How strange is the world at the moment? We’ve had to say a (temporary ) goodbye to our beautiful shops and it’s been heartwarming to have so many of you get in touch to see how we are and to let us know that you’re thinking of us. We’re missing you all lots. One of the many things we enjoy about having shops is meeting people and hearing their stories.
We are very fortunate. We have a garden which we enjoy and we’re safe and well at home. We’re able to keep in touch with our family and friends via Facetime, texts, messenger and in the case of my lovely Gran, telephone. She loves to chat to us all but will not consider using Facetime or Skype. I must admit, when faced with taking a call in the middle of the day with mad hair, no make-up and gardening clothes I think she might be on to something!
I’ve also found that I have time to photograph some of our beautiful jewellery. It’s a true delight to spend some time in the garden when the sun is shining and sort through our beautiful collections. For a long time I worried about our jewellery photographs. They either seemed to be far too plain or out of focus and holding some kind of weird shadow that would only appear when I published them. I spend a lot of time on Instagram and there are so many amazing photographers. The more time I spent on there though, the more I started to look at the type of photographs that caught my eye. Often they weren’t a perfect shot or amazingly colour co-ordinated. The photos that really stopped me mid scroll were the ones that seemed ‘real’.
I’ve taken so many photographs of jewellery. Seriously, the only thing that appears more than jewellery in the 18,500 (not an exaggeration) pics on my iPhone is our little dog Gandalf and our little cat, Kermit. I photograph my jewellery all the time but so few actually reach our Insta feed, blog or Facebook posts. Why? Because I’m waiting until my hands don’t look as dry or the bird isn’t in the background or the sun is in a different place for the right light. It’s such a shame! So, during this time when we have leisure to consider what’s important, I decided to take some photographs and… post them!
Setting up a photo shoot in our garden was great fun! I’m often inspired by the styles and colours of our jewellery and I have some props that I photograph with at Adorn and Acorn. At home is an entirely different story as I have everything at my disposal! If I decide that I need a different scarf I don’t have to go ahead without it, wait until tomorrow or find an alternative, I can just nip back upstairs and forage the right colour out of my dressing table.
Photographing at home does bring other challenges though. I am very easily distracted and had to convince myself that now was not the time to A. count how many scarves I have or B. decide to iron them all before I took the photographs. There’s that photograph perfection again! It makes absolutely no sense! I will happily wear a scarf that hasn’t been ironed but the thought of evidential proof that I don’t do ironing living forever on the internet makes me very nervous…haha. Then I remembered the wise words of one of my lovely customers when I talked about preparing for my Friday Night Facebook Live Shows. “We don’t care what your hair looks like Laura Jo, just show us the jewellery!”. Basically, stop overthinking and just show us what we came here to see. Words to live by.
Capturing jewellery in daylight is often much easier than photographing in artificial light. When under the lights in our lovely shops the jewellery does exactly what it’s designed to do. It bounces the light everywhere. What makes a beautiful piece of jewellery makes a terrible photograph. There are shadows, lines, reflections, you name it. In natural light jewellery, especially natural gemstones, are a lot better behaved. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for all involved…
I often get ‘helped’ when I’m at home by our cat, Kermit. He takes ownership of every basket that comes into our house apart from ones that are bought specifically for him. Then he ignores them. He’s often found trying to convince our neighbours that he’s under fed . They play along and he thinks he’s got the wool pulled over their eyes. However when we’re in the garden he comes to check for any changes we’re making. They have to be passed by both him and Gandalf before being fully approved and I had forgotten to get the correct permissions for a photo shoot…
After a couple of ‘sit in’ protests we agreed on the fair price of a tin of tuna and two Meadowfresh sausages in exchange for me having some uninterrupted time in the garden. Fortunately Adam was in the greenhouse otherwise it would have cost me some Cheese Factor cheese as well. Left to my own devices I decided on my props and started to take some pics. I was fortunate enough to be gifted some of Adam’s great aunt’s scarves and I always think of her when I wear them or use them in photographs. I am also fortunate to have a very generous Mum with an excellent eye for vintage and many of these scarves are presents from her. The colours and patterns on my scarves are usually bright and vivid. I love using them to bring a bolt of colour to an outfit either in my hair or around my neck. They worked perfectly for our vintage inspired collection, the colours were perfect to bring out the hues in the natural gemstones.
I found that it was a very mindful experience bringing these photographs to life. I don’t use filters when I’m photographing our gemstones because I like to you to see them as true to life as a screen will permit. I try to use different backgrounds and different angles so you can see all of the colours in the gemstone. Of course it’s almost impossible to completely capture the beauty but, feeling the sun on my skin and hearing the birds singing in our trees I hoped I would convey some of the magic of these very special pieces of jewellery.
Isn’t it amazing how different these gemstones look in different lights?
And with different backgrounds?
My favourite photographs are the ones taken with the flowers in our garden. The colours are just beautiful and the natural shapes really please me! We have a small garden but we’ve filled it with lots of different flowers and a few trees too. Adam has green fingers so he manages to make most things grow. I usually stick to my succulents (they are very hardy!) but I plant seeds and help to re-pot as well. We really enjoy spending time outdoors together and gardening is a great way to do that. At the moment we aren’t allowed to walk in our beloved Peak District but our time at home has meant that our garden gets lots of love.
I’m so grateful to have had this time and such beautiful weather to take these photographs. I’ve certainly learnt that the enjoyment of a jewellery photo shoot can out weigh my need for the pics to be perfect so I’m sure you’ll be seeing lots more photographs soon. I’d love to see your pics with Adorn and Acorn jewellery and hear where you enjoy photographing the most.
Sending lots of love from our home to yours,
Laura Jo xx