Swanky Beads



Linda Merrill is a family friend who is a RN. She manages a department doing utilization reviews for hospitals and insurance companies. In her spare time Linda and her family used to raise and show Boer Goats. This is a special breed of goats originally from South Africa that was bred mainly for meat production beginning in early 1900. I never realized how prized these animals were before meeting her, but this is a very serious business.



During the past year or so Linda’s family sold their goats. Now she has moved on to making beaded jewelry. In addition to her assorted items, she hasn’t forgotten her roots or the friends who she has met at the different shows along the way. She has including a whole line of Boer Jewelry just for them.



Recently Linda saw the need to update her website by including different photographs. She asked me if I would be interested in providing her with images of several of her pieces. I agreed and am very grateful to her for this learning experience.



So where do you begin? I ponder over this question. I started off by attempting several shots using fleece and nylon materials. However, I really wanted to go in a different direction. After walking outside, literally just beyond my back yard I found a couple of old logs. I grabbed these and cleaned them with a couple of plastic brushes. Then I found a rock with some moss growing on its side. A few days later I stopped by Micheal’s and picked up a miniature bale of hay and some black sand. Using these different props I began positioning the necklaces.



I’ve already mentioned my lighting set up which remains pretty much the same. Although I did add a 5 in one reflector kit that I purchased off of e-bay for twelve bucks. I had seen these before and thought probably the same thing that you are thinking now. However, I heard Kerry Garrison from cameradojo speak about them. He was saying at worse it tears up, but you still only have a few dollars invested in it. So I tried it and found that they really work great.

I photographed each image and processed them using Lightroom 3. Then I used Dfine to clear up any noise. Afterwards I tweaked them a little using Viveza 2. I then provided her two sets of images. One set of High Res image for printing and another Low Res images for her web site.



So guys tell your spouses or girlfriends about Linda’s Swanky Beads and girls I know that you’ll want to visit if only to look around.  Linda hasn’t had time to revise her site so my pictures will probably not be there yet. However, drop by her site and pick up a necklace, and while you there don’t forget to tell her where you heard about her Swanky Beads.





  1. Len Saltiel January 12, 2012 at 6:32 am #

    Very nice series of images Phillip. These look like they were shot by someone who has done this many times before. Well done

    • Phillip January 12, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

      You are very kind to say so Len. I really appreciate it. The truth is that I really learned a lot, and I can’t wait to do it again!

  2. Eden January 12, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Nice work Phillip! I bet she’s really pleased with these shots 🙂

    • Phillip January 12, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

      Thanks Eden. Thankfully she is.

  3. A Creative Adventure January 14, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    Phillip, You did a great job photographing these beautiful pieces of art.

    • Phillip January 14, 2012 at 9:02 am #

      Thanks Denise I really appreciate it!

  4. Jimi Jones January 16, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    Wow, Phillip. These are beautiful, each a work of art. Really nice shots, love the colors.

    • Phillip January 16, 2012 at 9:00 am #

      Thank you Jimi. I really had a great time and learned so much. I can’t wait for another opportunity to try something else.

  5. Adam Allegro January 18, 2012 at 2:14 am #

    That first necklace is beautiful, and you photographed it wonderfully. These are really cool.

    • Phillip January 18, 2012 at 5:48 am #

      Thank you, I appreciate it Adam.

  6. Dave DiCello January 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    Great set of shots here man, the details are just amazing.

    • Phillip January 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

      Thanks Dave it was a great experience!

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