One of the projects I have underway is upgrading the quality of jewelry images on my website and Etsy stores. Having great images of your work is absolutely key for selling and promoting yourself online. Even if you don’t have an online store or Etsy site, you’ll still want great images to share on your blog or social networking sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, or Flickr. Plus you’ll always want to have images on hand to email to prospective galleries, for art shows and the like.

While I absolutely recommend having some of your work professionally photographed, that may not always be an option for you, especially if you have a large body of work, or if you constantly need images of new work for your online store…or if you don’t have the ready funds to pay a professional.

All mediums have their challenges when it comes to creating a great photograph, however, jewelry seems to have its own special challenges due to the size and the multitude of surfaces you have to take in account. Plus little issues like how to properly photograph tiny objects that dangle. One resource that I’ve found to be immensely helpful is the “How to Photograph Your Jewelry”  video series by Lapidary Journal.

How_to_photograph_jewelry1

In this series professional jewelry photographer, Jim Lawson, steps you through all the tools and techniques you need to photograph your jewelry, starting with a simple method of photographing your work on a white background and how to properly light shiny jewelry to more advanced techniques like how to light glass jewelry, how to create a graduated background, and how to photograph long, hanging earrings.

How_to_photograph_jewelry2

One of the things that I liked most about this series was that the techniques that Jim taught didn’t require a lot of expensive equipment. He showed how you can create great photographs with a simple $100 point and shoot digital camera as well as with a more expensive, professional digital camera. Many of the same methods would work with the camera on your phone.

How_to_photograph_jewelry3

Also, most of the equipment that you need to create your own jewelry photography set up could be found at your local hardware store or from objects around your studio. Once you learn how to take proper photographs you can start shooting immediately. Even though I’ve been photographing my own jewelry for a while there were plenty of tips that I took away from this series that instantly helped me take better photos.

How_to_photograph_jewelry4

The series comes in two parts. The first is “How to Photograph Your Jewelry” which goes over the basics on how to set up your studio, equipment, lighting, photo editing software, photographing metal and glass, and simple color correction and editing using your laptop and Adobe Lightroom. The second video in the series, “How to Photograph Your Jewelry- Beyond the Basics” goes over more advanced techniques like photographing specific jewelry pieces like rings, cuff bracelets, and dangling earrings. It also tackles how to handle groups of jewelry pieces to make a pleasing composition.

Both videos are available at InterweaveStore.com as a DVD or an instant video download for about $18 for the standard video version or $25 for the high definition video version. I went for the video download because a) I’m impatient, and b) I was able to watch on my laptop, my iPad, or on my TV.

I could honestly recommend both the basic and the advanced videos even if you’re not brand new to photographing your jewelry. The section in the beginner’s video on using Adobe Lightroom to do rapid color correction and editing were worth it for me.

Here’s an excerpt from “How to Photograph Your Jewelry

And and excerpt from the second video, “How to Photograph Your Jewelry- Beyond the Basics

You can check out “How to Photograph Your Jewelry here and “How to Photograph Your Jewelry- Beyond the Basicshere.

{ 0 comments }

If you have a website, an online store or portfolio, or a blog, the first order of business is to get traffic to it. One way to do that is to make sure that your URL or website address is display in as many places as possible. Here are some ideas to help you get started.

On your printed marketing or communication materials- any type of printed material you use to promote yourself or to communicate with customers must have your website address printed somewhere. This includes things like:

  • business cards
  • brochures
  • line sheets
  • postcards
  • flyers
  • catalogs
  • artist statements
  • artist bio
  • envelopes
  • stationary
  • stickers
  • thank you cards

At craft shows or open studios- If you sell your work at a craft show, open studio, or home party make sure that your website URL makes an appearance on things like:

  • booth or display signage
  • receipts
  • shopping bags
  • product packaging (jewelry cards, clothing tags, labels, etc)
  • name badges and pins

In your shipping materials- If you’re shipping out an order from your online store, encourage branding and repeat business by placing your URL on:

  • Shipping inserts
  • Packing slips
  • Invoices
  • Return address labels
  • Shipping materials (stickers, packing tape, gift wrap, etc)

Online- Naturally you will want to promotion your website in all in online places you have a presence. Make sure that your website address appears in places like:

  • Social media profiles (Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, YouTube etc)
  • Email signatures
  • Email newsletters
  • Forum or message board signatures
  • Online ads (Google, Facebook, banner ads, sponsorships, etc)
  • Guest posts or articles
  • Videos (add your URL to the bottom half of your video or the last title frame)
  • Podcasts (announce your URL at the beginning and end of your podcast)
  • Webinars/Teleseminars

Presentations, workshops, classes- If you do any lectures or presentations or teach a workshop or a class, make sure your URL appears on:

  • Handouts
  • Materials lists
  • Course descriptions
  • Bios
  • Presentation slides

Everywhere else- Don’t limit yourself to the obvious. Opportunities to share your website address is everywhere!

  • Voice mail message
  • Magnetic car signs
  • Free gifts and giveaways (free samples, ebooks, pencils, pens, stickers, calendars, etc)
  • Promotional apparel (t-shirts, hats, aprons, etc)
  • Advertising (print, classifieds)
  • Business directories
  • Bumper stickers
  • Press releases
  • Outdoor signage

Bonus Tip 1: If you’re limited on space in printed matter, say for example, on a brochure or a business card, you don’t have to add the “http://” part of your website address. You can also eliminate the “www” as well. Browsers will automatically add the “www” part when they are typed in.

SB_Business_Card_Incentive

Bonus Tip 2: Whenever you can, give an incentive to come to your website along with your URL. It could be a for a free gift, a download, or a coupon code to your online store. Make sure that your incentive matches the context of where your potential customer is viewing your website address. If you’re including a shipping insert in with an order that has a coupon code for the next order or your have a coupon code for items on your website that you’re handing out at a craft show, then the discount codes as an incentive doesn’t seem out place. That’s because in that context, your customer is already in the buying mode.

BUT,  if you’re doing an informational presentation and you’re not directly soliciting sales, a coupon code as an incentive would be out of place. Instead, offer a handout or a downloadable ebook relating to the topic that you were presenting on would make more sense. That way you will still be able to direct people to your website and offer a valuable reason for people to do so without seeming inappropriately “salesy”.

{ 0 comments }

[Video] For Artists and Creatives: Value What You Do

File this video under #Truth. Being an artist is hard. There are days where you may wonder why you’re doing what your doing. Days where you sit in your show booth and not make a dime. Long stretches of time where you don’t get a single order in your email. Days where your sitting in […]

Read the full article →

Art Marketing: Holiday Video Greetings by Mary Elizabeth Arts

The holidays are officially over, however I did find this wonderful holiday greeting video that I found on Pinterest I absolutely have to share. The video is by glass painter Mary Elizabeth of Mary Elizabeth Arts. It’s a simple 2 to 3ish minute video with scenes around Mary Elizabeth’s glass painting studio that shows her preparing […]

Read the full article →

Growing Your Handmade Business: End of Year Reading

My iPad Mini + Kindle app = bad for my wallet I went on a mini Kindle book shopping spree thanks to end of year deals featured on BookBub, Book Gorilla, and Lendle. If you own a mobile device of any kind (or not, you can also read Kindle books on your computer with Amazon […]

Read the full article →

Art Marketing: Asking for the email address- Notes to Inspire

If you have an email list, the million dollar question is often, “How do I get subscribers?” Sometimes getting subscribers is simply just in how you ask. I went to Simon Sinek’s website after hearing an interview of him on Marketing Over Coffee (it’s an older interview, but it’s still relevant). I love his simple […]

Read the full article →

Art Marketing: YouTube’s OneChannel

If YouTube is part of your art marketing toolbox, you may have noticed that the YouTube Channel designs are changing. This is new design is what YouTube is calling OneChannel. And it has some really interesting changes to explore. The changes include: Channel headers- YouTube is taking an idea from Facebook’s page and profile covers […]

Read the full article →

Art Marketing: 5 Creative Pinterest Pins for Artists

Pinning great content on Pinterest is a key way to gain a bigger following. While repining what you find interesting on Pinterest is a good way to start, you should aim to pin as much new, interesting content to your pinboards as possible as opposed to recycling what’s already on Pinterest. Here are 5 ideas […]

Read the full article →

Art Marketing: Marketing Your Art with Social Media

In yesterday’s issue of The Crafted Webmaster, I discussed the problem of managing multiple social networks and gave some strategies on how you can organize your multiple channel marketing without spending a ton of time. This article is part of what I will be discussing in my latest webinar, “Social Media Art Marketing 101: How […]

Read the full article →

Art Marketing: How to Manage Multiple Social Media Campaigns without Driving Yourself Nuts

A quick look back through my blog archives shows me that I wrote my very first blog post about social media all the way back in 2006.  I was surprised as to how much this statement turned out to be true: “…it’s not a matter of if and how social media can effect your business, […]

Read the full article →