In preparation for this weekend's MJSA and JA Expo at the Jacob Javits center in NYC, I'm jumping way, way back to my fifth Daily Golden Nugget from July 30, 2010 about photography. I've written about photography many times since then, written product reviews about the Photocubics Flashbox A10, and presented several live seminars on jewelry product photography.
Want to improve your own product photography? Stop by my booth at the MJSA Expo this weekend for hands-on training using your camera and the Photocubics Flashbox A10.
Some Uses of Good Photography
Good photography isn't just for your product catalog anymore. Indeed, posts to every social network get 94% more views than content without relevant images. Yet only 27% of marketers have a process in place to supply appropriate visuals for all their marketing needs.
While I stress the importance of photography for social media and your online catalog, you should not lose sight of other uses of good photography that are still paramount, like your print advertising, direct mail, and even store signage. I've been in far too many jewelry stores that didn't have appropriate signage on their walls, and some with nothing at all. One simple solution is to take your own product photos and have them printed on large canvas. With a little work in PhotoShop, you could even make your photos look like an oil painting. You could even have different canvas photos for different times of the year. Be creative and brighten up your store with more than just vendor supplied posters.
Here's a short list of where you can put your photography to good use:
- in your product catalog
- in social media
- in-store signage
- in print ads
- in direct mail
- in online ads
- in Google My Business and Yelp
Taking Your Own Photos
I firmly believe that anyone can learn to take their own jewelry photography on plain white backgrounds. It can be accomplished when you have the right equipment and training. More artistic photography, the type that will attract attention on social media, takes a little more practice before most people develop a knack for it.
Taking your own photography will save you money over hiring a professional to do it for you; it also allows you to produce the exact photos you need for specific purposes without planning ahead. Another benefit of taking your own photography is that you're guaranteed to have the rights to use the photos.
Google Image Search is an incredibly dangerous place to source your photography. It's best to protect yourself from potential copyright infringement issues by changing the usage rights settings to "Labeled for reuse" as shown here:
Copyright infringement is a serious issue, one in which is NOT better to ask forgiveness than initially asking permission. I know of many jewelers that were penalized with copyright infringement fines, which usually start at $1000. Getty Images is especially vigilant at protecting their images.
The most popular Hope Diamond photo is one that has landed many jewelers into hot water. I'm referring to this image that's so easy to find in Google Image Search as shown here:
The image you see there is the official Smithsonian Institution photo, which is not allowed to be used on any commercial website. It can be used on an education site as long as there's a link back to its source like this one, but it can't be associated with a jewelry website where its use is clearly for marketing purposes.
Google Image Search is a good place to get ideas for your own photos, but it's best to stay away from sourcing images from it. If you can't take the images yourself, then it's better to search through Flickr.com or purchase them yourself.
Don't forget to stop by MJSA booth 540 this weekend at the Jacob Javits Center. I'll be there all three days of the show.