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Little help from jewelry sellers please!

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Inactive Etsy Member 5:14pm Jul 11, 2012 EDT
I have been toying with the idea of turning some of my stitching into jewelry, and I finally took the leap and did it. I have been making bracelets out of Aida fabric for a while, this is my first attempt at using jewelry findings and what not. I have 2 questions. And I know jewelry is a very saturated category, but since this is all slightly weird and cross stitched, I thought it might stand out. Or, at the very least, something different/new in the store. Plus I had fun making them, so....

My first question is on the photos. I was unable to find a live model. I tried putting them on myself and having my husband take the pics, but apparently he has an IV of 5 hour energy shots because his pics are so blurry it's scary. I also tried using my 12 yr old son, and the necklace pics turned out okay, but the bracelets....He is not quite old enough to have "manly" hands, but, well let's just say that after an entire season of baseball and 1 week into football, his hands and arms look like he clawed his way out of a grave.

Okay, so, I have taken about 5 pictures of each item. 1 laying flat, 1 hanging, 1 with an item near by to show scale, etc. If I do say so myself, they all look pretty good. But which one should I use first? Does it make a difference?

2nd question is an easy one - I am not very familiar with all the terms for jewelry. As in, the type of clasps, size of beads, etc. Google has helped a bit, but is this something buyers find very important in a listing? I made sure to take pictures that showed what the closures and whatnot looked like. Should I take care to find the appropriate names, sizes, etc for everything, or can I wing it a bit, with a small explanation that I am not a full-time jewelry seller and/or knowledgeable about jewelry?

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Inactive Etsy Member 5:21pm Jul 11, 2012 EDT
Forgot to add - these pieces are all either necklaces or bracelets, no earrings or rings. I didn't use anything that I would need to identify as sterling silver or other metals that people have reactions to.
Hi Amanda!

I actually take all my photos by myself and use myself as a live model. Takes a little practice but since it's just me, I found a way to make it work.

Sometimes you don't need a live model though. Pictures that show the scale tend to serve the same purpose. You'll want like backgrounds for your photos. White backgrounds will get you noticed in the search results because your pieces will stand out instead of blend in to the madness that is Etsy Jewelry ;)

You will need to say the metals you are working with. It's typically silver/gold plated findings when you're not using things that are obviously stamped or marked at sterling silver, 14k gold etc.

As for the types of clasps, you don't really need the Exact term for it but steer clear of anything that sounds like "attaches with a hook thingy" haha.

As for sizes, if you don't know the mm size just measure it in inches/cm yourself. Not everything on the piece needs to be mentioned in separate sizes but the main piece I would maybe put the size.

Hopefully that helps!

(Your first photo on your listing should be the one that stands out from the rest. Which would your eye go to first in the thumbnails)
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Inactive Etsy Member 5:36pm Jul 11, 2012 EDT
Thank you so much! I know the jewelry market is murky, and I wanted to make sure I was going in with as much info as I could. I know my questions probably seemed silly and irrelevant, but, hey, I'm a stitcher :)

Luckily for me the main attraction (or at least I hope) is the cross stitched centerpiece, not the small beads and charms.

And now I'm off to try taking pics with myself as the model....
Hi there,
I would love to have a live model in my own shop but I don't at this time. I still have a pretty busy shop despite that! It's hard to say if the lack of a live model has negatively affected my # of sales, but I'm very satisfied with current business.

I do show pics of me holding jewelry for size reference, and on a dress form occasionally.

Photos are 90% of the hurdle--focus on taking the best pics you can, and the rest will fall into place.

Good luck to you! :)
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Inactive Etsy Member 6:08pm Jul 11, 2012 EDT
I've got my fingers crossed on the photos. They are clean & clear, close up and uncluttered on a white background. (Huh. say that 3 times fast, I just created my own tongue twister)

I have been intimated by seeing some flat-out gorgeous photos, though, and I know my cheap 5 year old camera just cannot compete.

It's great to hear no one else is really hindered by not having a live model. I just tried taking some bracelet pics on my own arm, and quickly discovered that isn't a good idea. Warning, TMI but kinda funny - See, I am very fair skinned with super light blonde hair. I have spent a lot of time outside this summer, with the effect of basically sun-bleaching the (normally fine, barely visible) hair on my arms. This is disturbingly showcased in close-up pictures....
most people don't like an item thats being worn by a l model in the picture...alot of people suggest you don't take them on a live model...put them on something like a bust or whatever...just a suggestion bc most people won't buy it if its been worn
Amanda, your friendship bracelets are really cute, and very trendy, so they should do well... I like Crafty Bitch myself ;) In fact, I think my sister would like one too... do you offer either the bracelet itself of the stitching in custom color combos? If not, you might consider it if you have a variety of them.

I would recommend that you try to use all 5 shots...aside from the full shot, a nice close-up crop shot of the central cross-stitch portion... perhaps one either on your own wrist, or held in your hand for size reference... also one with the bracelet closed, standing on edge, showing the clasp.

All your photos need to be lightened, most are too dark to see very well and aren't likely to draw the buyer to browse your shop. I really like picasa, which is a free download, great for lightening and brightening without washing the photos out... and they've recently added lots more features, so you might try that.

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I have spent a lot of time outside this summer, with the effect of basically sun-bleaching the (normally fine, barely visible) hair on my arms. This is disturbingly showcased in close-up pictures....

LOL I get it... and I'm old with hands and arms that are no longer meant to be model's... but picasa has a feature that will help that, so you can direct the focos on the piece, and soften the surrounding area, like your hand and arm... like I've done here;
www.etsy.com/listing/103877471/silver-initial-s-pendant-18-gauge
I agree with above comments... I think lightening and brightening up your photos could take you a long way. Try building a makeshift lighting studio next to a window with bright natural light but not direct sun.

I use one sheet of watercolour paper curved for a base and back wall, and one sheet on the side opposite to the window side to reflect the light back onto the object, so that it is lit from both sides

Hopefully helpful!
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Inactive Etsy Member 7:40pm Jul 11, 2012 EDT
If jewelry making doesn't work out you have could have a great career as a writer! That was an awesome, funny post. :)

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