Photographing Beads

I haven't updated this page in ages and you know, everything changes! I'm going to post my newer setup, but leave the old info because it might help someone who is using the Mavica, and can't build the little photo booth. Keith and I went to Home Depot to buy all the supplies for the little photo booth. You can do it too! Just get the little connectors, cut your PVC to the lengths that you desire, and Voila! You have a photo booth! The lights are $6 clamp ons, the bulbs are 90 watt Halogens. They give off quite a bit of heat but I just keep them all attached to a power strip, then as many and as fast as I can. The camera I'm using is a Canon Powershto A80, 4.0 megapixels, 11x macro zoom. It's less than $350 and comes with a 32MB card, I bought an additional 64MB card for around $35, with the SanDisk player. Hope this helps!

My Old Setup

You can achieve professional looking photos with very little investment other than a good digital camera. I use a Sony Mavica MVC-FD88, which stores the data on a floppy disk. The cheap set up in the photo works, and when I'm finished, the camera stores inside the "light box" on the shelf! I never have to get off the chair. I turn my chair, pop the disk of photos into the computer, edit and post. It's a streamlined operation, which leaves more time for beadmaking!

The light box.. it's 12" wide x 7.5" high x 5" deep.... as you are looking at it in the photo. It's just an old tupperware I had, and I use a regular desk lamp that swings over it. I straddle the beads between two pieces of Fimo clay on a mandrel. When I have a vertical bead, I stick the mandrel vertically into the clay. At the top I have a piece of sterling wire taped up, for when I want to photo pendants. To edit photos I use PhotoDeluxe because it's easy and has an "instant fix" button that corrects the colour.

To be using this now is totally bizarre because I was a professional photographer.. had a studio for about 5 years until my husband's job moved us across the country, and I couldn't face the slow process of building the business up again. Sold the lights, light boxes, canvas backgrounds, a 120 camera and all the bells and whistles. Although I loved photography, making beads is so much more satisfying... hope you're loving it too!

Hope this helps.


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