Raise your hand if you’re trying to succeed in the social space with nothing but a smartphone. 🙋♀️ If your hand went up, this blog post is for you! Welcome to Social Media Jewelry Photography— a quick guide to using your smartphone (and a few cool tools) to capture stunning images of your jewelry to post on social media.
First Thing’s First:
The device matters! If you’re relying on a smartphone for your social media jewelry photography, you need the latest and greatest out there. Currently, that’s the iPhone XR and the Google Pixel 3, but you can get away with one version prior.
Now that we have a high-quality mobile device to capture our images, here are a few tips and tricks to get your photos ready for social media. We’ll start with the lowest investment required, then work our way up.
Let’s start with my favorite level of investment— FREE! Here are four must-have apps that I use to edit social media jewelry photography every single day.
First Up: Instagram
How many of you use Instagram to edit your smartphone photos? YOU SHOULD. The editing capabilities of Instagram are literally like having Adobe LightRoom in your pocket. It’s so much more than just filters. I encourage you to dig around in the editing options and get a feel for it in your spare time!
Boomerang From Instagram
In the latest State of the Industry Social Media Report, marketers reported that video content received 50% MORE engagement than other content types, on average. Who wants 50% more engagement but feels like they don’t have time to produce full-on videos? Yeah, I totally feel that way sometimes. Boomerang allows you to create simple video content on the go!
Layout From Instagram: Collage App
Layout is an Instagram-owned collage maker. I’ve included it here because everyone needs a good collage maker from time to time and this one is my absolute favorite.
PicsArt Photo Editor + Collage
PicsArt gives you extra editing capabilities that were once only available in Photoshop. Text overlay, smoothing, and spot healing are just SOME of the noteworthy features!
And Now, it’s Tools Time
In addition to your smartphone and social media apps, there are several social media jewelry photography tools that can be used to capture professional-quality images. Here are a few our favorites, starting with the basic and inexpensive and moving toward the more sophisticated.
Give Me the Loupe!
Oh yes, the old reliable loupe! I’m sure every one of you has a few of these lying around, right?! This is one of our new arrivals — the Hexagon Triplet 10X Loupe. We’re going to use this loupe for The Selfie-Loupe Technique. All you need is your phone, a diamond loupe, and tweezers.
Here is a step-by-step guide to the Selfie-Loupe Technique
1 Clean the phone camera lens.
2 Place the phone on a table with the screen facing up.
3 Activate the selfie camera.
4 Place the diamond loupe on top of the phone lens (making sure the loupe lens is also clean).
5 Hold the diamond with the tweezers above the loupe.
6 Make sure the lighting fixture on the ceiling is not visible in the frame. If unavoidable, ask someone to hold up a white background 40 centimeters above the diamond.
7 Fix the on-screen exposure to reach optimal look, as needed.
8 Select video mode, preferably, although still images will result in an authentic image as well (the tweezers will look distorted due to the diamond loupe effect).
Also, watch this quick video for a refresher on how to use our new hexagon triplet loupe.
Here’s an Example
DiaScope Clip on Mobile Lens
All you have to do here is simply attach the device onto your phone, turn on your camera, and start shooting. You can adjust your lighting as needed.
GemCam™ Imaging System
This device is perfect for those who buy and sell diamonds and gemstones. In addition, many customers keep the device on their showcases to help customers better visualize the stone.
Instead of eyeing a stone on the customer’s finger, or asking them to use a loupe, they can simply view the stone on a microscopic level using the GemCam™. Here is a complete guide to operating your new GemCam™ Imaging System.
Dino-Lite Digital Microscope & Photo Box
This next one is for those of you who do repair work! We highly recommend using the Dino-Lite Digital Microscope & Photo Box (29-1532 & 29-1502) to document repair take ins and the finished repair work that follows. This will ensure your work is validated and give you something to brag about online. In fact, we’ve seen countless jewelers garner additional repair work by simply taking before and after photos of their work like the ones below.
And that’s where we end today. There are SO many cool tools and little tricks out there to help you succeed in the social space. I hope that hearing a few of my favorites today will inspire you to improve your social media jewelry photography this year!