November 19, 2014
My wife, bitten long ago by the entrepreneurial bug, has a seemingly endless supply of business ideas.
But it wasn’t until this fall that she made one a reality by launching Silver & Stone, an online jewelry retailer focused on burgeoning artists, primarily from the Twin Cities and New York.
And I never imagined that her new endeavor would help me bolster my own creative skill set.
Shortly after landing on her company name, she registered it with the state, bought a domain and drafted the shell of a business plan. She met with artists, crunched numbers and placed orders as I mostly stood on the sidelines, offering my two cents only when solicited and lending a hand refining website templates.
I won’t pretend to be a jewelry aficionado – simply wearing a wedding ring took me some getting used to – but as boxes of necklaces, bracelets and rings began arriving at our door, it was immediately apparent that she was curating an inventory of bold, unique pieces. I’m talking some really original, striking stuff.
Everything was shaping up, and all we had to do now was post pictures to the website. Point and click. Piece of cake, right?
Several-dozen clicks of the shutter later, my confidence was waning. What glimmered on the table before me appeared dull and drab on-screen. The colors were flat, all intricacies lost. It didn’t matter how beautiful this jewelry was if we couldn’t do it justice online.
I scoured websites for tips on photographing jewelry, many of which confirmed my discovery that it’s much harder than it looks. I also found that industry pros used sophisticated light-box systems that were outside my budget. So I kept digging, eventually finding a YouTube video about creating a DIY light box – and about $15 worth of cardboard, tissue paper and duct tape later, I was in business.
The box wasn’t pretty, but after some trial and error with the placement of three table lamps, the photographs finally were. Here’s an example:
I then moved on to lifestyle shots, which were a lot of fun too:
I’m not the entrepreneur behind this start-up, but it’s been a fun project that has demanded an unanticipated amount of trial and error and DIY ingenuity that has been equal parts challenging and rewarding — as is often the case with creative endeavors.
P.S. While I am sharpening my amateur photography chops, I don’t think pictures will ever truly do this jewelry justice. To see the pieces in person, drop by the fantastic Friedman Iverson loft in Northeast Minneapolis on December 11 for Silver & Stone’s official launch party.