Monday, November 25, 2013

Modahaus Steady Stand SS300 Kit Review and Giveaway

By on Monday, November 25, 2013 119 Comments

I am continually grateful  I took a chance and bought the very first Modahaus Tabletop Studio unit some years ago. It has been a great help improving my jewelry photography along with a steadily improving understanding of my camera settings.  They have now come out with a new product, the Modahaus Steady Stand SS300 kit. It is for all types of cameras including mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The stands are specifically designed for easy scanning as well as overhead photography.   I received one for review.



It consists of 3 stands at different heights and comes with a nifty messenger bag as these are all portable. They arrive flat. The first thing to do with any Modahaus unit is to crease the folds well otherwise the units will not assemble correctly.  If done right, the tabs should easily snap into position.


There are small holes in all the units for smartphones and tablets. The stands have slots which can be used to cut out larger holes for camera lenses. I had trouble cutting through the tough polymer with my small utility knife!  I gave up and used my scissors instead.


My compact camera easily fits through the hole I cut.


I don't have a dSLR so here is what one looks like in position as shown on this Modahaus post.

Modahaus

I tested out these new stands using my iPhone 5 and iPad 4 in mostly natural light, using the largest tabletop studio, the TS400, as the base. See link below for tips on smartphone jewelry photography etc. I chose to do white backgrounds - the hardest type to get right. The photos were cropped and lightened first on the device and a bit more on a photo editor (Adobe Photoshop Elements and sometimes Microsoft Office photo editor).

The small size stand was used to capture this picture of my traditionally wire wrapped cabochon which I demonstrated at a recent Grand River Bead Society event. The steady stand is perfect for such pieces. Rich colors are also easier to photograph.


It was harder going with all silver and lighter beads like my old and slightly wonky bead soup wire wrapped pendant necklace.


I also hung the necklace from the largest stand for a straight on shot.


The background of the following photo wasn't as white as I wanted largely because I had taken the bead soup pendant photo on a very overcast day.


Where the stands excel is in group shots. I tried this Prima bead collection with the medium size one initially. It is so easy to move the stand around to get the right overhead position.


The bead packages looked crowded so I switched to the largest stand for the final shot and cropped it slightly.


The next photo using the medium size one again,was taken with my basement studio's daylight CFL bulbs as the lighting (see link below for more information on how I set it up).  These are earrings I made recently to send to my mother. She wanted some as gifts to give to people.   I followed Lex McColl's advice and avoided the banding issue by moving the lamps about 2 feet away from the iPhone. He said the banding is due to interference with the smartphone.

Artificial lighting

The Modahaus post I mentioned before also had this cool way of using the steady stand as a peep hole mask. I didn't try it myself but it is interesting to see a professional deal with what is a "nightmare" subject for lighting and reflection control.

Modahaus
Taking photographs of this dome faced watch with a highly reflective multifaceted bezel was challenging. But it took just 2 minutes to accomplish the following photo using 2 Ikea gooseneck lamps (Janso).  These are not daylight so "Custom White Balance" setting on the dSLR had to be used.  The post explains where those 2 lamps are placed.

Modahaus
Using the stands in pairs increases the distance options. The pair below gives a back lighting effect.

Modahaus
I didn't have much luck with artificial lighting due to my inexperience with lighting control. But I did have some success in natural light. These all crystal red earrings are a right pain to photograph on a white background.


The left unedited photo below shows the back lit earrings using 2 stands and the right is of the earrings simply photographed from the smallest stand.  The light reflection from below the second stand really helps to brighten the background.


Final photograph of the earrings.


According to the guide, using the medium and small stands is a good combination for taking photos of business cards.  There are many smartphone apps which can optically read and transfer the relevant info into contact lists.

Modahaus

I think there must be a difference in business card sizes here compared to the UK (Modahaus is Scottish based) because  I had trouble with that combination. What worked for me was the large and medium combination :


Have you ever noticed people using their iPad for photographs?  Who can blame them as they probably don't have a smartphone but still want to take advantage of the iPad's superior camera capabilities.  So I tested my iPad out for jewelry photography.  I downloaded the camera + HD app ($4.99) for the iPad - it's by the same people who make the camera+ app I recommend for iPhones. The settings are thus familiar.


The medium stand was fine for this copper spool knitted necklace.

Natural light
There is fantastic room for full overhead shots of necklaces on the large stand.

Natural Light
If you make very long necklaces, you can easily capture the whole thing using this cool panorama technique demonstrated with a bouquet of flowers on this Modahaus video using either smartphones or tablets.




The large stand is absolutely fantastic for scanning documents as the distance is just right for common sized paper.  The task is so much faster than on a traditional printer/scanner and there is no need to transfer because you'd be scanning directly onto the device you will be reading from.  The large stand is designed such that it can support common sized tablets as well as smartphones.


I tested out scanning from one of my old Bead and Button magazines.  That stack of magazines is occupying space I need so it will be good if I can scan and make pdfs of what I want to refer to in the future and get rid of the magazines. I recommend the cam scanner app which is free but ad supported. There are all sorts of settings to lighten, crop etc pictures.



You can then save the document as a PDF or even as a jPEG in iBooks, Dropbox or in Google Drive.


The only issue is the slight waviness as I didn't get the magazine quite flat enough.


You can also do tabloid scanning using the panorama technique.  The Modahaus video below uses a smartphone for these music sheets.




I personally wouldn't scan music sheets on a smartphone unless you are going to transfer them to a computer - too darn small to read!  But I actually do so on the iPad - no need to to transfer!   I now play the piano (albeit not very well) reading directly from my iPad.  If you sing or play musical instruments, I recommend the musicnotes app for purchased music sheets.  There is an in app purchase for a function which lets you import PDFs you scan from your own books. Imagine your entire music collection on one mobile device!  I must say turning pages is a breeze with just a tap or a flick. I fumble enough on the keys without fumbling while turning pages!


If you write tutorials like me, the overhead function is great. There is plenty of room to work in with the large stand. I can now hold the tools in a natural position!  But I do have to stand unlike before when I could sit, demo and to shoot straight ahead. (Such a whiner!)


Youtube is rife with instructional videos where one cannot even see what the instructor is doing. I haven't tried it yet but doing a craft video will be so much better with a steady stand.  Check out this Modahaus video which demos the potential  using the original steady stand..




If you are a biologist, note that the distance setting of the smallest stand is perfect for petri dishes and well plates.

Verdict:  The Steady Stand 300 kit is a terrific and versatile addition as it opens up all sorts of uses for overhead photography.  But I would get a Tabletop photo studio first for jewelry photography if you do not yet own any Modahaus. Modahaus does offer a discount of 15% for bundled units.

Giveaway
If you'd like to win a Steady Stand SS300 kit,  please make a comment below.  Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

Subscribers need to click on the post title to come to my actual blog. Scroll down and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, December 2, 2013. I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!


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119 comments:

  1. Thanks for the generous giveaway. Wish me luck. I'm blog subscriber.

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  2. Thank you for the chance to win this kit! I follow your blog and on twitter, tweeted with an auto shout out via beading gem!

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  3. I would love a chance to win this. I can't ever get good photos of my glass or my jewelry. Thanks.

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  4. I'm already a blog follower and would love to win this. Thanks.

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  5. Just tweeted about your review and giveaway.

    https://twitter.com/kayzkreationz/status/404976005485322241

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  6. Wow, this would be great! I constantly shake, so this would be very helpful! I am also a blog subscriber.

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  7. Modahaus products are wonderful. Love the one I have.

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  8. I'm in, I'm in, Pearl! Love the mini Modahaus I bought and want more.
    Extra points for mailing list, Twitter and FB?

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  9. Thank you for giving a very detailed review. It looks awesome.

    hbpsab (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  10. Oh my goodness Pearl! Modahaus now has so many options available that I 'almost' feel overwhelmed! I'm going to have to haul that old piano of mine back in and relearn how to play it before I put away my petri dishes and do a video on how to grow mould from last week's cheese (I think). Then I'll have to scan those old magazines while I'm waiting for the mould to grow - good idea huh? - and I'll make some super long necklaces too so I can take some good pictures in natural - or unnatural light if I want - my choice I guess?
    Now -- Oh wait - the mould is ready so I'll just have to say I sure could use a Modahaus Pearl so put my name in the spinner okay?

    aims @ bigbluebarn@gmail.com

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  11. Thank you Pearl! This is very helpful info. I need to photograph some of my jewelry to submit to a gallery out of state & I didn't know where to begin. Your blog
    has given a wealth of information to get started. Please enter me in the giveaway. It would be fantastic to win the Modahaus stand kit. Thanks again.

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  12. Very thorough review. I have a small tent type photo studio but this one looks much better so I would love to be added to the giveaway list please.

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  13. I would love one of these stands to take pictures of my jewellery. The level of my photography leaves a lot to be desired. Loved reading the very comprehensive review. What a brill giveaway.
    Susan Samuel

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  14. Pearl, thanks for a chance to win this.Pat

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  15. Very nice article. This looks like a great kit to have!
    Thanks for the chance to win it.

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  16. I have not heard of this and am just beginning to sell my jewelry. Thank you!

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  17. I think that the large stand will solve most of my photo problems, esp tutorial making when its a pain to hold pliers and take pics at the same time. As a modahaus user I would love to win this addition

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  18. I follow you through GFC and facebook

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  19. I love using my iPad to photograph my jewelry and this setup would be a great asset!

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  20. Thanks again Pearl, I would love to have this!! Great giveaway. I'm a blog follower, FB follower, twitter follower,
    Also I would like to say how much I still enjoy your blog...everyday!! Today's is especially great!!!
    Thanks, Carol
    DesigningIt.etsy.com

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  21. Thanks again Pearl, I would love to have this!! Great giveaway. I'm a blog follower, FB follower, twitter follower,
    Also I would like to say how much I still enjoy your blog...everyday!! Today's is especially great!!!
    Thanks, Carol
    DesigningIt.etsy.com

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  22. This will be the best thing for me to get good pictures of my jewelry! Thanks for the review!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  23. Blog follower - Aik

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  24. E-mail subscrber

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  25. I've learned so much about photography from your blog, and I've come to the conclusion I need a Modahous Steady Stand to improve my photos even more, if only my bank balance would agree!

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  26. I bought the tabletop studio after you reviewed it ages ago and it has been one of the best things I've bought. I'd love to win one of these to go with it. I subscribe to your blog too. Thanks.

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  27. Thank you for the excellent review and wonderful giveaway! I would love to win this!

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  28. Thank you for this chance to win this !

    voltzia@gmail.com

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  29. I am a blog subscriber.

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  30. I also follow you on Facebook!

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  31. i pinned the giveaway

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/103301385176561313/

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  32. this would be awesome!!! i just opened my etsy shop last week and have found my biggest struggle is getting good photos on small items. lesleyana1@yahoo.com

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  33. Great information in your post and I'd love to be the owner of this stand.

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  34. I am a follower and would love to try my luck !

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  35. This looks like a super useful tool for photographing jewelry!! I have a great camera now and an iPad, so I'd love to have this set to better utilize them!

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  36. I forgot to say I follow you on facebook and the blog via emails

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  37. Great give-away! And I am already a blog subscriber. Thanks.

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  38. Very cool product I would love to try!!

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  39. You always have such wonderful posts, and I always love reading your reviews! I would love to win this!

    I follow your blog, and I'm a follower on Facebook. Thank you!

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  40. I sure could use this for my onlne photo's for etsy shop.

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/AllAboutJewelrybyJan?ref=si_shop

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  41. You took some awesome photos with the kit! I've been eying this companies products for a while... Maybe Santa will come through?

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  42. This would be fantastic to win! I have an awful time taking pics of my jewelry!
    grinchswoman@hotmail.com

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  43. I'm an email subscriber. This would be great for taking pics of jewelry. I'm a newbie jewelry maker, and my picture taking is in serious help. MY email is Millertime954@aol.com Thank you for the great giveaway

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  44. What a great item that ALL crafters should have. I would love it in my craft room.
    Thanks for the chance to win it.

    Patty Stabile
    bobnpatty@aol.com

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  45. What a great detailed review! Thank you for holding a giveaway, would love to get this!

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  46. I would love to win this for taking pictures of my jewelry!!! I am trying to get a website up and going and this would be terrific!!! Thanks you

    chillwthme@gmail.com

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  47. Sharon Walsh
    What a great giveaway. I follow your blog Email and Facebook. This would greatly help my photography.

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  48. This would make such a big difference with my photos!! I know how important it is to have great pictures when selling online. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

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  49. Going to give it a go again :P lol Love all the stands for taking pictures. Would love to give them a try :) Thanks for the great giveaway :)

    I'm a subscriber, on the email list, shared on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest :)

    litlwlf@yahoo.com

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  50. That is a perfect idea for iphone photography! Sign me up for the draw.

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  51. Ooo, that's so neat! I follow your blog thru an RSS feed, via Yahoo. Thanks for another great giveaway!

    - Heather R., the Real Leopardstripes

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  52. WOW, what an awesome opportunity!!
    Thank you.

    Kim Spooner
    www.cisraydesigns.etsy.com
    cisraydesigns@yahoo.com

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  53. I would love to win the kit, since it's not in the budget right now.

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  54. Thank you for this offer , I could so use this.

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  55. Thank you for the informative review Pearl! Taking photos is surely important in effective sales. Sure makes a gal want one! lol! Good luck to all entrants!!

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  56. Wow! What a lot of great information. I feel ready to take a decent photo with the "Modahaus Steady Stand SS300 of course!

    susan at sandeno dot com

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  57. Wow. Great product and great review. I'm just about to launch my jewellery business (long overdue) and desperately need to take done proper pictures. This product sounds amazing. Thank you for the chance to win it. I'm crossing all fingers and toes.

    I follow your blog religiously.

    My contact details
    Shazah33@yahoo.co.uk

    Hope you pick me :-) x

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  58. wwiley1233@gmail.comNovember 25, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Taking good pictures is a real challenge. Something beautiful can look ho-hum if you can't get a good photo. I really enjoy your blog.

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  59. Really cool set-up! I think it would greatly improve my pics of my jewelry pieces and it would be awesome to win this. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

    info@thecraftybusiness.com

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  60. I would welcome this Modahaus stand! I use my smartphone and have to contort myself to get steady shots. Then I only have to get the light box if I win this. C'mon, mama needs new photography stuff! lolz

    I follow your blog, and gave you shout outs on FB and Pintrest. Thanks for the opportunity to win this great product.

    marytown79@gmail.com

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  61. Thank you for yet another wonderful giveaway- these Modahaus tools are so cool! I follow your blog via RSS feed on My Yahoo- almost never miss a day. :) Thanks for writing such a great blog, and for the great giveaways. Have a great day!

    - Heather R., the Real Leopardstripes
    h_is_fed_up@yahoo.com

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  62. Thank you so much for the detailed description of this Modahaus Steady Stand. As a jewelry designer I've been searching for a way to make my photographs better so that I can promote my jewelry more effectively, and this appears to be the perfect solution! I would truly love the opportunity to try this out. I appreciate your entering me in the giveaway!

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  63. I'm a subscriber and your post makes me want one even more! Thank you

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  64. Your incredible giveaway caught my eye and I had to enter. I can be reached at kmurphy1983@att.net. I would love to win this unbelievable prize.

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  65. Would LOVE to win something like this but as I'm in Australia I guess that won't happen. In any case I love your Blog and reading your hints and tips etc.
    I don't have a link as yet but am working on it!
    Just in case, I can be contacted via email grannazee@gmail.com

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  66. I love my Modahaus steady stand (I have the other style in the medium size), but this looks like it would add some much needed versatility in taking photos of my creations. I'd love to be considered for the giveaway. (melissa_trudinger at yahoo dot com)

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  67. I follow your blog through BlogLovin (melissa_trudinger at yahoo dot com

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  68. And I am a FB fan too!(melissa_trudinger at yahoo dot com

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  69. This would be perfect for my pics..Hopefully it's my luck day! I luv your blog. Keep up the good work!

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  70. Love your blog! This is a great product and I would love to win it. Modahaus Rocks!

    Sally R

    rohrerpix@yahoo.com

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  71. Thank you very much for this very thorough review, as well as all the tips you included. I'm a blog follower.

    I will post a link to this post on my jewelry forum. People will be very interested.

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  72. what a neat giveaway and tons of great tips to take pictures of jewelry. I really like the one that uses two of them for back lighting.

    mahanlori@plateautel.net

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  73. This would be an awesome setup for photographing my jewellery. Thank you for the opportunity to win this. I subscribe to your blog as well as facebook.

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  74. Oh golly!! What a fantastic giveaway. I would love to win it.
    It would be great to demonstrate it at camera club.

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  75. I am a blog follower. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  76. Nice! I'd love to win this...

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  77. Wow! This stand seems amazing! I would love to win it! Thanks for the chance!

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  78. I also follow your blog! And i love it!

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  79. First time I see that and your explanation are so easy to understand. I would like to win this. I'm a subscriber.

    linda.lalibarte@hotmail.com

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  80. Oh, to be able to take pictures like that! This seems to work wonders! I would love to win, but either way, thanks for the great giveaway!
    I am a Blog follower, too.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    rldkak@cfl.rr.com

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  81. Wonderful review of a great product. This would come in handy as I'm planning to start my jewelry business soon. Thank you for a terrific giveaway!
    karencloutier@gmail.com

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  82. Already have two Modahaus products; this looks great! I'm a blog subscriber too.

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  83. I love your Modahaus posts! I ordered my first steady stand and backdrop because of your great, informative posts. Please enter me into this giveaway! I'd love these great stands. The sizes are perfect!

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  84. Do I get another entry for following you on twitter?

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  85. I already follow your blog and look forward to my daily emails. (I don't know how you do it all!)

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  86. Hi:

    I would love a chance to win your giveaway!! I read your articles everyday. Keep up the great work!!
    Glenda
    pglenda@yahoo.com

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  87. I keep telling myself wishes do come true and I sure do wish I had one of these. and thanks to the beading gem journal for the chance to win. Janice

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/AllAboutJewelrybyJan?ref=si_shop

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  88. I would be delighted to win the Modahaus Steady Stand SS300 kit.

    patbrow14@gmail.com

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  89. I am constantly searching for the best way to photograph my jewelry.

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  90. I would love to win! Thanks for the opportunity! I follow your blog!

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  91. this would save me hours of frustration and hair pulling ! rhalfmoon0@gmail.com

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  92. I am a subscriber and love your giveaways.

    mahanlori@plateautel.net

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  93. Your blog is the one I always check first in my emails. Love to win!!

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  94. Pearl,
    Your blog is my fav. Always lots of new info and very well described!!
    Thank you for this opportunity!

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  95. Thanks for an other generous giveaway.
    Wish me luck.
    I'm blog subscriber and Facebook follower.

    ReplyDelete
  96. I love your posts on Modahaus products! Hoping I win! I follow on your blog and facebook!
    Thanks
    arienna_elf@hotmail at dot com

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  97. Pearl,

    Thanks for such an informational article.

    I would love to win a Modahaus photo stand.

    Carolyn
    Carolynscreations@live.com

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  98. I forgot to mention that I'm also a blog & Facebook follower!!

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  99. I'd love to have this kit. Thank you for the great review. Ana
    acbeads(at)gmail(dot)com

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  100. Yes, I'd be thrilled to win anything Modehaus!
    I am a follower in all the usual ways, fb, twitter, blog

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  101. I have a Modahaus Photo Studio and it is awesome. I'd love to get one of the Steady Stands as well. Great blog - I'm a new subscriber and I tweeted about this as well.

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  102. Reading the review and information you shared on the Modahaus I became excited with just the idea I might be able to win one of these. I'm so glad I subscribe to the blog. Pick me, pick me!!!!!!!!

    Becky

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  103. Hi Pearl,

    Thanks for the great giveaway I'm here again :-) hoping to win the
    the Modahaus Steady Stand SS300 Kit!

    By the way I'm still learning about linkbacks and its through you that I first learned about it.

    Happy Holidays Pearl!

    ReplyDelete
  104. Hi Pearl,

    Thanks for the great giveaway I'm here again :-) hoping to win the
    the Modahaus Steady Stand SS300 Kit!

    By the way I'm still learning about linkbacks and its through you that I first learned about it.

    Happy Holidays Pearl!

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  105. I just posted this giveaway on twitter!!

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  106. I just posted this giveaway on Facebook!!

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  107. Didn't even know this existed. I would be thrilled to win this.
    My contact is
    uniquely1940@gmail.com
    Thank you!

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  108. What a great giveaway! I already follow.
    tdsollog@yahoo.cmom

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  109. Very cool. I'd love to win this. I always follow your blog and love all the cool things you post!

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  110. Would love one of these "Modahaus Steady Stands" so I can take some really great photos of my handmade jewelry. I an a subscriber. Find me at Pink Pearl gems by Susan Davis on Facebook.

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  111. I would so love to win this. I am trying to learn to take better pics of my designs. Thank you so much for giving me the chance to enter the give away

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  112. I am a blog subscriber and a big fan too, btw. I sure hope to win this; we need the help! Thank you.

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  113. My email address is mitziec@verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  114. What a great tutorial and thanks for the chance to win this! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete

 

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