Silver in Photography | Vintage Silver Eye Candy

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silver in photography - traditional use

This image (I hope) captures the essence of filling a gorgeous silver cup with icy vodka and seeing the beautiful frost bloom on the exterior of the cup.

Regular shoppers and readers will have noticed that I’ve been experimenting with a new style of photography in my silver shop.  I’m always trying out new techniques and tips to make Silver Magpies silver over the internet a more personal experience. This is a bit of a tall order as it is over the internet!  Silver in photography has become a passion born of necessity for me.

I’ve written about my silver in photography before, when I decribed my strict policy of not using photoshop on any of my images.  All of the principles described in that post are ones I still hold very dear.  My images are intrinsic to my reputation as a dealer and building a relationship of trust with you.  That is why I want my images to capture the essence of the piece as accurately as possible.

Silver in Photography | Evolving Style

For a long time, pieces were photographed in what I refer to as ‘mug shot’ style.  You know the type, every dealer on the planet uses this technique.  The piece is placed against a plain, simple background and a straightforward photo is taken of it.  There may or may not be a few more from varying angles and showing details.  Sometime the piece seems to be floating against a white nothingness. That is a very nifty photoshop trick to get rid of all the reflections and shadows!

After a few years of using this same approach, it dawned on me that photographing pieces like this was in total contrast to the message of use and enjoy your silver that I have been developing.  The metaphorical lightbulb went on over my head as I realized by showing the pieces in my store in this clinical manner I was undermining my own message.

So I have embarked on a massive project to re-photograph every single piece that was already in inventory, as well as all the new listings, to show them in a more ‘real world’ way.  Sometimes the image may be a more traditional use, as with the silver vodka cup in the image above.  Other times, like in the image below, the silver compote is shown doing something a bit non-traditional. Don’t worry that the mug shots have completely vanished.  They haven’t…they are essential for you to be able to see the piece in it’s entirety, as well as view the crucial details.

silver in photography - non traditional use

I love the contrast of the colors, textures, and most of all the tension between using the ‘formal’ silver compote for something so informal as holding vegetables.

However, it seemed a perfect opportunity to use one of the image spaces to convey a sense of possibility about silver and further harmonise the message on my site with the impression in my shop.

Let’s break away from the ‘old’ rules that say we can only use it on formal occasions, in matching sets, and then we have to hand wash it. Instead let’s bring these pieces into our lives where they can brighten up our day in unexpected ways.  I don’t know about you, but the pop of the red peppers against the silver of the compote plus the fantastic texture of the hemp table runner makes me smile.

It’s silver in a new light.  Out of the attic and into our lives, for us to enjoy and make every day best.


I’d welcome any feedback from you about my silver in photography experiments!

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4 thoughts on “Silver in Photography | Vintage Silver Eye Candy

  1. ElizabethNo Gravatar

    I love the new style! It not only, as you say, sends the message that silver should be used and enjoyed, but it also gives the viewer a better idea of the size of the item as you can see it relative to other objects (e.g. a red bell pepper). Beautiful pictures!

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