Product Photography – Lightcase

I recently brought myself a new “toy” to see whether I could improve my product photos. I came across a product called the Lightcase that was raising money via Kickstarter to help launch their product idea.

The Lightcase comes flat packed, which you then unfold and clip together, and then can unclip and fold back down when you’ve finished using it. So it’s really great if you don’t have space to have something permanently set up for taking product photographs.

IMG_2618-Lightcase
IMG_2617-Lightcase

It also comes with three different backdrops that can be inserted in to the Lightcase – black, white and transparent. It also has a hole on the top, so if you use a smartphone camera you can take overhead shots of your products.

I thought it would be interesting to show some comparison shots of what photos I was able to do before, and the type of photo I can take with the Lightcase. (The photos have been taken with the same camera, using the same product etc, and also have been edited in the same way for light levels and cropped using the editing program Gimp.)

On the left is the previous photo, and on the right is the Lightcase photo:

IMG_0015-SPN057
IMG_2192-SSN057

As you can see, whilst the background which is white, is still a similar grey colour, the actual product is less shadowed and comes up a brighter silver colour.

I found that using the transparent background and placing the Lightcase on top of wood, it gave a nice background effect in my pictures.

IMG_2184-SSN057

I like the improvements the Lightcase has allowed me to make in my product photos, it really helps the metal in my products shine and pop out more, from the type of pictures I was able to do previously. The one downside I’ve found is that when the Lightcase has been put up and down a few times, it does tend to twist slightly. This hasn’t hampered me taking photographs, but it might if you tend to want to take lots of top down photos using the hole on top with a smartphone camera, as the smartphone might have issues sitting nicely on top (as the twisting that has occured on my Lightcase is near the top on the sides). However, overall I think it’s a great product and one I will be continuing to use to take product photographs with.

Etsy’s UK TV Ad

Etsy has created their first UK TV advertisement, that showcases a number of UK Etsy sellers.

For a behind the scenes look at creating the TV ad ~ http://blog.etsy.com/uk/2014/06/11/etsy-uk-tv-ad-first-look/

For those that haven’t seen the ad on TV, here it is:

Craftsy & Dawanda

I have been trying out two different online selling platforms recently.

Dawanda

First up is Dawanda, which is a predominately Germany based site. It has platforms in a variety of languages, with the English platform being currently free to list on.

I have currently had two sales through there. Which considering I only had one sale through Folksy even when I had items listed in the “busy” Christmas buying season, is an improvement. I haven’t as yet fully capitalised on using the Dawanda site, I will need to translate my listings in to German and pay to list on the German platform to give myself the best chance of selling on Dawanda. So I am planning on translating my listings, and seeing what difference that makes to my sales on there.

Craftsy

Craftsy is an online place for selling tutorials and patterns. It’s free to list and free to sell on. You do need to have a PayPal account, and obviously pay PayPal fees that are associated with selling, but Craftsy don’t charge anything for selling through their site.

So far I’ve had 5 orders through Craftsy. So this site definitely enables me to reach some of my target market and fits well with me selling my pdf tutorials.

Upgrading My Packaging

I’ve been thinking for a while about ideas of how to improve how I package up my orders. Since the start I’ve used some black jewellery gift bags, tissue paper and bubble wrap to protect my orders, and with silver jewellery I’ve also put the items in a self seal plastic bag to help reduce air getting to the metal so it won’t tarnish.

Whilst I think gift boxes are lovely for packaging jewellery items, they are typically too bulky and therefore add cost to not only packaging but postage costs too. So I was wanting more of a gift box presentation but without the box.

I came across the idea of using card that can have holes and slits put into it to hold jewellery items like necklaces. I also got a stamp made up so that I can personalise the cards with my shop name. It gives more of the presentation feel that I was after but still allows my packages to be small and light.

IMG_1119-StampExample

I had originally been looking at buying some pre-made jewellery cards, but wasn’t able to find a UK supplier that made what I was after, hence I ended up making my own. Then it occurred to me, that if I had been looking for pre-made jewellery cards being sold in the UK, then there might be other people wanting to buy something similar. Which has led me to adding a range of earring and necklace jewellery display cards to my shop.

IMG_1164-JCE001-JCE003

IMG_1175-JCE005

Two Year Anniversary

Purple Wyvern Jewels is now two years old. It’s changed and grown in ways I hadn’t forseen when I started this business. I regularly try to add new product items, even try out different product ranges. Some ideas work, others haven’t proved to be quite so successful. However, that’s the good thing about running your own business you can try out different ideas, keep what works for you and drop the things that don’t.

I love the fact that not only are my items going to customers within the UK, but they get to travel all over the world. I’ve had products sold to customers in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Martinique, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and to the USA.

Over the next year, I plan on adding more items to my existing product ranges, and trying out a few completely new product ideas as well. I’m also going to look at a couple of different online selling venues, to try and expand my online customer base. Plus, I’m looking forward to seeing which new countries my items will fly of to next.

Something A Little Bit Different

Predominately the items that I currently create are centred around charms and macrame jewellery. So I thought I would add something a little bit different in to my Etsy store….

Purple Velvet Swarovski Crystal Bottle Pendant

Purple Velvet Swarovski Crystal Bottle Pendant

Padparadscha Swarovski Crystal Bottle Pendant

Padparadscha Swarovski Crystal Bottle Pendant

Sunflower Swarovski Crystal Bottle Pendant

Sunflower Swarovski Crystal Bottle Pendant

White Opal Swarovski Crystal Bottle Pendant

White Opal Swarovski Crystal Bottle Pendant

There are also a number of other Swarovski crystal colours available within the bottle necklaces section.

Happy New Year

Welcome to the year 2014. Happy New Year!

I can’t believe it’s been May since I last posted here. I’ve been kept busy. My little boy, who isn’t quite so little anymore, started school in September. So that gave me some extra time to enable me to work more on my range of items. I’ve been adding lots of new items to my online stores, particularly charm jewellery and charm keyrings, and I’ve been adding to my PDF tutorial range too. So do check out purplewyvernjewels.co.uk and purplewyvernjewels.etsy.com to see my current range of items.

2013 was a great year for my business. I not only broke even on my business but also, my Etsy shop sales really took off, with December being my best ever month! I can’t wait to see what 2014 will look like, and what it brings for Purple Wyvern Jewels.

One New Year’s resolution I have is to get back at updating this blog more regularly, so there is at least one post a month as to what is happening with Purple Wyvern Jewels.