business


meghanearrings2Thrift stores and yard sales are excellent places to find items to use in jewelry photography.  Little boxes, dishes, vases, frames, and other items can add dimension and interest to photographs.  Early on, I found photographing earrings to be a daunting task, mainly because I tried to do it with the earrings laying flat.  Then I realized that shooting them hanging was much better and that many cups, vases, and other items were just perfect for the task. 

These earrings were photographed on an old pitcher I got at a thrift store.  It was yellow with roses on it and I painted one side a bronze color and the other the gold color shown here.  Perfect for photographing earrings, a bargain, and reuse of an item that had completed its service elsewhere.

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These are my top five tips for artists, artisans, and craftspersons.

Do what you love.  If you love it, you will pursue it in a way that connects with your inner spirit.  If you are passionate about it, people will feel the energy you put into it and will respond.  If you love it, you will move beyond the rejection letters, horrible craft shows, and moments of feeling invisible.

Challenge yourself.  To grow, experiment, stretch.  Take classes, read books, make crazy art you think no one will understand.  Learn from those who have mastered your craft.  Learn from life.  Take it all in – the color of sky, the touch of breeze on your skin, a well turned phrase, graffiti – and express it.

Give freely.  Have an open heart and be glad to share what you know with others.  Contribute to the body of knowledge in your area of expertise.  Join guilds,  clubs, or societies in your medium and participate.  The universe rewards the cheerful and generous giver.

Understand pricing.  The business side of art should not be ignored.  Know what you put into each piece.  Value yourself and your unique contribution.  Take time to understand pricing structures and models and never sell yourself short.  Be fair.

Care – really care – about the customer.  Treat every customer, really everyone you come into contact with, the way you would like to be treated.  Be polite, prompt, and honest in your communications.  Bend over backwards to handle problems.  Have that little extra polish when it comes to packaging, business cards, and other materials.

tagging-baggingI am very fortunate to have my jewelry in three stores, all of whom have great people that have treated my very well.  I work very hard to do the same – to select items I feel will appeal to their clientele, to keep my jewelry well-stocked, to swap out items when needed and keep my inventory looking fresh.

Part of the process of getting jewelry ready is what I call “tagging and bagging”.  That is putting price tags on necklaces and bracelets, putting earrings on cards, and making sure I have an inventory sheet with a digital photo of each item.

Over the years, the store managers and owners have appreciated the care I put into the relationship with them and I am truly honored that they allow my jewelry to take precious space in their stores.  Tonight I am tagging and bagging items for one of the stores.  Whether a lot has sold or only a little since my last visit, I try to stay on schedule with visiting each store and keeping everything looking great.

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