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Pretty Sparklin’…Products, Photos and Photographers!

September 6, 2012

In 2006 I shot Elaine and Grant’s wedding. A beautiful day that left me with many fond memories.

About a month ago, Elaine called me out of the blue with an intriguing question; would I teach her the basics of table top product photography so that she could be the one to take the photographs for her business. I was delighted with the challenge and speedily said….YES! 🙂

Nikki Waterlow Photography: Product Photography

Elaine has been running her jewellery business for a short while but wasn’t confident that her photographs were showing off her products to their best. I put together a 3 hour training course, teaching her the fundamentals of photography as well as practically showing her how to get to capture her fantastic products.

Nikki Waterlow Photography: Product Photography

I took a few photographs myself and have invited Elaine to write a blog post too….

How we started Sparklin’ Pretty Sparklin' Costume Jewellery & Accessories

It all started about 4 years ago when my husband bought me a Silver charm bracelet with silver heart charm bead as an Easter present. He was very smug because as he said he would have years of Birthdays, Anniversaries and Christmas’s where he wouldn’t have to struggle to work out what to buy, he could just add to the collection! I wasn’t expecting it but I absolutely loved it, and so the journey started. As well as Birthdays and Christmas we started to buy beads when we went on holiday and for other milestones……. There was:

a suitcase a palm tree and a fish to remember special holidays

a dolphin when we swam with dolphins

a collection of various beads to remind me of special people in the family, such as a horse to remind me of my Dad and his love of riding and a pumpkin to remind me of my Mum, she had me on Halloween…

After a while I realised that it didn’t matter if all my beads were not premium branded or even Stirling Silver, as long as they still looked great so I started to mix and match.

Nikki Waterlow Photography: Product Photography
My jewellery still looked stunning but I was able to have lots of variety and nobody was any wiser. The Sparklin’ range started off with just Silver Plated slide on slide off beads and accessories but has grown to stock some 925 Silver pieces and a whole host of beautiful rings earrings necklaces and bracelets and even a men’s range. The rule is if we Love it, we stock it! The Pretty Sparklin’ range gives you so much to choose from and the designs are ingenious elegant and fun. We get as excited as you do when our deliveries arrive. We are passionate about service and want you to have a really great shopping experience when you shop with us; after all shopping is supposed to be fun!

The website is fairly new and the range is ever-growing so please keep coming back. We have a loyal customer base who have bought items for all occasions (Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and even It’s a Day with a “Y” in it and I have to have that bracelet Day!!!). In fact most of our customers are reluctant to give away their Sparkles!

Nikki Waterlow Photography: Product Photography
Building a business from scratch is not as easy as it looks because you obviously have to do everything for yourself. You don’t realise how much you take for granted the IT help desk, the Training Department and the Creative team when you have your day job. When you go solo it is a very steep learning curve but I wouldn’t swap Sparklin’ for the world, I will just keep making it even better.

One of the things that I really wanted to improve was my photographs. I thought it was about time I showed off the Sparklin’ range in its full Sparklin glory. I knew that my photos just didn’t do it justice, but I didn’t know where to start.  Would it help if I spent thousands of pounds on some flashy new camera kit, probably not, if I couldn’t use a compact how on earth would a fancy SLR with lots of gadgets help? The best thing to do would be to get someone who understands photography to give me a push in the right direction, so I sent an SOS to my Wedding Photographer Nikki (Waterlow) for some 1-2-1 coaching and I wasn’t disappointed. As luck would have it, Nikki was very up for my coaching request and it is something she is branching into.  As before, my experience of Nikki is, she is very approachable, knowledgeable and passionate about photography.  One size doesn’t fit all so she will tailor to suit your needs and abilities.  I needed to learn about Macro, you might need landscapes. Nikki tries to keep it simple and she produced some notes specifically for my needs for me to take away. I found her rates for the coaching session competitive. I brought all of my kit but got to see the benefits of Nikki’s kit so I didn’t rush out to buy an expensive SLR without playing first.

Nikki said my kit would do the job but I preferred her compact (yes she really takes all those Lego shots with a compact; I saw it with my own eyes!!!) so I got my own, the same. I’ve had a little play and need to get to know it better but Nikki says I can shout if I need her help.

I have hundreds of stock lines on the site and more to put on so my plan is to keep putting on the new items before going back to replace some of the poorer quality photos. Come and have a look to see if you can see an improvement, and if you have any questions or suggestions about the business or the Sparklin’ range, I’d love to hear from you!

Elaine XXX

Since carrying out this training session, I have put together a training program for Mum’s wishing to learn more about photographing their children as they grow. Get in touch for more information 🙂

Websites of Interest:

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