends up looking like to you!

I'd been meaning to re-do my glass butterfly necklace basic product shots for a while now. Some of the wing color options I had in the past are now harder to find, or just seasonally different. The [particular] listing had so many wings in it, and so many were currently hard to find, the listing was starting to sound like a sad story. "This wing is brighter now, this one is only ready in 20 days, this wing is no where to be found, this little piggy went weee weeee weee all the way home"...
above, new detail shot that I can use as a generic photo for other listings in my shop

above, the OLD stock photo
, the NEW stock photos

So- as I do for all my "stock photo" product shoots, I have to make. Make lots of product at once. This is tricky, because its costly & time consuming. Costly because I have to have all the components before anyone pays me. Lots of components. I generally like doing it, but those two things make it hard to get a start on it. Often when I have a large order from a bride, for example, I take that as an opportunity to do some bulk stock photography.

Why do I like having stock photography of my jewelry?

1.)Because it makes my life EASY.
Well, easier. Its time consuming to do a photo shoot, so I might as well do it all at once- you have to get by those first 2 things (time and money) to get there, and then you have to wait for the right kind of daylight. Winter in Massachusetts is generally perfect for that though. Then I usually have to photo-edit them for a while. (With the right daylighting though, you will cut down on photo edit time. )
So back for the "easier" part... if I make "stock" photos, I will have to spend less time, in the long run, on each individual item in my shop. I state in each listing that 'Im happy to send a photo first', but this actually doesnt happen all that often. People are trusting, and they also seem to like a surprise. But on the rare occasion that they ask, its no trouble, because all they want is one photo, not five photos with every single angle and proper lighting. They mostly want to see the basics of the wing.

2.)Because its good to have images for websites or blogs to use for promotions.
If I have a collection of images, I can use them for a general idea of "who is popko?". I use these images for craft show applications, press, promotions, business cards or postcards. I can also use them in other listings on my site, if Im selling a pink necklace in the same setting, I already have a stock photo of a model wearing 5 of them. I plug that it and Im done!

Heres a few more photos of what my silly little set-ups look like. I always like to step away and take a picture of what Im actually doing. Below is a mash of stock and individual item pictures. I thought you might like to see how it all starts!

It usually begins with nice lighting. I prefer daylight, not too sunny. Bright overcast days work well for me. I place everything in the same huuuge window that I am fortunate to have. Its the one with all day sun and only sun rays in the afternoon. Sun rays kill my photos.

Below is a funny picture, the paintbrush is holding the necklaces, over the coffee and sugar containers. Im a professional, trust me! *wink*

below, the end result of the coffee & sugar escapade

I usually use plain white computer paper as a background. Ive chosen to use a rock or leaf or branch as a background. My jewelry is natural and I think it compliments it in a smart way. The first few pictures at the top were on a wooden drawer that I use at craft shows. I like the warmth the wood is bringing to the whole image. I'm still a white paper fan overall.

I know this post is just touching on a few ideas about product photography (mostly the idea that it feels really good to have some stock photos on hand!!!). I am, by no means, a pro, or really even know that much about my camera.
If you have questions about settings or such, ask in the comments below.
I hope you've enjoyed this little behind-the-scenes here at PoPkO headquarters!