Picture Problems

As most of you are aware, I have my own Etsy shop. I haven't been putting up very many new items lately because I have been re-evaluating how the jewelry looks like on my page. And... it hasn't been looking very good. I have had a couple of jewelry parties and one occurring comment that I have heard is "your jewelry looks much better in person than it does online". This is a very nice comment, and I'm glad that people like my jewelry, but it also means that my pictures are not conveying the true beauty that my jewelry has. I don't have a fancy camera (I have a Fugifilm Finepix camera with 6.3 megapixels) but I've learned a lot about it, and I use iPhoto to edit my pictures (I've learned to crop them all to a square so that what I want in the picture fits into the little squares on Etsy), I've read a few blogs about photography and watched a couple of videos. This is how my photos have changed recently.

When I first started taking pictures, I knew that it had to be taken in a well-lit area. So, I took them inside by a window. These looked ok some of the time... if it was a really sunny day, but most of the time they ended up looking really dark. Also I was also trying to be fancy with funky backgrounds, and really it just ended up being really distracting.

Taken inside. No matter how I try to adjust it, it just looks dark and weird

too dark, and background really distracting

no need to explain... you can see the problems

Next I tried to improve what I was doing, and so on a nice, sunny day I would take them outside. I took them in direct sunlight... thinking this was the best. WRONG! There were just too many shadows and sometimes you couldn't even see the detail that the necklaces had because the sun was too strong. Also, I was using purple pieces of fabric for my background and an embroidered pillowcase, but they both just ended up looking really wrinkly and sometimes (especially with the purple one) distorted the colors that were in the necklaces.

Such a shame! The sun is so bright and the purple is taking over the whole picture! You cannot even see how beautiful this stone is!

Those flowers are blue... but not that color blue!

Some of these clear beads are almost disappearing in the sunlight! How is a person looking online going to really tell if they want to buy it or not? Also, notice the wrinkly background? Ugh!

Now I have a new plan...I take my pictures outside, on the front porch of the house. It is great because I get the benefits of having all of the beautiful sunlight, but since I am on the porch, I do not have to worry about having too much powerful sunshine. Also, I have started using white, tan, and darker tan colors of cardstock as the backgrounds of my pictures. Very flat colors I feel have worked the best. Even though I love purple, it was just too distracting in my photos.

nice and bright, but you can actually see the necklace!

If you notice, this is the same necklace that was pictured in purple before. See how beautiful the stone is now? Maybe someone will actually want to buy it now!

Here is the same necklace where the beads were disappearing before. The picture is still nice and bright, but you can actually see what is pictured.

This whole Etsy shop has been a huge learning experience. I am sure I will keep on learning more and more of how to improve my photography, but I just thought it was interesting to see the change from when I started to where I am now. It's been a lot of hard work, but if I want the shop to be successful and for people to get a true idea of what my jewelry is like, I need to keep improving.

Does anyone have any more tips or suggestions for me? If you want to see more of my necklaces and pictures you can see them at my Etsy shop AlisaJulie, just remember, I am still in the process of changing my pictures around! :)


  1. Alisa,

    I can see the improvements in the photos as I scrolled down :) Search up how to build a lightbox on Google. Give that a try... maybe also play around with the settings on the camera? What mode are you shooting in?


  2. Really good post. I have been trying to improve my photos also. Another thing you can do is mess with the enhance features on your photo editing software. I don't know all of them yet but sharpness and that kind of thing.

  3. Thanks OhKuol! I will look into making a lightbox! Thanks for the suggestion. I usually shoot my photos on the automatic setting with the macro mode on. I always use it on macro mode. Otherwise there are a few times where I will turn it on the manual setting, and mess with the WB and exposure.

    Madd Dogg of Tommorrow, I use iPhoto in editing my photos and always enhance them! I use auto-enhance at first and if that doesn't look quite right I manually do it myself. Thanks for reading!


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