Jul 14, 2011

I Made a “Recycled” Photo Rig

So, my Etsy store has been cleared for a feature on Heartsy, which is a little like Groupon for handmade items.  In preparation I’ve unboxed a bunch of stuff from my jewelry making days which means I have to shoot Etsy-worthy photos of nearly three years of creative work.

If you’ve seen my store, you know I’m manic about good photos.  You can’t do Etsy without them, and if allowed I will spend a lot of time on them.

I needed a photo rig that would make it easy to frame and backdrop a wide variety of pieces in a way that was consistent and good-looking.  I have a few hundred pieces to shoot, here; the easier the better.  After fiddling with a lot of things, I finally came up with this.

The rig is made primarily from pieces of 1/8″ acrylic left over from my work with the Dallas Makerspace’s laser cutter.  There are also two pieces of 1/16″ acrylic in the back that still have the protective paper on one side.  That paper makes for a great neutral background.

The front piece has the highest concentration of small holes, which means there are a lot of places to hang things.

I inserted the pieces into the divider slots on  the bottom tier of a Snapware craft storage box.

The other end is held in place with a piece of scotch tape, so it will be easy to disassemble and store in the box (along with the packaged jewelry) when I’m finished taking photos.

The aggregate effect is an environment that the subjects seem to be floating in, full of interesting shapes with varying levels of focus and detail.  The photos are pretty great.

And yes, this necklace is for sale.

I really dig this rig; among other things, it allows me to get a clean shot even with all sorts of clutter surrounding the area I’m shooting – handy when you have piles of merch waiting to be photographed, or backing cards, packaging or tools that you need on hand.

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