Prayer Beads

A friend has developed a website for a client to sell her hand-crafted prayer-bead necklaces and bracelets. The client was adding 14 new products to the site, and she needed photos in a hurry. Luckily I was not too busy that day, so I invited her to my studio, and we completed the shoot in about two hours. I spent an hour preparing beforehand. I set up a table with the handmade paper background, and I got the lights and camera in position. I made test photos with some beads I had on hand to get the lighting and camera angle right. I ended up using a strobe with a shoot-through umbrella on the upper right pointing down at a 45-degree angle and a small reflector on the left made of two pieces of white foam core taped together in a “V.” I fixed the camera to a tripod with the intention of keeping it there and swapping the jewelry in and out. Since all the products were essentially the same, there was no need to adjust the camera and lights for each shot. This assembly line method worked well. We redid a few shots for to reposition some products that we thought could have been done better, and I had to reposition the strobe for two of the necklaces that had larger beads than the rest. But we got most of the photos on the first try.

Since the client needed the photos so quickly, I shot both RAW and JPEG. She took the JPEGs with her to hand over to her web developer, and I will keep the RAW files archived should she ever want me to retouch or enhance them in any way.

To see the photos in their native habitat, visit


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