The blog topic on Flaming Hot this week is about photographing beads for sale. I used to be a bit haphazard about the style of my bead photos, but after experimenting quite a bit over the years, I am now fairly consistent with the style I like. A lot of bead artists photograph their beads as strands, sometimes even with crystals or silver spacers included. That works really well for some people, but I have never felt 100% comfortable using that approach. I feel like I am putting preconceived ideas into the heads of potential buyers, as to how the beads could be used in jewellery. And I know that jewellery designers can come up with some amazingly creative ways to string beads (Just check out my friend Lisa's site for an example!). So, I have discovered that I am happier with a more random display of my beads, what appears to be a haphazard arrangement, (but that usually took ages to arrange!), generally combined with some clear overhead shots of the beads arranged flat, so that all the details are clear. I also think its really important to ensure the holes/ends can be seen clearly (as these can often be 'problem areas' on newbie beads), and both sides of major focals. I love being able to include multiple images, to show a range of combinations and viewpoints. I'm so glad I finally worked out how to use a html template for the auctions sites, so that I can upload as many images as I like, while only paying for one image to be hosted. The other thing about the way I photograph beads... I am a shocking procrastinator. I only seem to take photos when I have a great pile of beads cleaned and ready to go, and then I force myself to my little 'studio' set up. I have a very small, portable, fabric softbox to diffuse my lights - high wattage from the hardware store, and they are incredibly bright and hot. It is physically uncomfortable due to heat and glare, and I have burnt myself on the lights more than once. So, I do have an excuse for putting it off... really.