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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Techniques for Product Photography

I thought I'd blog a couple of tips for those of you who have Etsy shops, or other online business that require photos to show your products.  Although I have a really nice camera to work with (Canon 5D Mark ii), you don't have to have one to take decent photos.  The most important thing you need is good natural lighting, and a tripod or stable hand, props, and some sort of editing software.  (I use Photoshop CS3).

This photo was taken on a windowsill with natural light from outside on a snowy day.

Taken on a white sheet of paper, natural light.

Taken with a book and fake flowers for props, natural light.

Taken on a wooden box in my windowsill, natural light.

Taken at night in my living room with a plant stand in the background with iridescent lighting (regular yellowish lightbulb).


PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
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1.  PROPS

 To create successful photos for your products you first need to adjust to the product needs.  For example, if you are selling minimalist items, then you need to stick to a minimalist feeling in your photos.  Do not use props, and if you do, very simple ones. (Like my paper airplane necklace).  Likewise, if you'd like to create a more intricate feeling, then add some props that will work good for what you are selling.  (My halloween necklace has an orange and black color scheme, and I arranged the necklace to look a little creepy, and like the large stone in the piece is a moon behind the skeleton).

Take time to look for some photography props.  You don't need to spend money on them, but sometimes that can help sell your work.  Look around your house and be creative, you might be surprised what things will work great for what you need.


2.  LIGHTING

Don't ever use regular house lights if you can help it.  Natural sunlight, in the shade, is the best option for great lighting.  The more light you have, the sharper, brighter and more clear your photos will turn out.  Also, the brighter your ambient light is, the less you need to worry about a tripod or your photos becoming blurry and underexposed.

With that said; the best places to take photos would be in a windowsill, or a table or flat surface in front of a window, door, or of course outside.  Make sure your products are facing the light, or you will see some backlighting (where the background is brighter than your product and casts a shadow where you might not want it).  Backlighting can be useful sometimes for a certain feel or mood however.

If you have to use indoor lighting, like on a dark cloudy day, or night when no natural light is available, I would highly suggest purchasing some kind of daylight bulb.  But even then, you will have hard cast shadows the will most likely not work for what you'd like to do.  There are certain light diffusers you can purchase to help soften the shadows.  For my halloween necklace, I purposely used iridescent light and wanted it to be tinted yellow to help with the mood.  So in some cases, you might want to use this kind of lighting.


3. EDITING

Editing can be extremely useful, I edit almost every photo I take.  There are many days, more than not, when your natural lighting is going to be less than desirable.  Editing your photos can help change the exposure to what you intended it to be in the first place.  You can also sharpen and blur your images to create a greater focal point on your product.  The color balance sometimes needs to be changed as well which you can do in most editing software programs.  The last and most important editing tool you need for your photos is cropping.  This is important for showing off your products in the most effective way.

If you have any photography or other questions, please contact me or leave a comment under this post!
Thank you :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Giveaway Winners Announced

Congrats to the winners of my December giveaway!

Winner #1, Anne of Green Gables necklace:  TwinkleJulia
Winner #2, Calla Lily necklace: Brandy Cattoor
Winner #3, Blue Rose earrings: Ashley

Thank you all who participated, please keep posted for upcoming tutorials and January's giveaway!
Have a very Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Etsy Front Page Treasury

I made the below treasury on etsy.com this week, and it was featured on the front page!  Congrats to all those featured in it :)


Saturday, December 3, 2011

December Giveaways

Happy Holidays everyone!  I'm so excited to do December's giveaway since I decided to have 3 winners this month.  Please feel free to pass the word on to your friends about these giveaways and post them on your own blogs.  Please remember not to do the same task for multiple giveaways.

December Giveaway #3



December 2011 
Giveaway #3:  Blue Rose Earrings



These beautiful blue resin rose earring studs are a perfect choice for a vintage style outfit.


TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
Leave a comment below this post for EACH completed task.
December 3-16, 2011


MANDATORY ENTRIES
1. Follow my blog with your google account or email, and leave a 
comment with your username (or email): 1 entry

EXTRA ENTRIES  
1. Blog about this giveaway, and leave a comment with your blog link: 3 entries!
2. Add  my CharmTopia shop to your Etsy Circle: 1 entry
3. Heart my CharmTopia shop on Etsy: 1 entry
4. Favorite three of my Etsy items: 1 entry
4. Post a link of your favorite piece of jewelry from my Etsy shop: 1 entry
5. Like my Facebook page:  1 entries
Be sure to leave a comment below for EACH entry. 
*No comment = no entry. 


LINKS
Etsy Shop
Facebook

*Please do not leave comments under Anonymous unless specifying your name.
**Keep posted for the upcoming February's Valentine giveaway!

December Giveaway #2


December 2011 
Giveaway #1:  Calla Lily Necklace



This beautiful calla lily charm hangs with a glass pearl on a 20" .925 sterling silver plated chain and clasp.  It is a perfect option to wear anytime, or a perfect gift for someone you love.


TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
Leave a comment below this post for EACH completed task.
December 3-16, 2011


MANDATORY ENTRIES
1. Follow my blog with your google account or email, and leave a 
comment with your username (or email): 1 entry

EXTRA ENTRIES  
1. Blog about this giveaway, and leave a comment with your blog link: 3 entries!
2. Add  my CharmTopia shop to your Etsy Circle: 1 entry
3. Heart my CharmTopia shop on Etsy: 1 entry
4. Favorite three of my Etsy items: 1 entry
4. Post a link of your favorite piece of jewelry from my Etsy shop: 1 entry
5. Like my Facebook page:  1 entries
Be sure to leave a comment below for EACH entry. 
*No comment = no entry. 


LINKS
Etsy Shop
Facebook

*Please do not leave comments under Anonymous unless specifying your name.
**Keep posted for the upcoming February's Valentine giveaway!

December Giveaway #1


December 2011 
Giveaway #1:  Anne of Green Gables Necklace



This necklace was inspired by Anne of Green Gables 'The Lady of Shallot' scene when Anne reenacts the poem.  This bronze boat hangs on a 16" high quality bronze chain and clasp.  It will be sent to the winner no later than 3 days after I receive the shipping address.


TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
Leave a comment below this post for EACH completed task.
December 3-16, 2011


MANDATORY ENTRIES
1. Follow my blog with your google account or email, and leave a 
comment with your username (or email): 1 entry

EXTRA ENTRIES  
1. Blog about this giveaway, and leave a comment with your blog link: 3 entries!
2. Add  my CharmTopia shop to your Etsy Circle: 1 entry
3. Heart my CharmTopia shop on Etsy: 1 entry
4. Favorite three of my Etsy items: 1 entry
4. Post a link of your favorite piece of jewelry from my Etsy shop: 1 entry
5. Like my Facebook page:  1 entries
Be sure to leave a comment below for EACH entry. 
*No comment = no entry. 


LINKS
Etsy Shop
Facebook

*Please do not leave comments under Anonymous unless specifying your name.
**Keep posted for the upcoming February's Valentine giveaway!

Coupon Code: December 2011

This month I am offering a 10% off coupon code!  Use code CHRISTMAS2011 when checking out.  Expires on December 30th, 2011 at 6 pm.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Easy DIY Resin Rose Stud Earrings

These vintage style rose earrings are so easy to make, and go great with any outfit!  Here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to make them:


Supplies you will need:

1. Silicone tube (there are various kinds, all should work fine for this project)
2. 2 Resin flower flat backs
3. 2 Flat earring studs (6-10mm)
4. 2 Earring backs (metal or plastic)

You can find most of these supplies at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and some other craft stores- if you don't have luck you can contact me and purchase a kit to make them yourself.



To make these is SO easy- all you do is dab a bit of silicone on the flat part of each earring stud, place the resin flower over it, making sure to not press to firmly.  Silicone acts differently than glue, so you only need enough pressure to make sure it spreads over the flat stud and the flower.  Let each each earring dry at least 3-5 hours, better overnight though.  To finish off, simply add the earring back onto each stud.


And thats it!  So quick and simple to make!  These are a GREAT way to save money on Christmas gifts, and other holiday gifts to family and friends.

Friday, November 18, 2011

November Giveaway WINNER

Congratulations to Sonya for winning the silver heart necklace from my November Giveaway!  

Please stay posted for some future jewelry tutorials, blog posts, AND December's upcoming giveaway for your chance to win 1 of 3 items-- don't miss out!

Thanks to all who participated in the last round!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Easy DIY Swarovski Christmas Tree Necklace Tutorial

These ever so popular Swarovski Christmas tree necklaces are a great activity for kids and adults to do over the holidays.  The tutorial below includes photos with step by step instructions so you can make your own!  Have fun, and happy holidays!


Swarovski Christmas Trees Tutorial

(click here to buy a christmas tree supply kit)

To make these, you will need:

1. Pliers
2. Swarovski crystal evergreen flower beads, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm (one each)
3. Swarovski square bead, 6mm
4. Swarovski bicone bead, 4mm
5. Bronze head pin (about 1.5")
6. Bronze jump ring (6-8mm)
7. Bronze chain


To start your Christmas tree, place the square bead at the base of the headpin, then add the 4 flower beads starting with the largest and ending with the smallest.  Add the bicone bead for the star.



Cut the headpin with your pliers about 3/8 inch above the star.  With your pliers, grab hold of the very tip of the headpin and bend it down in a circular motion to create a loop.


Open and attach the jump ring to your loop and place on the bronze chain to finish your necklace.  Make sure the jump ring is closed tightly after so it doesn't fall off.


And that's it! Easy, quick and fun!

Giveaway Submissions

Today is the last day to enter my first giveaway!  Please submit your entries by midnight tonight to qualify. The winner will be announced tomorrow!  (See previous post to enter).

The next giveaway will be held from December 1st- December 12th--- so stay posted.  AND, because it's right before Christmas, and I'm so nice, there will be 3 winners in December.
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Stocking stuffers & other Christmas gift ideas:


r o b o t s
c u s t o m    c h a r m    n e c k l a c e s

c h r i s t m a s    t r e e    e a r r i n g s

 b i r d    o n    a     p e r c h    n e c k l a  c e 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Giveaway

November 2011 Giveaway: Amber Heart Necklace


This adorable heart and amber Swarovski crystal bead is a perfect gift for yourself or someone you love. It hangs on a high quality chain and clasp which is .925 sterling silver plated, and 20" long.


TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
Leave a comment below this post for EACH completed task.
November 3-17, 2011


MANDATORY ENTRIES
1. Follow my blog with your google account or email, and leave a 
comment with your username (or email): 1 entry

EXTRA ENTRIES  
1. Blog about this giveaway, and leave a comment with your blog link: 3 entries!
2. Add  my CharmTopia shop to your Etsy Circle: 1 entry
3. Heart my CharmTopia shop on Etsy: 1 entry
4. Favorite three of my Etsy items: 1 entry
4. Post a link of your favorite piece of jewelry from my Etsy shop: 1 entry
5. Like my Facebook page:  2 entries
Be sure to leave a comment below for each entry. 
*No comment = no entry. 


LINKS
Etsy Shop
Facebook

*Please do not leave comments under Anonymous unless specifying your name.
**Keep posted for next's months giveaway!

Coupon Code: November 2011

This month I am offering a 15% off coupon code!  Use  451THANKS82  when checking out.  Expires on December 3rd, 2011.


*ADDITIONAL DEAL*
This 'Buy 2 get 1 Free' deal applies to ANYTHING in my shop of equal or lesser value.  All you need to do is mention this ad from my blog in 'notes to seller' when checking out and tell me which piece of jewelry you'd like.

Monthly Coupon Codes & Giveaways

Today I decided that I'm going to be starting a monthly coupon code AND giveaway from my shop, so keep updated! This is how it will work:

COUPON CODES
Every month on the 3rd, I will randomly post a 10%, 15%, 20%, 25% OR "Free Shipping" coupon code that will expire the following month on the 3rd.  Take advantage of these when they are posted and send them to your family and friends so they can get in on the deals too!

GIVEAWAYS
Every month I will do a giveaway for a piece of jewelry from my shop.  Depending how people respond to these giveaways, they could become a weekly giveaway.  If you'd like to enter, please see the details below:



MANDATORY ENTRIES
1. Follow my blog with your google account or email, and leave a 
comment with your username (or email): 1 entry

EXTRA ENTRIES  
1. Blog about this giveaway, and leave a comment with your blog link: 3 entries!
2. Add  my CharmTopia shop to your Etsy Circle: 1 entry
3. Heart my CharmTopia shop on Etsy: 1 entry
4. Favorite three of my Etsy items: 1 entry
4. Post a link of your favorite piece of jewelry from my Etsy shop: 1 entry
5. Like my Facebook page:  2 entries
Be sure to leave a comment below for each entry. 
*No comment = no entry. 

LINKS

*Please do not leave comments under Anonymous unless specifying your name.
**Keep posted for next's months giveaway!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bridesmaid Jewelry Necklace Sets

These sets are a great way to save on bridesmaids necklaces for your upcoming wedding!  For more ideas please visit my wedding collection here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/CharmTopia?section_id=10139906

You can also customize any wedding sets from anything in my shop!  Please contact me in you have any questions- thank you!





Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Jewelry Ideas

This October has been so fun making Halloween jewelry!  Please see my jewelry images below for ideas you can wear with your costume, or gifts for a family member or friend to celebrate this fun holiday!
(Please contact me or go to my etsy shop (http://charmtopia.etsy.com) if you'd like to purchase one).







Thursday, September 29, 2011

Little Boy and Girl Silhouette Charm Jewelry

These little charms are great for a special occasion representing your child (children), grandchildren, or any other loved one.  They come in bronze or silver and can be made into a necklace, earrings, or bracelet.