4 Ways to Use Vine for Jewelry

If you've been using Instagram, Vine.co will seem pretty familiar. Launched early this year, the free Vine app lets you easily make six-second videos, put them into an endless loop, and then post them on Twitter or Facebook. Here are a few ways to use that six seconds to show off your jewelry.

1. One long-shot loop (if you can call six seconds long). A Vine video automatically starts over where it began and won't stop until the viewer clicks off. You can take advantage of that by ending the shot as close as possible to where you began, so it loops gracefully. Some jewelers have figured out how to do this so well, I forget for a moment that I'm watching a looped video – and that's the point.

But it's not just that. Even a brief flash of video is a valid way to show something in a jewel that we can't get through a still shot. What works for the one-shot loop? A pan can work, but don't try to do a 360° pan in six seconds unless you want to make both yourself and the viewer extremely dizzy.

More effective: hold the camera steady and turn the jewelry itself. You won't get a high-quality video indoors, but you'll give an immediate impression of scale and play of light, especially with gemstones with play of light that escapes still photos.

The trick is to keep the camera relatively steady so when you finish turning the jewel, the loop picks up where you left off. Dan Gordon of Gordon Jewelers in Oklahoma City posted some Vine videos of diamonds just weeks after Vine launched. Here's a video he made in February to show the sparkle of a pear-shape diamond. Notice he ends so close to where he begins that you can't tell at first the video is looping. By March, he had discovered how to hold the gem with tweezers and turn it so it appears to spin endlessly. He did this with a black diamond, among other things.

2. Five angles in six seconds. Posting a quickie video is a way to get around a major weakness of jewelry photography, which is that it's nearly impossible to convey everything in one shot – especially scale and how the jewelry looks on the body.

This, of course, is why people present five shots of each piece on sites like Etsy. One shot from the top, one from an angle, one on the body (or mannequin or plant or whatever) to show scale and give a hint at how it will hang. You can convey all that in a six-second video: two seconds focusing on a necklace, turning it slowly, final two on someone's throat, starting close up then pulling back. Short of allowing someone to pick the piece up and hold it to her own throat before a mirror, you just provided a pretty vivid experience of how the jewelry looks, moves and lies on the body.

3. Split-second quickie slideshow. When Jessica Hicks opened a jewelry store in Nantucket, Nantucket Blackbook posted a Vine loop on Twitter: a shot of the storefront with a sign that tells you where it is (2 Union Street), a couple shots of the jewelry cases and interior, and a close-up of a hand holding a box bearing the "Jessica Hicks Jewelry" logo. Done! Then another video appeared after the opening, focusing on the jewelry itself.

If two-second clips sound fast, you'd be shocked how fast you can cut and still produce a compelling mini-video. Jo-Ann Stores tweeted a link to a video clip produced from no less than 11 shots – condensed into a six-second video, and I thought it worked surprisingly well. A necklace appears on a patterned backdrop, a second joins it, then a third, a hand appears, with one ring after another. It ends with a shot of all the jewelry on the backdrop, then the loop begins again.

4. Mini event promo. Atelier Minyon posted a cool little video of their gallery and workshop in the Soho neighborhood of NYC. Notice how they go from closeup of hands making jewelry at a bench, to a scan of the jewelry, to closeup of a person, to a long-shot mini scan of the shop, using a combination of angles and not too much movement in each shot. Looks like somebody actually knew what they were doing!

CATHLEEN MCCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories appear in Town & Country, AmericanStyle, Art & Antiques, and her own site, The Jewelry Loupe. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

NET PROFITS is a regular feature about using the Internet for jewelry selling of special interest to those with a home-based jewelry business that appears in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more about using Vine to show off your gems and jewelry in "On the Vine," July 2013.

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