Assignment 51 - Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend
The second to last assignment was to photograph a jewelry advertisement. The specification was for a full page ad for a magazine. I looked through some local magazines, and most of the ads were the same - either a ring or rings on a reflective surface with a black background or a beautiful woman showing off a necklace, bracelet or other piece of jewelry. Not knowing what I wanted to photograph, I went in search of something to shoot, hoping inspiration would hit when I saw it. My goal was, however, to avoid rings on a black background.
I headed to Kohl's figuring I was either going to walk out of there spending next to nothing with all the coupons and sales they always have, or I'd buy something semi-expensive to photograph and return it later (don't tell Kohl's). They had a number of what I'd call "chunky" necklaces - lots of large stones or flowers in a multitude of colors, some with matching earrings and/or bracelets. I picked up a few which I thought were pretty and in nice summery colors. Before leaving, I hit the clearance rack, and there, inspiration hit. There, on sale for $4, was a necklace with coral and orange colored stones, with a gold starfish medallion. Not exactly my taste, but for four bucks, and with an Idea brewing in my head, I grabbed it. I found earrings which coordinated with it, which I'll probably wear, so I headed for the checkout and walked out of there spending a whopping $6.93. I made a quick stop at Michael's for some sand, and home I went.
I dumped the sand on the table top, and pulled out some shells I had bought ages ago for a macro photograph. I arranged some shells in the sand, and then laid the necklace and earrings in the scene. I wanted the light to look like the sun was hitting the necklace from low on the horizon, so I got a single light with a 7" reflector and aimed it at the scene from the back left. The shadows were a bit too harsh for my liking, so I arranged a few small white foam boards around the tabletop to kick light back in. I surrounded the lens by a white piece of paper to get a good reflection in the starfish medallion. After a few shots, I added a light in a softbox above and behind the scene to add a little bit of fill light to the shadows. Finally I added a small black card near the left edge of the medallion to give it a bit of a darker edge. [Behind the scenes shot is at the bottom.] The resulting image is below:
It isn't your typical jewelry advertisement, but I wanted to do something a bit unusual and I had fun making it! We have a few extra weeks for assignment 52 (I can't believe it's almost over!), so there may not be a post for a few weeks. The assignment is to shoot six images - people and products which work together...a mini portfolio.