You don't want to be taking your photos against a background that makes your work look terrible so a good backdrop is important. They're also very simple to create. The best backdrops are either fabric or paper because they are the easiest to handle and find. The best backdrops are simple, a solid color or subtle pattern/texture is best to not distract from the object being photographed. Colors shouldn't clash with the object being photographed either, I recommend neutral or soft colors because you can use them with the widest variety of colored objects so you won't need multiple backdrops.
You can of course just photograph your work against the backdrop and I do that often but props can really help show off your items well. Here are some options you can try:
- Display stands. Most jewelry supply stores sell display stands for necklaces, bracelets, etc.
- Dishes. I use a pretty wine glass to hang earrings from in my photos, you can also use bowls, jars, etc.
- Books. A stack of nice hardcover books or an open page can make an interesting display.
- Branches, driftwood, etc. Hang ornaments from a branch, drape a necklace over a piece of driftwood, there are plenty of interesting ways to use these natural items.
- Rocks. A pile of river pebbles or a large smooth rock would contrast well with metalwork jewelry.
- Dressforms and Mannequins. If you create clothing you can either get a model or use a stand-in. In particular many people are squeamish about buying hats that have been modeled on a real person.
- Fabric. Tulle netting can be used to hang earrings from, you can run a piece of fabric through a ring or bracelet, it can provide a splash of color to a neutral backdrop.
The next part of this series will talk about composing your shots.
Photographing Your Work Part I