Background Story

I’ve been experimenting with taking photographs of old objects with different kinds of backgrounds to see if they help highlight the objects or distract from it. My favorite is the gold and black purse with a black and white advertisement for Byrrh.

Art Deco mesh bag

I like this combination of a black and white advert from a 1930s magazine and the Art Deco purse.


I used a random page from on old magazine for the background of the compact and powder puff.

Art Deco dress clip

The plain white background works fine.

Art Deco dress clip

I think this is pretty with the purple scarf background but if I were selling the piece, maybe I’d stick with the plain white background.

Rhinestone bracelet

It was sunny and just too bright outside; not sure if I like this background.

French steel cut shoe buckles

The black textured background just looks bad though I think a matte black background would show off the steel cut beads nicely.

Art deco blue glass sautoir

I like how the blue glass shows up but I might try it with grey for more contrast.


Photo Practice and Guessing Game

I’ve been trying to perfect my technique in taking close ups of rhinestone jewelry and am pleased with my latest practice shoot. I used a white background and indirect lighting, which made a huge difference.

Art deco piece – can you guess what this is?


Shoe clips – I would guess from 1930s or 1940s


Bracelet with confetti rhinestones – probably from the 1950s

Photo Practice- Three Dimensional Jewelry

I got out my camera today to practice taking photographs of jewelry, and choose a few pieces from my collection to highlight.

The first selection is a pot metal dress clip and pair of screw-back earrings with light aqua celluloid flowers. They look like they’re from the 1930s. These were challenging to photograph because of the uneven color of the metal, and the shape of the earrings. They aren’t flat, so I had to prop them up a little bit. The worn metal makes it hard to capture the delicacy of the design but I think this turned out pretty well.

My second selection was an ornate rhinestone shoe clip that has clear rhinestones, rhodium metal, and lots of dimension to it. It was a struggle to get the right amount of light – too little, and the rhinestones look dull, but too much, and the reflection is distracting. I first tried to photograph it flat but the results were terrible. I then put the clip on a shoe, as it’d actually be worn. The challenge was to get the whole clip in the photo but I realized a side view gives a slightly better idea of what it looks like. My challenge is try again with the shoe clip and maybe use a filter over the light source to make it less sparkly. I’d like to show the pair but that really didn’t work so well – I just couldn’t get them both in focus at the same time. Back to the drawing board!