If you’re a jewelry artist like myself and you sell on Etsy then you know the challenges of photographing your creations. Especially earrings if that’s your fancy.
I’ve found one photographer’s tool that can make an incredible difference both in ease of work and beauty in finished product.
The Freeze Frame is one of the simplest tools to have and to use. You don’t have to spend any money or at least very little in making your own. If you have an old frame some nails or brads, or cup hooks, and some thread, you have everything you need for the job.
I started out with an old 11” x 14” frame that I had laying around. I chose it because it was flat on the sides and it would stand by itself on the edge.
Once you’ve picked your frame turn it around to the backside.
Measure approximately 3/4’s of the way up the side of the inside of the frame and mark it. Do the same on the opposite side.
Insert nails, brads or cups hooks at these marks. At the very top measure to find the center of the frame and make a mark at that spot. Once you have marked center of the frame then measure ½” out to the right of the center and make a mark and measure ½” out to the left of the center and make a mark. Once you have these two marks use two cup hooks and insert them in these two areas. Be sure they are level with each other.
You will be able to use the top cup hooks on the freeze frame to hang necklaces from to photograph them. You might also like to try hanging your bracelets from these top hooks.
When you are ready to photograph your earrings all you need to do is use white or invisible (translucent) thread and extend it across the frame where the nails or cup hooks are a quarter of the frames size from the top. Tie a knot around one hook and then stretch the thread tightly across the frame and tie it to the other hook. It is important that the thread be as tight as possible. The earrings will make the thread droop if they are large earrings and if you’re shooting several pairs the thread gradually stretches out. So make it tight.
In this picture I have demonstrated how you can shoot your earrings hanging on the thread. The thread, especially if you are using invisible thread, will disappear in your photos and it will appear that your earrings are just hanging there in mid-air.
If you need to display the earrings better you can use the thread and run it through various places on the earrings and pull them out to display them better, again the thread won’t show.
In this photo of the necklace hanging from the top cup hooks it is hanging without the help of
any thread tugging on it to make it more shapely.
Look closely in this second photo of the same necklace and you will notice that I have used white thread in several locations to pull the necklace out to form a pleasing and more natural shape, so that my customers will get a better idea of what the necklace will look like when wearing it.
Naturally you don’t want the white thread showing. You don’t have to use white thread, buy invisible thread and you won’t be able to see it yourself when you’re working with it.
These earrings each have two strands of jump rings. Although they are separated by a bead about half-way down they still hang straight down and tend to hang side-by-side. To display the individual strands this way I used the invisible thread to hang the earrings on, I tied the first rings at the top together to keep them together at the top and then tied invisible thread on the outside strand of the earring so you could see the construction of the earrings.
The invisible thread will also stabilize long dangle earrings from moving so that you can photograph them without blur. As you probably know sometimes it is impossible to get earrings to stop moving.
Let’s sum up what the Freeze Frame can do for you.
Photograph earrings that appear to be hanging in mid-air
Allow you to position them in “flying” or otherwise “moving” positions without blur
Allows you to tie earrings that won’t stop moving, so that you can shoot them steady with no blur
Photograph one earring and then Copy that photo to have a finished photo with 2 identical earrings.
Works for necklaces or bracelet too.
What will the Freeze Frame Cost you?
Nothing if you already have a frame and thread.
Nominal amount if you shop thrift shop or yard sales for frame
Invisible Thread under $3
You could put more nails on the back of your Freeze Frame to attach these extra threads to, however I use scotch tape and just tape the thread to the frame, it’s just going to be there a few minutes.
My Freeze Frame did not cost me anything because I had everything already but I used white thread to start with and it showed up in my pictures and I had to buy invisible thread which cost about $2.27. So that is all that my Freeze Frame has cost me so far.
If you don’t have these things laying around your house, then check some yard sales or thrift shops. You won’t have to spend much to create your Freeze Frame, the tool you won’t be able to live without.