Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Props for Shooting Jewellery

I thought I’d share some of my favourite props when taking shots at my jewellery. I consider three main issues when choosing props.  One: I think it important that whatever props you use, they have to be practical – I use them as holders, hooks and hangers. Two they are not allowed to steal the show or distract from the jewellery, so I like making sure they don’t have bright colours and usually shot them so they are not fully in the shot.. Third: They have to suit the jewellery and help tell the same story.

So my pieces are usually inspired by stories, fairytales and nature, which means props that come from nature, is an obvious choice. I love my conch and though I can’t remember where I got it, I have had it for ages and have used it often in drawings as well as photos. My little wind plant with moss is fairly new. I was looking for a dish with a rim so that I could stage some earring shots and came across this little fellow in just the right colours. Just beware that it’s a lie when they say wind plants don’t need taking care of (I killed the first one, shh).

The branch I got from my sister in law’s garden. She has two beautifully gnarly trees like this and they are perfect for hanging all sorts of things on. I’ve got some large branches too that I use for fairy lights and golden decorations at xmas time.

The ring is a quick homemade one I put together with a crystal and some bronze coloured wire. Not my greatest work but it serves one important purpose; it provides scale to some pieces, which is one of the hardest challenges when shooting jewellery I find. When I get really close up to show the details it often makes it really hard to judge an item’s size.

The tissue paper I use in almost every shot and it really helps tie the look of my store together. I bought a couple of coffee cups from a cafe and they came wrapped in this. I love the colour and the faint writing which reminds me of journals and maps – perfect for stories.
The brass cup is from a whole Turkish tea set I bought at a charity shop. I love treasure hunting in those stores and never feel guilt about spending money in there. After all it’s for a good purpose, I’m recycling the item and if I don’t use it I can always just give it back to the shop. I love these old things that makes me wonder where they came from and who their previous owner were.

I just got a new item yesterday. I didn’t know what it was, but the look was just so wonderful. The old wood, the worn of checker pattern and that fantastic steel screw. When I got home I realised it must be a flower press and discovered that the steel is from Sheffield. That just makes it even more perfect. I have given it a good wash and some polish and hopefully I can give it some good use as a prop.