The year 2007 is almost over! A whole month and another near-month came and went without a new blog post. You might have noticed that shop-keeping efforts to my Etsy shop were minimal during that time. There were some distractions: I moved mid-November to a new place, and I started out at a new job at the same time. However, the real big reason for this recent hiatus was, I think, my subconscious fear of the biggest shopping season of the year. With the recent big changes in my life, I just didn’t feel up to dealing with the mad pressure that is the Christmas shopping season. So, now, with the frenzy officially over and my audience much calmer, I resume my jewelry making and shop tending activities in a leisurely manner. :-)

And the new awakening is accompanied by some fresh new looks: I have been experimenting with new photo styles. The time for new photos was ripe. There is a roaster of photo setups that I have been using in most of my shoots: one involves a natural wood piece as a background, another with dark stone slate, and another stone background with a golden brown tone. Some lovely shots have been produced in these setups, but there were some things that warranted an overhaul.

First off, as much as I love the rustic atmosphere the wood background provides, it was severely limiting, and I mean physically. The space on the piece of woodblock I had to work with was only 12×12cm (4.7×4.7 inch)! This meant that I had to spend tons of mental energy on framing my shots so that they are aesthetically pleasing AND stay inside that tiny wood surface. Second, while the dark stone slate compliments certain translucent stones and produces highly impactful shots, the severe contrasts in resulting photos clash with other more softer-toned wood-background photos in my shop front. Additionally, the lighting and the light box were nice, but they created rather harsh contrasts in my shots that can be detracting. Lastly, recently I have been going through a “gold” phase (more on this in a later post), and none of these setups plays nicely with gold metal tones I found.

I have been wanting to try out softer and more neutral backgrounds, so I gathered up some paper pieces. Also, I wanted to take advantage of one thing that my new place has plenty of: big windows and natural sunlight. I spent one overcast Sunday taking pictures in this new setup, and the results are pretty impressive, if I may say so. The shots have a soft gleaming tone, looking swathed in light. I am also loving the depth that my frames now enjoy, as seen in the photo on the left. All in all, the new photos give my store pages a more relaxed and consistent look. I really ought to re-shoot my older stock — that will require one super-charged overcast Sunday. :-) One downside of the new photo style is, however, that individual photos are less striking and attention-grabbing, which will make my listings stand out less elsewhere in Etsy. While looking for my own new listing on the crowded Etsy jewelry pages yesterday, for example, I browsed right past my own photo. Well, now that I have a more established customer base, I probably could afford worrying less about grabbing new audience. I am hoping that the better and more beautiful photo branding offered by the new photos will offset the loss, if there indeed is any.