I have, finally, learned the value of staging jewelry. I always used to laugh at the tutorials that say place candy or flowers or something relevant to your piece in the picture. I thought the jewelry sells itself. So I took simple photographs in the best light I could find, which wasn’t really always the best (sunlight casts shadows, fluorescent light can be tricky and soft light makes things far too dark and yellowy). Recently I thought with me posting my stuff on Facebook now, wouldn’t it help if I at least got my pictures to look a little more professional? I’m sure this is old news to many out here, but here is what I learned over the last couple of weeks…. Hardware stores are your friend. I went to a craft store looking for a foam block, and they wanted $4 – $6 for one piece. At the hardware store, I could buy single bricks/pavers for anywhere from 68 to 89 cents a piece, and if you get them in the Winter, you might find some on clearance for 35 cents like I did. Also, ceramic and natural stone tiles are awesome. They aren’t too shiny like linoleum, and you can find a good variety of neutral colors. I went to Menard’s, but I think almost any hardware store will sell individual tiles anywhere from $1 – $3 a piece depending on the material for the 12" or 16". I was able to get a really nice ivory tumbled travertine 12" tile for $4 (after breaking into a box and digging through the entire thing to find a good specimen). I also got lucky and found a big stack of 6 inch tiles on clearance for 50 cents a piece! And fabric stores clearance, wow. I found bridal satin in nice neutral shades 50% off and you only really need 1/2 a yard if you want a nice backdrop or ruched pile. Also, props! Thrift stores! They are full of inexpensive trinkets. What I thought might cost me a small fortune to have a nice variety of backgrounds and textures wound up only costing me about $20 – $30. And the most valuable lesson I learned in all this was what a HUGE difference it made to have the right background. Now all I need to get is my lightbox kit and I’m good to go!