The before shot - too dark. The composition needed work - too much metal in the foreground took the focus away from the earrings.
Now there is the stuff - love the lighting - nice diffused sunlight. You can see the sparkle of those crystals and the flowers (from MissFickleMedia) much better. Hmm, same composition as the photo of the other pair of earrings - that must have been working for me that day. With the new Etsy photo dimensions of 500 pixels wide, horizontal pictures seem to work better for the first photo.
I photograph with diffused daylight next to a window. I have white sheer curtains to filter out harsh shadows. Another trick I have been doing to improve the lighting is holding a piece of vellum above the jewelry while I'm photographing it, the light reflects off the paper and seems to help the camera adjust better to the lighting. (I'm not a techie camera person, I'm sure there is a reason for that little bit of magic.)
I use the window seat in my studio and stack up some books so that my photography area isn't at a back-breaking angle. A trusty tripod is a must for good photos. Simple backgrounds and props add some interest, they relate to my nature-inspired brand and hopefully they don't distract from my items. And where would I be without photoshop to crop my images, sharpen them and adjust the brightness if needed.
My favorite background for my photos is an old piece of slightly rusted metal that Jess found. Other things I've used for backgrounds include scrapbook paper, old books opened and closed - love old linen covered books - embossed ones are even better. A painted canvas with white crackle paint has been fun but works best as a background for small objects/beads.
If you want to improve your photos - this is a must see!
What is your favorite background for your product photographs?