Backgrounds, Backgrounds, Backgrounds!

Well up in here in good ole Saskatchewan, Canada in the winter, the temperature can drop below minus 40 C, which basically means there is no well in hell, I'm going outside to take pictures. So a good indoor light setup is essential! I've been playing around with my lightbox now that it's setup properly and I got to thinking about how much I hate white backgrounds (mostly because I don't do them particularly well)!

So I've been wandering around for the last month or so, collecting backgrounds for my photographs. Here are some of the items I came up with:

First and foremost, the basic staple of jewelry photography, a jewelry display bust. If you don't have a *guinea pig* to help you photograph what your jewelry will look like on a real person, these are the next best thing. They're aren't that expensive either, I bought mine for around $20.

Scrapbook Paper! This was a total fluke because I don't scrapbook at all! I just happen to wander down that particular aisle at Michaels and EPIPHANY! It comes in a huge variety of designs and colors.
- Advice: Choose a couple of papers that best reflect your work, and stick with them, it will make your work more recognizable!.

My dad found this rock while he was camping a couple of years ago, it has a gorgeous orange and black coloring to it. I found it in their garden the other day (and sort of swiped it), so that I could see how it did as a background.

I found this piece of wood in my parent's back yard in their tree line. I didn't really think much about it but when I used as a background, it adds a real nice, rustic texture to the photo.

I picked up the piece below at a dollar store for $1.25. It doesn't really look like much when I first picked it up BUT the way it's shaped, it's profile is a perfect, inexpensive mimic of a person's bust. Which will save you $25+ on buying a true jewelry display bust!

Other backgrounds ideas:

  • Ceramic tiles (not the shiny ones, they'll leave a glare in the photo
  • Small sheet of brushed steel
  • Rusty iron (think farm implements)
  • Small pile of mulch (could be messy)
  • A roof shingle
  • etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.....

There are literally thousands upon thousands of different background display ideas. You just need to keep your eyes open for anything that seems unique or different. Even if it doesn't look good at the time, it doesn't hurt to bring it home and try it!


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