Rhonda Giedt Photography Photo Shoot

Now, I'm one of those people who *hates* getting their picture taken. Especially when it's a headshot!

(so where did this Model Card come from? That's a story for a different post!).

But part of growing a business is about being a representative for your brand and putting a face to the facelessness of an online shop. In my case, I needed a professional headshot to help represent me as the handmade jewelry designer for Peggy Li Creations. This is why I turned to my friend and photographer, Rhonda Giedt for some help with getting some headshots made for my bio. You may learn all about Rhonda's photography and services (she does portraits, pets, wedding photography and more!) at her website, Rhonda Giedt Photography.

Rhonda made me comfortable immediately, explaining her technique and then shooting away! Knowing I was nervous, she made me feel at ease. We tried a variety of poses and she was totally open to try different setups that I wanted to see. She worked quickly and efficiently and the experience couldn't have been easier.

The best part is that the photographs turned out fantastic! I had a range of photographs to chose from and after I made my selections, I received a lovely package containing a disc of my images in hi-res format, plus a hand written thank you and some cards for friends to have a free portrait session with Rhonda.

Do you live in the San Francisco bay area? I'd be happy to pass on one of Rhonda's free portrait sessions to you. Just email me at info@peggyli.com!

Here are some samples of the finished result of our portrait photoshoot. I couldn't be more pleased! Thanks Rhonda!

FAQ: Are Item Descriptions Important?

YES. I know as artists, we want to describe our babies in the most creative, whimsical way. I think I wrote about naming items in a previous post, and while I believe you absolutely need to have a consistent voice and personality to your writing (to go with your brand), you absolutely can not ignore the importance of giving your shoppers the information they need to make a shopping decision!

For my jewelry business at Peggy Li Creations, there are a few things I *always* try and give to the shopper in the description (and sometimes, when I'm updating my website at 2AM, I forget, but I try!):

1) Length/sizes for items. Describe the pendant size or stone sizes as best you can. I've tinkered with using rulers or coins in my images, but it's a little... tacky? Which brings me to...

2) Images. Images are so important. Try and get the color and scale right. Have reinforcing images -- closeups for the detail, and if you can, a photo on a model. I use a clothing bust ('cause pictures on people are hard!). If I had all the time and money in the world, I'd use people as models, absolutely.
Does this give you a better idea of the length? Go ahead and give a measurement, too.

3) Describe the materials used. Don't just say "silver" if it is sterling silver or fine silver. Don't just say "gold" if it is really gold plate, 14k gold, or 14k gold-filled. Find these descriptions confusing? Me, too -- so I often reference other websites and keep a glossary on my website for my customers to understand the differences.

4) Describe the colors. It may seem obvious, but capturing colors in photos are tricky. I like to try and describe colors, especially if I think the photo isn't the most representative of the actual color of the item.

5) Use texture descriptions. Is it smooth? Faceted? Rough? Again, details are often difficult to pick out of a photo, especially of small items like jewelry.
How would you describe the stones on these earrings? Chips? Chunks? Are they faceted? A good description would help!

6) Describe shapes. Is it round, teardrop, flat, fat, faceted, domed?

7) Describe techniques. Did you brush it for a matte finish? Hammer in a texture?

I'm learning all the time how to improve the descriptions I have for different jewelry designs, and I will continue to tweak descriptions, especially if there is customer feedback on an item ie "I didn't think it was that ----" and try and cover those topics for new products going forward.

OK, so maybe most people don't actually READ the descriptions. But if they do, definitely give them some information to better understand your design. Think about what *you* like to know about an item before you buy it (especially when it's online!). That will tell you all you need to know about writing good descriptions for your products!

Good luck,

Symphony of Circles

FAQ: Best Polishing Cloths?

I've tried a few different types of silver polishing cloths over the years, with different results for each. Here is my opinion of some of the different options. Like with most tools of the trade, the key is to choose the right tool for the job:

1) Sunshine Polishing cloth - by far my favorite product, Sunshine Polishing cloths are a small square of yellow fabric material that is infused with microabrasives. The cloth itself feels slightly tacky to the touch, and will blacken as you use it. The cloth holds up well to use and is very durable. The abrasives in the cloth are indeed micro -- the cloth removes tarnish *and* polishes, without removing or scratching silver surfaces. I find these gentle enough to clean 14k gold-filled and vermeil items as well (use carefully!).

You may purchase a Sunshine Polishing cloth from my website.

2) Rouge cloth - this style of polishing cloth comes with two sheets that are connected together on one end. One side is red, representing the "red rouge" side that contains the microabrasives for cleaning and polishing. The yellow side is meant to be used after the cleaning for a final high shine polish. I find that the red cloth side is not the best cleaning cloth, that the abrasives don't last long in the fabric. However, the yellow side does bring out a nice shine to the item with some buffing.

3) Pro-Polish pads - this is a favorite of a lot of folks, they come in small squares so you only need to use as much as you need at any time. Be careful, as one side of the pad has the harsher abrasives that can scratch surfaces (for a slightly matte finish). I like using these for heavier-duty jobs, such as polishing items to remove excess oxidation or to smooth out scratches on items. Some cons for this product is that you *can not* get it wet or it turns into a goo, so use only with dry pieces. The other thing I noticed is that they dry out over time, leaving the spongy pads brittle and the abrasives powdery. Keep stored in a nice ziplock bag to help prevent dry outs.

There it is! The cloth I always keep handy are Sunshine Polishing cloths (for quick clean and polish) and Pro-Pads (for heavy duty work). For even heavier work, I will sometimes use microfine abrasive papers before doing a final polish with cloth. For tarnish in hard-to-reach spots, check out this nifty trick to remove tarnish with aluminum foil.

Do you have a favorite polishing/cleaning product for your metals?


Last of their kind designs -- get yours soon!

I only have a few more pieces of these fabulous jewelry designs! When they're gone, they're gone! With semi-precious stones, or some materials, I never know when I'll find the same cuts and colors. The 14k gold pieces are priced based on gold prices from *years ago* and are a great value! Many of these have been bestsellers and now are endangered species! Check 'em out and get yours today. Don't miss out on one of your favorites.

Topaz Earrings
Chocolate and Yellow Diamond
14k White Gold starburst posts
Pearl Cascade Earrings

Tourmaline Cascade Necklace
Turquoise Swirl Necklace (the matching earrings have sold out!)
Pearl Crinkle Necklace