Last week’s picture obsession was not related to the great online product photography debate, but it could be the most solid case for the existence of the Illuminati. Families were divided, social media was flooded, doctors were called in…What color is the dress?!?!

It looked like we may be headed for the end of days.

Thankfully, Internet obsessions are over in a wink. Many spent the weekend laughing at the fuss over a photo. I’m not going to laugh at anyone because this picture still blows my mind.

The reason I mention the dress is because it is an excellent example of how important an image is to people considering a product online. If it doesn’t grab a shopper’s attention, it may as well not be listed at all.

Over the weekend, the online product photography debate made its way through the Facebook Etsy seller groups. For many online sellers, one of two things is usually a work in progress; photography and SEO. (SEO is briefly touched on in this post if you are interested in a reminder.)

The photo debate never seems to end. Should items be photographed and retouched to appear as though they float on a white background?  Should they be shot on a solid color background? Should they be photographed organically with props and models to show the item in use?

There are many arguments for each and I am hoping that discussing them here will help me decide my vote in the product photography debate, once and for all!

What Color Is This Dress?

The Great Dress Debate

The Case For #TeamWhite –
Why people prefer a solid white background for online product photography.

 

White Background product photography

#TeamWhite

  • All focus is on the product. There are no distractions in the photo.
  • It is easy to include these photos in Etsy treasuries because there is no background conflict between items. It gives the collection a straightforward, catalog appearance.
Photo Debate #TeamWhite Etsy Treasury Featuring Products Photographed With A White Background

This collection from AlicjaCollection features #TeamWhite Items

  • For those looking into wholesale, many buyers require a “white sheet” and this is the preferred photo style for submission.
  • Similar to Etsy treasuries, style guides can be curated on other blogs and sites.
    Photo Debate Style Guide Featuring Products Shot With Solid White Background

    This style guide features a jumpsuit from SmokeSaltBone, a bag from TaTonYon, and earrings by TideTogether

    The Case for #TeamColor –
    Why people prefer a solid color background for online product photography.

     

Boho Sea Glass Statement Pendant from Tide Together Shot With Plain Color Background

#TeamColor

  • Simple backgrounds of any color can still refrain from competing with the product.
  • Photos that are shot on white backgrounds still need more editing than other background choices. With so much effort spent on photography and the computer, many artists would like to avoid adding more time to these tasks.
  • Treasuries and Style Guides are not eliminated with color backgrounds but they do require the developer to consider the background for their color scheme.
Etsy Photo Debate #TeamColor

This collection from BoardArtistry features #TeamColor Items

The Case for #TeamOrganic –
Why people prefer organic lifestyle pictures for online product photography.

 

Tide Together on Etsy Organic Product Photography Helps Sell a Lifestyle with the Product

#TeamOrganic

  • Photos of an item in use can give people a feel for how they could use the item in their life.
  • Some people do not approve of seeing an item worn by another but others consider it helpful for gauging scope of a product’s size and shape.
  • Edited to add – Though it helps to see products in use to see how the fit into a lifestyle, many non-fashion sellers feel shoppers may be confused by photos that include more than just their product.
  • Organic photos can make collections tricky (thought not impossible) but they also make it possible for a single image to serve as a style guide.
tsy Photo Debate #Organic

This is a collection I created including #TeamOrganic Items

Now that we have covered most of the basic arguments in favor of each style – What are your thoughts? Did I miss any of the Pros and Cons?

Have you picked a #Team in the Product Photography Debate, or are you still in the fence?

Best Trends Forever Find Your Spark

Featured on Best Trends Forever

Tide Together is the Featured Boutique on Best Trends Forever!

A few weeks ago, I was approached by Best Trends Forever regarding a potential feature on their site.   I took a peek and decided I really liked what I saw.   Their articles are written in a tone that makes fashion and trends a relatable topic for all.

Today, Tide Together is the Featured Boutique!    I love the fun and concise manner in which they told my story to their readers and Max from BTF was a breeze to work with.

 

Best Trends Forever Confidence

Confidence is timeless BestTrendsForever.com


Be sure to check out Best Trend Forever’s full site.    They have a lot of fun features (like a virtual closet), contests, and articles.   

You can also comment on the Featured Boutique to let others know what you think about Tide Together Jewelry and Gifts!

Tide Together featured on Best Trends Forever - BestTrendsForever.com

Tide Together featured on Best Trends Forever

Completed Button Bracelet

Button Bracelet Free Tutorial DIY

I am very excited to share my first DIY tutorial.   The button bracelet is simple to make but does require a bit of time and patience.  The amount of time depends on how complex you decide to make your design.

All available around the house, at craft stores, or online. I always recommend Rio Grande for online supplies.

What you will need -

  • Wire cutters, Round-nose pliers, and Flat-nose pliers (Any will work but craft or jewelry pliers are recommended.  Their flat surfaces are less likely to mark metal)
  • Tape Measure
  • Wire (22 gauge is recommended)
  • Jump Rings
  • Chain – Choose one with links large enough for your jump rings to easily attach to.  Feel free to use chain from an old piece of jewelry.
  • Clasp of your choice.  Again, feel free to take one from old jewelry.
  • Buttons – Either collected or purchased.

 

Button Bracelet Tools

Button Bracelet Tools

 

You may also want to use other beads or charms.   This is a great way to upcycle pieces from old jewelry you no longer wear.  You may also want to buy headpins (they look like pin size nails).

 

Button Bracelet Optional Supplies

Button Bracelet Optional Supplies

Getting Started

Begin by measuring your wrist and cutting the chain the appropriate length.  Most chain will have links that can be opened with pliers.  (You can learn how to open chain by watching a video here)

If your chain doesn’t have links that open, you may need to snip the chain with your wire cutters.

 

Measure your wrist for the perfect bracelet fit

Measure your wrist for the perfect bracelet fit

Add Your Clasp-

Use the open link to attach the first piece of your clasp.  Slide the clasp onto the link before using pliers to reclose the link. You can then open the other end of the chain to attach the other side of the clasp.  (If your links do not open, save this step until we review jump rings.  You can add the clasp at the end.)

 

Attach the bracelet clasp

Attach the bracelet clasp

Turn Your Buttons Into Charms-

Next,  cut a length of wire that is about 6″ long.  (You can cut shorter lengths as you become more comfortable gauging how much you will need for each button.)  Use the round-nose pliers to form a loop.  It is okay if your loop is not a perfect circle.  It will undergo adjustment when the button is added.

 

Make a loop to hang buttons, charms, etc...

Make a loop to hang buttons, charms, etc…

 

The button will slide onto this loop.  Once in place, adjust the wire as necessary so the wire sides meet at the top of the button.   Use your pliers to hold the wires at their bases while you wrap one wire around the other 2 or 3 times.  Clip the wrapping wire close to the base wrap and use your pliers to tuck it tightly against the wraps.

 

Slide button onto the loop

Slide button onto the loop

 

If you would like to add a bead or charm, simply slide it onto the remaining wire.   You may also choose to skip adding any extra elements.   Form another loop and trim any excess wire.   This will be the basic component for your button bracelet.

 

Finish the button component with another loop

Finish the button component with another loop

Add Accents

You can create additional components with beads or charms to accent your button components.

Use headpins to attach beads to chain, charms, etc..

Use headpins to attach beads to chain, charms, etc..

Design Your Pattern

Once your components are completed, lay out your basic design.   Make sure you spread heavier beads evenly to prevent your bracelet from spinning too much on your wrist.

 

Bracelet Layout

Layout the components to determine balance and pattern.

Attach The Components To The Chain

Use your pliers to open the jump rings and attach the buttons to the chain.

 

Use jump rings to attach components to the chain

Use jump rings to attach components to the chain

 

Your button bracelet can be as busy or as simplistic as you choose by adding more or less components.

 

Close up of components

Close up of components – continue hanging buttons, beads, and/or charms until you reach the look you desire.

Completed Button Bracelet

Completed Button Bracelet

 

Design Variations

You can use these steps to create many different looks.   Try using components in similar colors, contrasting metals, or other variations to design bracelets for every occasion.

I added complimentary clasps to another length of chain to allow the option of turning the button bracelet into a necklace!

 

Attach complementary clasps to a necklace and use them to suspend the bracelet as a statement focal

Attach complementary clasps to a necklace and use them to suspend the bracelet as a statement focal

Occasion Ideas

Button bracelets make great gifts!   Use buttons from a child’s clothes to make a sentimental gift for mom.   Save buttons for many years and create a bold bracelet for a graduate.   This is an adorable gift for the person who helps your little one with their buttons and laces while they are at school or daycare!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I would love to hear your questions and feedback in the comments. You can always contact me directly if you are interested in purchasing this design or to request a tutorial for a different design.

Feel free to use the share buttons to spread the word!

I would love to see your completed projects in the comments below.

February 2015 from Tide Together

February 2015

I have a lot of things planned for February 2015 and I thought I would give a quick overview of what’s in store for the month.

To start, I have a sale running now through February 8th in my Etsy Shop     Enter coupon code TTValentine at checkout to save 20% on any purchase of $20.00 or more.  

As always – Free Shipping is included

Heart Earrings from Tide Together - Perfect for Valentine's Day

Heart Earrings from Tide Together – Perfect for Valentine’s Day

 

Later this week, I will be posting my first DIY tutorial.  Start collecting buttons for this fun project!

I have three classes scheduled at Ouvert Gallery  this month – Pre Registration is strongly encouraged due to cost savings for students and ensuring a spot in class.   Drop In rates are subject to space availability.   This is the perfect excuse for a day trip to St. Michaels, MD, before the streets are packed for the summer!

Friday the 13th

Valentine’s Day

Beginners’ Wire Wrap

I also plan to begin featuring artists and writers that would interest fans of Tide Together.    If you know of anyone who may be interested in a feature, please CONTACT ME.

And of course, I will be making jewelry!   I like to update through various Social Media circles so make sure you are following Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

Thank you to everyone for all of your support as I have started my new endeavors for 2015!

Sweepstakes Winners

Winners of the 2015 Tide Together Valentines Day Sweepstakes

I am so excited to announce the winners of the 2015 Valentine’s Day Sweepstakes!

As promised, the selection process was highly scientific.

A hat for every platform.

A hat for every platform.

We filmed it for authenticity.

 

In summary -

The TideTogether.com winner of the 5 Hearts Cuff……

TideTogether.com Winner

TideTogether.com Winner

 

The Instagram winner of the 5 Hearts Cuff……

Instagram Winner

Instagram Winner

 

The Twitter winner of the 5 Hearts Cuff……

Twitter Winner

Twitter Winner

 

The Pinterest winner of the 5 Hearts Cuff……

Pinterest Winner

Pinterest Winner

 

The Facebook winner of the 5 Hearts Cuff……

Facebook Winner

Facebook Winner

All winners will be notified directly.

Winners will need to CONTACT TIDE TOGETHER  regarding delivery information. Local winners will have the option of collecting their prize from OUVERT ART GALLERY in St. Michaels, MD.

I want to thank everyone for participating in the #TideTogetherValentine Sweepstakes.

Don’t forget – From now through 02/08/2015 you can save 20% on orders of $20.00 or more in the TIDE TOGETHER ETSY SHOP by using coupon code TTValentine at check out.

February also has several fun classes at OUVERT ART GALLERY in St. Michaels, MD – see the EVENTS section for more details.