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How to Master Jewelry Photography: Part I

Jewelry Photography Part 1 Blog Header

Preparing for your photo shoot

Marketing your brand is challenging. Even a degree in marketing doesn’t guarantee you’ll crack the code. But in our industry, jewelry photography will surely boost your business, if done correctly. You have a split second to catch someone’s eye and interest, so make your photography count. To help you do just that, here are our tips for jewelry photography beginners:

Selecting Your Camera

Smart Phone

  • Pros
    • Portable
    • Easy social media access
    • Simple to use
  • Cons
    • Lower quality images
    • Limited editing capabilities
    • Doesn’t allow enlarging for print media


  • Pros
    • High-quality images
    • Fast shutter speed, great exposure, more pixels
    • Allows enlargement for print media
  • Cons
    • More expensive
    • Takes a while to learn
    • Requires editing program

Choose Your Photo Elements

Take time to set the stage for your photo shoot. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Whether you are promoting this season’s newest engagement trends, youth jewelry, or men’s bands, make sure your jewelry photography tells a unique story. Add subtle props in your photos to drive your theme across. Capture product in its own little world in an effort to tell a cohesive story. Remember to keep your branding’s theme top of mind throughout your photography endeavors.

Select the Right backdrop

Plan ahead where your photography will be showcased. For example, website imagery may look different than print media. And images for each social media platform should vary in size. A background with fun patterns or bright colors may seem like a tempting way to catch customers’ attention, but this diverts focus from your jewelry. Luckily, a stunning ring or necklace can basically sell itself! Stick with a light, solid-colored backdrop so your jewelry remains the center of attention.

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Jewelry Terminology

If you’re a beginner, there are a few basic photography terms you’ll want to be familiar with:


This refers to the arrangement of all elements in a photo— from props to lighting. The composition of a jewelry photo should tell a clear, cohesive story.

Depth of Field

This refers to how much of an image remains in focus. For example, if only one object in a photo is in focus, then that image is said to have a shallow depth of field. For jewelry photography, you’ll want a large depth of field for your images, meaning most or all of the photos are in focus.


A device that softens the light. Soft light is ideal for jewelry photography.


A single lens reflex camera that takes digital images. Usually comprised of a main body with several lenses, allowing for various photography capabilities.


This refers to a picture’s lightness or darkness. A lighter picture means a higher exposure,  ideal for jewelry photography.


The main object(s) of a photo should be in focus, with the rest of the image slightly blurred.

Negative Space

Negative space is the area that surrounds the main object in a photo. In the case of jewelry photography, your jewelry lies in a positive space, while props and backdrop effects count as negative space.

White Balance

Simply put, white balance adjusts the color of the lighting in your photos by correcting its temperature, thus ensuring color accuracy. Our eyes naturally adjust to different lightings, but cameras do not (unless they are set to do so). Many cameras have white balance presets, allowing images to come out looking as close to reality as possible!

Jewelry Photography Made Easy

Photography can be hard. Trust us. Photographing shiny metal and doubly refractive gemstones can be like trying to capture thousands of tiny mirrors. Don’t feel it’s worth the hassle? Join Stuller First! Our image portal gives you access to a collection of professional photography that you can use as your own.

Jewelry Photography Stock Photo


Stay tuned for the second installment of this jewelry photography mini-series!



Daniel Maldonado

Digital Photographer

I've been with Stuller since 2010 • I'm originally from Tucson, AZ • My favorite meal is lasagna • I love collecting vintage cameras • Most famous person I've ever met: John Voight • Play tennis every afternoon • I take pictures of everything I find interesting.