How to Master Jewelry Photography: Part II
Jewelry photography is equal parts art and skill. The end goal is to ensure customers get the most realistic render of each available product. Before you get to snapping pictures, heed these precautions to capture your jewelry in its most favorable light:
Clean Your Product
Cameras pick up on things like smudges, dust particles, and other unsightly marks. Sure, you can edit these out later, but cleaning your pieces thoroughly beforehand saves you time in the end. Give your jewelry a thorough cleaning using your ultra-sonic. Then, steam clean if possible. Always wear gloves in the handling process to avoid fingerprints.
Here are a few products to help simplify your jewelry photography process:
More Jewelry Photography Tips & Tricks
Once you’ve prepared your set and cleaned your product, it’s finally time to photograph your jewelry. And while your jewelry is naturally gorgeous, here are a few tips to make sure your artistry is as marvelous in pictures as in real life:
Use a Tripod
Whether you’re shooting with a professional camera or your smartphone, a tripod is one of the easiest ways to produce clear images. If you struggle with holding cameras still — or even if you think you have a steady hand — tripods are the key to sharp, focused pictures. For an entry-level tripod solution, try a GorillaPod.
Composition refers to the arrangement of all elements in a photo — from props to lighting — telling a clear, cohesive story. The composition is what makes your image visually pleasing overall. Although complex to master, a balanced composition can land your jewelry photography in top spots on social media feeds, spurring interest in your brand.
Lighting makes your jewelry sparkle and shine. Use continuous, natural lighting to avoid unflattering reflections in stones and metals. If natural lighting isn’t an option, go for artificial lighting that imitates the sun (rather than using a flash). We recommend using LED daylight balanced bulbs. But be sure to avoid mixing different kinds of bulbs— this will result in an unflattering image.
In the end, keep in mind that lighting, whether natural or artificial, should never be harsh or direct. Lighting for your jewelry photography should always be diffused. Here is a helpful video that dives deep into photography lighting.
Simply put, white balance adjusts the color of the lighting in your photos by correcting its temperature, thus ensuring color accuracy. For example, if you’re photographing white gold, you certainly don’t want it looking green in your pictures. Utilizing proper white balance will help produce the most realistic color illustration. Most cameras have presets to ensure the most flattering image.
Proper focus helps illustrate a realistic image in terms of texture. Thankfully, most cameras offer auto-focus settings. Make sure each piece of your jewelry is in focus, while background effects should remain out of focus and slightly blurred. Easier said than done, right? Proper focus guarantees sharp, detailed imagery.
When shooting multiple images, try to show off as much of your jewelry as possible. Snap multiple images from all angles to show off every detail. Close-ups, side views, and overhead views make for interesting angles and save on future, “Can I see this piece from a different angle?” requests.
Try a Light Box
For your online inventory, basic product shots on white backgrounds are ideal. To achieve this, try using a light box. We recommend our new Dino-Lite photo box. This tool is illuminated by LED lighting and helps to eliminate outside light pollution.
When all is said and done, keep in mind that photography is fun. Even if your photos don’t master every technical aspect— fear not! If it looks good, then you’re doing great!