Marsaili is one of, if not the top ecommerce photographer in Scotland. Her attention to detail and determination to get the perfect shot, distinguish her from the majority of photographers in Scotland. Marsaili is a great teacher and I have heard her speak on numerous occasions. This, coupled with her expert knowledge of marketing and e-commerce makes her so valuable.”
Gillain Crawford - Director, Lily Blanche, Wow (Scotland) Ltd
Showcasing fine Scottish jewels with Lily Blanche
Gillian Crawford spent childhood holidays visiting her grandmother on the Isle of Skye. There she found delicate pearls washed up on the shores of the loch below her grandmother’s croft.
Years later, when Gillian began selling her own jewellery designs, she called her fledgling business Lily Blanche after her grandmother Lily Blanche Sheridan, to honour of the style of a redoubtable woman and in memory of those long ago pearls.
Gillian told me that story when I first began photographing her beautiful jewellery collection back in 2015[ED1] . Gillian was keen to grow her business online. Knowing how important the right images are to e-commerce success, she approached me because of my track record shooting products for Amazon and Jane Davidson.
Photographing gems isn’t easy
Although I was known for e-commerce photography, to shoot jewellery for Gillian, I had to dust off skills from my time in advertising in New York, where I worked on the Waterford Crystal account and first learned to capture the brilliance of crystal.
I’ve fine-tuned those techniques over the years, experimenting with different backgrounds and lighting, until I’d developed my own process which allowed me to photograph quantities of jewellery fast, without compromising on detail or artistry.
Photographing jewellery well requires enormous patience, craft, and attention to detail, because the beauty of fine jewels lies in their intricacy. From capturing the fine points of carving on the shank of a ring, to highlighting the facets of a diamond or the lustre of a pearl, lighting, camera set up, and post-production all have to be precise.
Five years photographing jewels for e-commerce
For five years I took all Lily Blanche’s hero product photography. They still use many of those images today because I set up all their images on layers to make it easy for them to swap in seasonal backgrounds and accessories to maximise return on their photography investment.
Gillian was delighted with the results, saying, “Marsaili is one of, if not the top e-commerce photographer in Scotland. Her attention to detail and determination to get the perfect shot, distinguish her from the majority of photographers in Scotland.”
Coaching the Lily Blanche marketing team to shoot gems themselves
After about five years, I’d shot the bulk of the Lily Blanche core range, and although I was still photographing seasonal collections, gradually there was less and less jewellery for me to shoot. At the same time my focus was shifting from being a full time photographer to coaching businesses to take better marketing images themselves. It seemed like the perfect time to share my knowledge and well-honed jewellery photography techniques.
Lily Blanche Visual Content Manager Kelly Mcconaghy put up her hand to learn to photograph their jewellery range. I knew how attentive and precise Kelly was from working with her and believed her more than capable of adding jewellery photography to her skills.
Kelly recalls, “Marsaili has a great deal of experience with e-commerce photography and particularly with jewellery, which is extremely difficult to shoot to a high standard. I found the product photography process quite difficult prior to my coaching with Marsaili, as there are lots of factors to consider, so I was excited to better understand the process and the equipment required, as well as best practices for shooting jewellery.”
Learning all the nuances of jewellery photography
I was a little afraid that downloading 15 years jewellery photography experience in one day would be too much. But Kelly rose to the occasion like a star (or maybe a diamond).
“Marsaili made the whole process as straight forward as possible. It wasn’t easy, as there was lots to learn and understand, but it was very enjoyable and interesting to learn all the nuances of jewellery photography. And Marsaili was very thorough and allowed me to ask lots of questions so I understood what we were doing at each stage.”
“Learning about lighting the jewellery in particular was really helpful. Jewellery is so reflective, very small adjustments can have a big impact. Now I’m able to produce high quality e-commerce product photography in house, which gives us a great deal of flexibility when launching new products. Marsaili is a very good teacher.”
Gillian agreed saying, “Marsaili is a great teacher and I’ve heard her speak on numerous occasions. This, coupled with her expert knowledge of marketing and e-commerce makes her so valuable.”
Book e-commerce photography coaching for your team
My hands-on e-commerce photography coaching teaches e-commerce marketers to take exceptional product photography. Upskill your team, sell faster and sell more, with e-commerce product photography coaching.