Photographing my jewelry being worn on “real people”

I was so excited when the idea came to me to photograph my work on my friends. Those that I see regularly, those that I sometimes run into wearing something I made a long time ago, or friends I mainly “see” on social media. I realized that if it makes me happy to see my work actually being worn, then maybe that is just what I need to show my work off to the world.

Betsy S wearing j.e.paterak
Betsy S. wearing her own “pod” earrings in silver, and my hot off the bench “seed” pendant. Betsy was a big part of the inspiration to photograph my work on friends.

Navel-gazing comes naturally to someone who has in excess of 6 years of art school. Add to that dozens of workshops (which I have to thank for my true knowledge base as a jeweler), and it is hard to “let go”.  Whether I am thinking about the world, thinking about my work, what inspires me, to “what it all means”, it is an indulgence and a gift I am grateful for, and it ultimately informs my work.

At long last, it occurred to me that if I am going to attempt to make my living from my work again, presenting the work on the body has been a a critical missing piece, until now. Seeing my work in a case or a box, is far from seeing it on the body.

So I bought a new camera (“Squee” a sound of joy at a new small Lumix equipped with just enough features for me to customize shots with its precise Leica lens). I started to invite whomever would indulge my amateur skills as a photographer, spending a little time catching up, being silly in the gorgeous light of my studio.

Tracie R. with earrings and "pod" pendant with pearl
Tracie R. with earrings and “pod” pendant with pearl










j.e.paterak jewelry
Jolene M. with “science-y” pendant in sterling and sterling hoop earrings
j.e.paterak jewelry handmade maine made sterling necklace
Derek J. wearing “bubbles” fabricated pendant in sterling and 18k







Real people. It is so special to me that my friends all seem to have their own unique style and come from many walks of life. It was important to me that I didn’t use cookie cutter model types but a cross section of hair color, skin color and age. Beauty is all around us and in us (see my next post about Iris).

Mikki L. wearing bubble earrings
Mikki L. wearing bubble earrings