Monday, May 18, 2015

Modahaus' $116 Steady Stand SS300 Kit/Tabletop Studio TS400 Bundle Giveaway!

By on Monday, May 18, 2015 119 Comments

Photography has to be the biggest stumbling block for many an artisan.  We did not bargain on having to learn this skill when we starting selling online. But learn we must. Just like many of you, I  have struggled with photography.  I have shared my photography adventures - and misadventures - over the years with you. For long time blog readers, I'll bet you've seen an improvement in my photography.

Giveaway Modahaus Bundle
My better pictures are entirely due to 3 things - a good camera, understanding basic camera functions and a light studio.  I tried making my own light tent and later bought a pop up cloth one.  Neither worked for me.  The home made version could not be packed away or transported easily.  The cloth one wrinkled and got dirty.  It was also irresistible to my cats who considered yet another cosy sleeping spot.

Case used as light diffuser
When I stumbled upon the original Modahaus tablestop studio, I thought buying was worth the risk and never looked back! There are now a whole line of them.  They all fold flat and can be easily stored behind furniture or transported.

The special polymer is very durable and a simple wipe clean keeps it pristine. The sheets also do an amazing job of giving subtle background color gradations - try putting the black under the white as shown above. The case also doubles as a light diffuser - you want soft, not harsh light.  One of the white polymer sheets with a shinier surface can be used as a light tunnel - this bounces off the light inside and help make the background lighter.

SS300 Steady Stand
The Steady Stands are great for overhead photography. Like the tabletop studios, the case of the new versions also doubles as a  light diffuser.   Any camera can be placed on them.  You do have to cut out a larger hole to fit the lens of a regular camera.  Align with the small hole if you are using a smartphone or tablet. See this past post for jewelry photography examples.



You can hang necklaces and earrings on the tabletop studio.  Necklaces can be anchored and suspended through the hole at the top of a steady stand.


My photography skills were next to zero when I first started writing this blog back in 2007.  I now laugh at this picture below!  No macro, no white balance, flash used and the background - a scratched desk - resulted in a terrible photo.  We all have to start somewhere! 


I took pictures of student work while teaching beginner jewelry making with my friend Debbie back in Nova Scotia, so they needed to look good.  Therefore in 2008, I got a compact camera with a macro so things looked up a bit.  The images were sharper but the white balance was still off and the scrapbook paper backgrounds could have been better chosen.


My photographs improved in 2009 -2010 when I used warmer background paper and made sure I had good natural light from the window of our workshop.


I upgraded my compact camera to one with some dSLR settings in spring of 2011.  With a better macro lens, my closeups were now sharper. This photograph had a shallow depth of field so the back earrings look artistically blurry! Now I know professional jewelry photographers prefer to keep the whole design in focus (although this is not a hard and fast rule).


About a month after that, while surfing to find out more about product photography, I stumbled upon Modahaus's post about their first photo studio, the TS216.  I took a chance and bought my own unit. This is the very first picture I ever took with it seconds after I set it up! A cleaner and uncluttered background brings the attention back to the design.


Then it was onwards to natural light photography with white backgrounds.  This was my far from perfect first effort :


Over the course of the last few years, Lex McColl, the pro photographer and inventor of the Modahaus units taught me through guest tutorials on this blog and through some of  his easy to follow photo guides a great deal about how to use his units and my camera settings to improve the quality of photographs.  And improve I did.  Big difference, huh?



The most significant change in the past year or so has been my complete switch to my iPhone 5  (I'm hoping to upgrade to the 6+ soon) for all my jewelry photography.  I now take final product pictures in natural light by a window and tutorial photos in artificial light in my windowless basement workshop.

Again the credit goes to Lex who showed me how smartphones and the right app can be used to make jewelry photography very fast and effective.  Watch his newest video which shows you how easy it is.  There is no need to spend a vast amount of time fiddling with settings. The idea is to take the best shot possible quickly and without having to do much in photo editing except for cropping and maybe a touch of lightening.  That's it!






Also check out this excellent video by Snap Snap Snap on How to Shoot Close-up and Macro Photography with Your iPhone.  The presenter covers the macro setting on the camera+ app.  Note he calls it the camera+6 app - he means the  latest version of the camera+ app!




As you can see, you don't have to spend $$$ on a dSLR camera. DSLR cameras do indeed take better pictures but mobile device cameras are so good now, the pictures you can take with them are excellent for the kind of sharing and selling we do.  Unless you are a pro or experienced photographer who knows how to use the myriad settings well, stick with smartphones and save yourself a whole lot of grief.

Why the emphasis on iPhones?  Firstly they are very good camera phones with considerable improvements with each generation.  Android phones are made by many different manufacturers who use Google's Android software.  Quality varies so you'll have to research which Android phone model has a decent camera.

Giveaway
One lucky winner of this giveaway will win  the Modahaus Steady Stand SS300/Tabletop Studio TS400 Bundle worth $116.  

Also note Modahaus gives discounts for multiple units - so band up with a few friends and save some money. Or buy a bundle to get the price down for both. Modahaus is also offering a further 5% discount for readers of this blog on any product including the bundles.  Use discount code : pearl (lower case p).  They are also running a promo for a "Free Upgrade to Express Delivery" on the same bundle featured here.

If you'd like to be that winner, please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info if you do not have an online shop or blog. Please also share which other kits or patterns might be your favorite in the comments.

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.

This giveaway is international.

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, May 25, 2015. 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!

Disclosure : I do NOT make any commission from the sale of any of these Modahaus units but I do receive new units for review.  Modahaus now also hires me to write their photo blog and manage their social media campaigns.

Before You Go
______________________________
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

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119 comments:

  1. Definitely could use Modahaus to solve my photo problems. Alpert.amy@gmail.com

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  2. I would love to expand my Modahaus studio!!

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  3. Wow! This is cool!
    Donna
    datmine2009@hotmail.com

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  4. Hi Pearl,
    Pick me :) , would love to add to my Modahaus studio, bought in the past due to your recommendation.
    M

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  5. I bought a Panasonic Lumix on your recommendation and have been looking for an opportunity to invest in some of the Modahaus equipment. Thanks for providing 2 ways to do this.
    Kay
    kaypasa@embarqmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would love to start making good pictures of my jewelry ! This is a great giveway ! Thank you ! jotem@acn.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh ! I dont know why my comment was delete... ? Can you help me ?

      Delete
  7. Holy Schmoley! What a fantastic give-away! Thank you for offering the possibility of owning such great equipment. Bright Blessings, Jeannine Bakriges, spinningjenny57@hotmail.com

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  8. Oh yes, please include me in the giveaway! I need to improve my photography skills.
    Lindaleelee@icloud.com

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  9. As a newbie to the business, I can use all the help I can get. This looks amazing!
    kimmicraig@yahoo.com

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  10. Thank you for all your information about Modahaus and photography - I would adore to make more professional photo's for dune beads - kind regards - miami_lamartine@hotmail.com

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  11. Would love the modahaus for my iphone that I will be getting soon! :)

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  12. Would love one of these! Thanks Pearl

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  13. Terrific giveaway!
    cdmyres.99@gmail.com

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  14. Great blog today. I love seeing the improvement!!
    Love to win this. Thanks Pearl.
    Carol
    www.DesigningIt.etsy.com
    designingIt4U@gmail.com

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  15. Hope I win to get my photographs upgrade. I am your blog subscriber.

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  16. Great giveaway. Thanks Pearl.
    Another opportunity to own this awesome studio :)

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  17. Would love to win this! Trying to start my own Etsy site and just taking regular photos of my jewelry just doesn't do it. Learning to do it with the iPhone creates new possibilities! Thanks so much for sharing Pearl!! You are a Beading Gem!!!

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  18. And of course, I forgot to attach my email...ginnyhuntoon@gmail.com

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  19. I have wanted some of these forever!

    elvetter01 at gmail.com

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  20. Hi again Pearl.
    A shout out at my FB Page - https://www.facebook.com/WireBliss

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  21. Didn't know when I became a jeweler of sorts, that I would have to become proficient in photography as well. Thanks for the opportunity of some assistance. Blog Follower, zoowatcher10@yahoo.com

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  22. Thanks for sharing this and the giveaway. I would love to have one of those kits. I have been using my new iPhone 6+ to take shots of my jewelry projects, which I make for myself and friends and I believe it must have a stabilization feature, because I don't get blurred pictures and it does a great job with just natural light. Thanks again.

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  23. I've been following your posts on Modahaus for awhile. I keep putting them on a wish list. I would be so thrilled to own one!
    diannamooses@yahoo.com

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  24. Good Morning Pearl! I'd love for you to throw my name in the hat for this one. Photography is definitely an ongoing lesson around here!
    Thanks so much!

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  25. I have also used "homemade" set ups. I would love to step up to a more professional approach.

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  26. Thank you for the opportunity to get a Modahaus Photography Bundle. I'm still using my homemade one and it's time to move on.

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  27. Hi- I've been following your blog for quite some time.

    I'd love to win the Modahaus Steady Stand SS300/Tabletop Studio TS400 Bundle -- my pictures usually end up "not quite right" and this set up would take them to a professional level

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  28. I would LOVE to win this! Thank you so much for sharing your very first photograph and for providing all the links. It's very inspiring. My first photographs were awful; but I feel like I'm getting better (slowly). I am BOOKMARKING this blog entry so I can explore all of the links. So far my photos are better, but I know I have a lot to learn (https://www.etsy.com/shop/nanaandnina?ref=search_shop_redirect). Thanks so much for sharing all that you do in your blog. It's very inspiring and helpful!

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  29. I would love to do better setups for my stuff. I have a DSLR . I do follow you and love your blog. Sharon Walsh. smamabird@aol.com

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  30. Woo Hoo Pearl! Great giveaway!
    I am a blog subscriber, follower and would love to win this.I posted this on my Pinterest contest board https://www.pinterest.com/pin/365987907195176135/
    Thanks!
    Zan
    zanc@att.net

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  31. It's a shame to not have a good photograph after spending hours to make a piece of jewelry. This would help a lot.

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  32. The thing I struggle with the most is photographing my work. This prize would help me immensely!

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  33. Have a workable photo booth but this would be an upgrade.
    1gmhutch@gmail.com
    http://whatknotnow.blogspot.com

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  34. Thank you for another great opportunity. It is so nice to find all these resources already researched for us.

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  35. Oh looks like exactly what I need for photographing my own pieces!! Would really love this kit/set. I am a newsletter subscriber, blog follower and fan on Facebook-I really love all your work, giveaways and reviews, all so inspiring and useful! I can be contacted at retro-grrl@hotmail.com-fingers n toes crossed!!

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  36. Pearl, you have found another treasure. I love seein how your photos have changed. I am in the process of taking new photos of everything in my shop.

    Follow, FB, pinned, G+ & tweeted

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  37. Glenda RutherfordMay 18, 2015 at 2:25 PM

    Please enter me! I need all the help i can get, what a super thing to win!!
    Thanks, Glenda
    pglenda@yahoo.com

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  38. Forgot to include my email. DOH!
    tahnyaford12@gmail.com

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  39. What a wonderful opportunity! I would love to start using this system.

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  40. Love Modahaus! I always recommend their products to anyone who is photographing anything!

    Have sent this on to everyone I know who needs one!

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  41. Hi Pearl
    I was an iPhone fan girl for years BUT I got a Samsung note 3 for its 13mgp× rear camera. Its much better than the iphoneI had. Also thisgreat app is only for iPhone:( But I just found a free app in google play store called "PhotoShop Express" Which so far is nearly as good but I'just tried it out only today. So all you Androidfolks let me Know if there a better app for product shots for Android,
    Also this kit is a really good design. The frosted translucent plastic,smart. I had to make my own kit out of cardboard with openings cutout forprinter paper as walls and it still is too dark even with bright shop lights right up against the printer paper walls.
    This guys design is spot on. I will have to try to makea Kit more like his, totally translucent. Thanks for the post very important info for me

    Thanks
    Rebecca Brooks of jasmine and violets. com

    jasmine and violets@gmail.com

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  42. Would love to replace my cardboard/vellum contraptions!!
    Thanks, Pearl
    Blog follower
    Posted to Facebook
    Pinned

    ReplyDelete
  43. I think everyone could use this freebie! I take my photos outside on a cloudy day which is good, but when it's too cold or rainy I need something else. I really need this for all the time! Thanks for the chance.
    Carolyn Turner
    gitksanfire@yahoo.com

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  44. I referred this to our FB page on Etsy Bead Embroidery Guild.
    Carolyn Turner
    gitksanfire@yahoo.com

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  45. My jewelry photos have definetly improved with time also but there is always room for improvement. Would love to be able to take pictures from above with this set up.
    KathrynkienleJewelry@gmail.com

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  46. I would love this. I struggle with good pics all the time.

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  47. I tweeted about your post and giveaway.
    https://twitter.com/kayzkreationz/status/600388670101684224

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  48. What a great giveaway. I am a subscriber to your blog.
    joeymoma93@yahoo.com

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  49. This would be so useful and not only for jewelry !
    Thank you for this giveaway,

    voltzia@gmail.com

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  50. I'd love to win a Modahaus Stand!! We make so many "smaller" pieces and this would be the answer to our problems with photographing! Thanks for the chance to win one :-) I'm an email and blog subscriber, I've shared on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter :-)

    Email - litlwlf@yahoo.com

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  51. Hi - I would love to win this for my photography husband so he can take photo's for me of my beadbugs down under in New Zealand - www.beadbugs.co.nz - Jill

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  52. would love to win this package. Ive been following your blog for a few years now and love your Modahaus reviews. and soon I will get one of these babies because they are so awesome.

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  53. My husband does my photography for me and we have talked about light boxes. I would absolutely give this a very good home.
    ekennedy0906@gmail.com

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  54. This would be perfect for my revamped studio with a dedicated photography nook, Pearl :)

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  55. I have shared on my blog today : http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com/2015/05/pearls-awesome-giveaway.html

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  56. Shared on FB :)
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=674704659319191&set=a.213706288752366.43428.100003389898188&type=3&theater

    ReplyDelete
  57. I really want to win this giveaway of the Modahaus Steady Stand SS300/Tabletop Studio TS400 Bundle.
    Kathy Cooper
    kathy@beadify.com

    ReplyDelete
  58. I have heard of diffusing the light by filming inside of an opaque plastic milk carton with the bottom cut off, but this is definitely a huge step up from that! I would love to win this!
    Long time e-mail and blog follower.
    e-mail; dls.1@roadrunner.com

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  59. I would love to win this, it would help so much!
    icbnett (at) gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  60. Photography is so frustrating and challenging. I feel like mine has gotten better but this set- up would vastly improve taking pictures of jewelry!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Thank you for sharing all your photo attempts over the years. I feel I may actually have a chance at taking a decent photo!

    Rileypark2@gmail.com

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  62. I also subscribe via email. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  63. I would realy like to win this!
    fam-neumaier@netcologne.de

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  64. What a wonderful giveaway, just too good to win. I take ages photo taking and this sounds as though it would solve a lot of my light problems.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I don't have an iPhone but do have a camera and this would be a big help getting good close ups. I am a blog follower too. thanks for the chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I can never forget the day I won my modahaus Mini kit. It was a life saver. But now the sheets are stained and I am looking to replace them. Winning a full set with stands and new sheets would be just awesome

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Divya - how on earth did the sheets get stained? Is it because of dyed gemstones? I am careful with photographing demostrations using resin clay, paint, gild etc by placing a waxed paper sheet above the Modahaus sheets to protect it from such tough use.

      Delete
  67. I follow you on GFC, Facebook and Twitter

    ReplyDelete
  68. Light boxes are so helpful, I especially like the overhead photography device. I'm a blog follower.

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  69. The steady stand is such a great idea ! I need these to take better piçtures of my leather cuffs. Blog follower !

    ReplyDelete
  70. This sounds like a great way to improve my photos. I tweeted again about your post and giveaway.

    https://twitter.com/kayzkreationz/status/600639224744845312

    ReplyDelete
  71. Would love this give away!!

    tanyabroeckx@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi,

    This is so neat. Thank you for this wonderful giveaway.

    Judy
    jwhite_pertet@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  73. Hi,

    Great giveaway,
    waiting to win it.

    Best regards

    Georgi
    gjivkov@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  74. I have one of their backgrounds and use it all the time. Would love this setup.

    Beadroe
    cherylkroe@windstream.net

    ReplyDelete
  75. Just started selling my items on-line and would love background help to produce better pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  76. I have been struggling with different set ups over the past year for fine jewelry photography. I would love to try the Modahaus Table Top Studio for my close work.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Darn - forgot the contact information
    http://catherines-musings.blogspot.com or Catherine2447@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  78. Been thinking about lightboxes for a while now and would like to win! Sign me up please! Thank you for this opportunity.
    http://healingbeading.blogspot.com/
    and
    ndemore23 (at) gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  79. I'm also a follower of the blog. Forgot to mention that.

    ReplyDelete
  80. I am amazed that you can take such great photos with your phone! I just started following your blog a couple of weeks ago already I've learned so much. Even if i'm not the winner, Thanks.
    http://roomforsewing.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  81. My photos are anything but professional and this system would be a godsend!
    Judy Larson
    judyklarson@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  82. Such helpful videos. I am always struggling with my product photography. Can't wait to try these new (to me) ideas!
    cmbmattos@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  83. I too have been through the homemade light box and the cloth light box. Would certainly like to try this equipment to improve my pictures. Thank you for all the good information. Your pictures and explanation are certainly convincing.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Well done on improving your photography so much, it's really interesting to see that you now just use an iPhone! It's so hard to get the lighting right, I hope a light tent will help!

    ReplyDelete
  85. I've been lusting after these light boxes for months; would be so great to win. Thanks for the opportunity, Pearl!
    I'm a blog follower and posted on FB. Thanks bunches.

    haezz

    ReplyDelete
  86. Gabrielle GauthierMay 20, 2015 at 12:55 PM

    I would just love to win this! Being new to selling my jewelry on line, I'm forever trying to take better pictures, but just haven't quite mastered it yet. I think this would greatly improve my chances of showing others the beauty that I can create with my jewelry.

    gab2mom@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  87. Modahaus. this is the answer to so many of a photographer's problems, and although I am so far south in New Zealand, please enter me. A link on my blog to follow too.

    ReplyDelete
  88. I've tried a few different types of diy light boxes, and none have worked for me. I usually just lay a piece of white foam board ( that I'm constantly losing or accidentally destroying) on the edge of my windowsill and use it as a background, and then toss the pic onto the computer to use an app to adjust it... a Modahaus would be WONDERFUL :) skyescreativechaos AT gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  89. Oh, how I would love to have one of these!!! Thanks for the chance to win.
    dragonswing15137@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  90. I am a blog follower
    dragonswing15137@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  91. Hi,
    Great giveaway,

    Alex
    info@craftlet.com

    ReplyDelete
  92. Great giveaway !!! Would love to have good pictures of my jewelry! Thank you!
    jotem@acn.net

    ReplyDelete
  93. I don't want to enter because I won the last one but I did want to say how awesome this company is. I purchased the setup for cell phones a couple months ago and love it!

    ReplyDelete
  94. Just tweeted again. This is so cool. I love the tips about using your iphone for your pics.

    https://twitter.com/kayzkreationz/status/601371520414265344

    ReplyDelete
  95. Wow! What a difference this product could make to my photography. I'd love to win. I follow your blog. I am Julie at www.Feat-of-Clay.com

    ReplyDelete
  96. So glad to have found this page. Perhaps I can improve my pictures with some of the helpful tips here.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Would love this giveaway.
    andree.caron@yahoo.ca

    ReplyDelete
  98. This is an amazing giveaway! Thank you for the chance to win!!

    ReplyDelete
  99. Hey Pearl,

    Thanks for the chance to win :)

    victoria_farrell at hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  100. I have a decent camera, but have had a terrible time trying to photograph my jewelry. This would help so much, and I would love to win it.
    evelyn.lee2@yahoo.ca

    ReplyDelete
  101. Always looking to improve my photography!
    Jamie Spires

    ReplyDelete
  102. I've tried so many different arrangements to use for taking pictures and still am not happy. This would be wonderful to try. rocknutzaz@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  103. I have so many projects I would like to photograph but no equipment that takes good pictures of them. Would love the op to use this product.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Pearl, thank you for spreading the word on this set up. I would definitely love to try this one out, please!

    ReplyDelete
  105. What a great giveaway! This is as important as the designs themselves. I need something like his to start off on the right foot. Hope I win lol, but congrats to whomever it is. Good Luck to all!

    Amy
    aj.luvs.art@live.com

    ReplyDelete
  106. This would be great for our Bead Society.. another fantastic giveaway
    carol
    carolhettenbach@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  107. I recently rejoined your blog list, Pearl. I particularly enjoy the clean, crisp photos you take. Photography is the bane of my jewelry making ... thanks for your tip about not shooting against a white background. (I couldn't figure out why my pieces looked so dull!) Anything that can improve the look of my work is most appreciated. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I recommend beginners not use white background - it is easier to say use scrapbook paper to start with. But as you learn how to use your camera, then move on to white background.

      Delete
  108. I would love to win this photography giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  109. As a portrait photographer who once used film my life changed with the advent of digital. I am no longer a photographer, and I have been struggling with my jewelry photos lately. I think I need this wonderful giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  110. What a great giveaway !
    I would love to win...
    Thanks for the chance to win... :)

    ReplyDelete
  111. This is a great giveaway! My makeshift props don't work the way I'd like and this bundle is perfect! Thanks for the chance to win one!

    ReplyDelete
  112. This is amazing! I decided today I want to buy a light box and as I trust you I came onto your site to look for what you would recommend. And Fantastic you are having a give away on this exact product WOW!

    ReplyDelete

 

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