In an effort to begin seeing some income from my beads, I set up an Etsy store. I actually did this a couple months ago, but so far I haven't made a penny. Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that I haven't listed any beads yet!! And why is that, you ask? It all goes back to the camera.
See, I have a ridiculous number of beads in "inventory" (well, ridiculous to me, anyway). So I began sorting through them to pull out the ones I thought had the best odds of selling. Now this in itself is somewhat frustrating, because beads that I thought were pretty good when I made them now look a little...off. Wonky. Not all that great. This process reduced my inventory by about 50%, and my self-confidence by about 25%. The ones I'd picked out still looked good, though, so I set about taking pictures.
Taking pictures of beads isn't like taking pictures of your kids, or your dog, or that really pretty rainbow you see in the sky. First of all, beads are generally round (or at least roundish) which means they don't sit still very well. Granted, your kids and your dog probably don't either, but at least you can threaten them with something if they wiggle. Beads don't care. If a bead wants to roll away, it will. This makes photography much trickier.
Second, beads are shiny. Shiny is good, right? People like shiny. Problem is, shiny beads tend to have shiny reflections on them when you take their picture, and that lovely little strip of glare is NOT good, especially when it's obscuring a particularly nice bit of detailing that you really want a potential buyer to see and lust after. However, you still want the bead to be well-lit, so that all the lovely colors show up. This causes difficulties also.
The most frustrating problem I have with photographing my beads, though, is what I call the "spelling test phenomenon". If you've ever graded spelling tests or anything similar, it is very common to find yourself thinking "that looks wrong, but I know it's right" after several repeats of a given word. I used to help my mom grade papers and we would laugh about the fact that seeing something over and over tends to actually blur your perception of it; that after a while, you can't really trust your eyes, because they're bored and don't want to see what's really there, so everything looks wrong. I'm experiencing that with my beads. I've looked at them so much lately that now they all look wonky. I'll pick up a bead I absolutely love and think "Who would buy this piece of junk? I should just sell all my equipment right now!", throw it down in frustration and walk away. Clearly this does not help me get my beads photographed and listed on Etsy!
Maybe I need to just step away from the beads for a day, find something else to focus on. I know, I'll work with the kids on their spelling! There, their, they're....pear, pare, pair....would, should, could...wait, does that look wrong to you?