I've got a friend who's opening her Etsy shop and I've been helping her a little with some photoshop things and general and mostly unsolicited photo advice. I'll wait to tell you about her and her shop, because it warrants a featuring and you guys are going to love it, trust me.
I told her that for every email I send her that contains my advice or ideas, I would send her the worst photo I could immediately find of my own early jewelry photos to prove her photos are already light years ahead of where mine were when I was first starting to take them. The ones I've sent her are waaay worse than these--these are actually 'evolved' from my first listings and attempts.
The set up: I rigged a bulletin board on my dining room table and covered it with (what I thought was) pretty paper conducive to backgrounding, and asked my husband, an (otherwise) excellent, award-winning photographer, to style and take photos of the pieces of jewelry, so I can see how it would look/what I could expect.
I was horrified at the results. It was going to be all Fitzcarraldo with the jewelry pictures, I knew it the minute I began madly clicking in horror through these files. They were as dire to me then and they are now, and I had no way to immediately translate my vision into reality. I don't feel I really fight the idea of Process, actually, I'm quite interested in it always, so it wasn't really a matter of resenting the time or journey-it just seemed so impractical and amateur, as I would have to be using what were essentially practice photos to represent a professional ideal, which of course seems doubly important with the product is art/craft.
There's one of these bulletin board photos that I can't even bring myself to post--for months it was the icon of the first photo file, so I'd see it every day. As I continued taking photos and learning photoshop, the picture began to become more and more grim. I left it there for a while, as incentive to move on, but it got to the point that when I opened my photo files and saw that bad little photo icon, I would get a physical zing that started at my arms and spread out through my whole body in a wave, and ended with this rolling feeling in my head behind my ears. I had to move the file folder so it didn't pop up anymore.
I had hundreds of things--cords, necklaces, some really, really elaborate--there are a couple now I wish I still had or could find. Most got pulled apart for the beads (as was always the plan) or recycled in parts.
When I did finally go in for findings like jewelry pins, commercial earwires, and the like, it was such a necessary relief that I took full advantage of it and focused more on things like color, texture, juxtapositions of things.
Why don't I do more simple braiding with beads? I love these.
It's been an unexpectedly nice little exercise going through some of these old folders. Usually the only old stuff I ever have occasion to see are in my Etsy listings, so it's easy to just keep those in my head as "where I was, what I did." But as usual, the full truth is not present in casual memory alone. In looking through the folders, I also came across some really bad non jewelry photos I thought I'd share--these were taken in a November. With the weird storm stuff, my terrible sleeping issues which are really coming to a head now, a Halloween-that-wasn't, and just a lot of things going on, I was very startled to realize earlier today it was November.
What a strange photo. Camera is likely still set in macro with no flash for the jewelry. It's my friends that moved from Utah "with" us. Not literally, but actually, it kind of was. They've got a farm. Looks like they've just arrived for Thanksgiving at my house here and the babe is cranky and waking up or something, and I'm probably trying to tease him out of it.
Here my husband is carving a turkey. I took a photo because we're vegetarians and it seemed so unlikely. But we've had turkeys here every year since for the meat eaters. I'm not miltant at all--it's just been a habit for 26 years or so. This bad photo is redeemed by his hair that looks pretty cool here.
Still can't believe next month is--December! Today is the first truly, truly cold day and I heard Christmas music when I popped into Michael's tonight to grab some Amaco Mexican pottery clay after we took our rats to the vet for shots (boy they did not enjoy that.) Christmas music. And with that, I realized we were actually into November, and I'm finally accepting it, I think. I am a profoundly Springtime person. The only thing I like about Fall is the clothes. I'm starting to relax into the idea of allowance and yielding to the cold weather and seasons that for my entire adult life have mainly meant chaos, inconvenience, and struggle. It's all gone, all of it, literally every last bit of everything that made it a struggle, so it is foolish to hang on to the trauma (that's an exaggeration and overly dramatic, but it's what it feels like) of those miserable, window-scraping-child-carrying-car-sliding-sideways-down-the-hill-furnace-broken days. Bleh, snow.
Bad webcam photo apparently learning how to work those photoshop controls. I must have been thinking about snow.