Before and After - Marlo M. Jewelry Design

Occasionally I'll feature "before and after" photos from one of my Small Object Photography class participants and blog readers.

If you have some great before and after shots you'd like to share, feel free to email me your photos using this link: for a chance to be featured! (Maximum 4 photos per submission, please. Feel free to include information about your online shop and your before and after story as well!) 

My own Before and After story:
When I wanted to apply for high-end wholesale trade shows with my jewelry line, Marlo M. Jewelry Design (est. 1993) I quickly realized that I needed to learn how to take my own photos of my work. So, I took an entire year to learn how to take photos of my jewelry using a Nikon 35mm SLR (yes, the kind that uses actual *film*!).

In that year, I took classes and workshops, learned how to work with lighting, rented professional equipment and learned quite a bit about taking great photos with 35mm film by shooting many, many rolls of film! Here's one of the results of that effort:

A photo of my Seedling Bracelet using 35mm slide film

Flash forward about 14 years.

I opened up my first Etsy shop I was admittedly pretty lazy and just didn't take the time to take great photos of my work. It was as if all that previous knowledge of taking my own 35mm photos was nowhere to be found!

 Yes. I actually used this photo in one of my early listings in my shop! So embarrassing. :P

Then one day I decided to document one of my necklaces and have a little fun with it. I moved around a light or two and used some textured copper and brass to take this photo:

  Ahh....much better!

It was then that the proverbial "light bulb" went on in my head! I realized that having great photos is really an important part of selling online and I needed to take some time to retrain myself so I could represent my work in the best way possible.

So, I dusted off my memories of the things I learned about product photography all those years ago, did a lot of research, even more experimenting and now my photos are much, much better! 

Even more refined with better lighting and composition :)

Tell us: When did you realize that taking better photos was going to be important for your online shop?

3 Response to "Before and After - Marlo M. Jewelry Design"

Courtney Dirks said...

I realized my photography was finally improving when friends kept asking me if my husband (who does a lot of photography) does my photography. Scoff...NOPE, it's all my blood, sweat and tears!! :)

Jennifer said...

I realized that the better photos were essential when I opened my second shop. The product for this shop was better and more concise than my first attempt had been. I looked back and wondered why sales had been so poor my first time around, and realized my photos were so bad that I was probably a candidate for a post!

Pink Elephant Jewelry said...

I just recently started to really put effort into my photography for my Etsy shop. I made a light box, figured out every little setting on my camera and found better backgrounds to take pictures on. The results are really great!

here's an example of my earlier "photography":

and what I'm doing now:

lighting can make all the difference!! :)

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