Napkin Ring

photograph: Sarah Jenkins (velvethadrian), 2017; product: heartsprungsteel, 2017
photograph: Sarah Jenkins (velvethadrian), 2017; product: heartsprungsteel, 2017

Some shapes are just a joy to take photographs of. This was the case here. This napkin ring is a fairly innocuous object, mundane and yet its angles and curves were always appealing to the eye. Furthermore, the black of the metal contrasted with both the red fabric and the black knit I’d laid it on to make a fresh interplay of color and texture.

The warm light and the glass of the first picture, as well as the forced focus was a camera experiment on my part. While I think ultimately glass looks best in a cool light, evoking an underwater sensation that is ideally expressed in blues and greys and cool colors, the darkness of the steel napkin ring in this case called for warmth, for the feeling of a set table and a warm kitchen before family dinners, for soft sweaters and special dishes.

As ever, this product is on sale by at the Etsy shop of Heartsprungsteel. If this product in particular isn’t up there yet, feel free to message them and get yours made special.

It’s my plan to do more varied product photos soon, as well as some costume and cosplay photoshoots. The convention season ends for me after Columbus Day weekend and then I can finally stop delaying my photography, historical reconstructions, and jewelry making. So many sketches are going to come to life in the next few months.


Product Photography

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Sarah Jenkins (velvethadrian), 2017 of Heartsprung Steel’s metalwork, 2017.

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Sarah Jenkins (velvethadrian), 2017 of Heartsprung Steel’s metalwork, 2017.

Product photos are a new and interesting challenge! In the same picture, a photographer has to think about beauty, the expression of the product, and branding. It’s a work-in-progress and a really exciting learning curve.

Obviously, one wants a beautiful photograph, but too much visual interest in a composition and it isn’t clear that it’s about the hooks. Too little, and nobody understands what the photo is about. Additionally, a product photo should show how the object works as well as its most flattering angle. No one will want to buy a hook if they don’t know that it will hold their stuff or how it’ll hang on the wall. And last, what kind of product is it and what does the company want to say to its potential buyers?

In these photos, I wanted to show the functionality of these hooks and also clearly show how they would be put up. I achieved it by using the hooks in the photograph and also by leaving the nails that affix it to the wall unobscured. I chose the unfinished wall and boards as a background in an attempt to impart some of the rustic feel of the company, while the warm light and the new leather of the strap on the hook balance that old-fashioned element and make it a little more current. Hopefully the overall effect is warm and a little classy, but very real, homey, and almost touchable.

If you liked these hooks, check out Heartsprung Steel’s Etsy shop. These and more are up there already, or will soon appear.