If you’re looking to start selling jewelry online or off, being able to take high-quality photos of your products is an absolute must. After all, you want to make sure that your customers see exactly what they’ll get before deciding to purchase.
Jewelry is popular with everyone; women, men, and children. This means that many businesses rely on jewelry sales to make a living. But no matter what level you’re at in your jewelry business, you know how difficult photography can be as a jeweler or retailer. While the jewelry might look great in person, taking good pictures of jewelry is a skill all its own — one that requires careful consideration.
If you’ve held even a single ring, you know that color is the first thing that attracts everyone to jewelry. The way light reflects off of something, whether a diamond or a gold band, speaks volumes about its quality and craftsmanship. It can help differentiate a good piece from a great piece because no matter how fancy a ring may look in the display case, it must be able to capture and reflect light to make your engagement photo shine.
You’ve seen the marketing materials or heard the ads: Own your photo jewelry and make money from everyday items. Once you have set up a good lighting scheme for your photos, the confidence and experience you have gained will be helpful when investing in more advanced equipment for more advanced pictures.
Photographing jewelry is a vital part of many business models. Whether you’re photographing your jewelry collection and selling the items online or showing off your clients’ jewelry to their best advantage, you need to know how to photograph jewelry properly.
Jewelry photography can change a lackluster product into an irresistible masterpiece. When customers see your beautiful jewelry photography, they’ll flood with eagerness and adoration over that item they’ve always dreamed of having.
A shiny pendant, lovely earrings, or even an exquisite bracelet can add a unique element and sparkle to any outfit. However, the problem comes when you try capturing these pieces with your camera. All you see is a mass of reflections and nothing else.
This article will walk you through the process of photographing jewelry on different surfaces to obtain stunning photos. Photography is an essential aspect of selling your jewelry online. Without a quality image, you might as well not bother posting it in the first place – nobody will buy it.
1. Get your props and materials ready
Your pictures are only as good as the props and materials you use in photographing jewelry. I know that sounds obvious, but it’s true. When shooting products, the tools and the little details can differentiate between a “photographer” who snaps a shot on their phone and a professional who knows how to get great results.
You’re not just selling jewelry – you’re selling a story. The right props can help set the stage for your story in the right colors. There’s no need to buy expensive props or even go out and shop for them. Just look around your home and office. You can use things like tablecloths, flowers, fabrics, baskets, books, and even the outdoors to create an environment that works well with your product.
Your camera should be your number one priority. Using a camera that has a macro setting is necessary, but you can always use the zoom feature of your camera if you don’t have a macro setting. You can also try using your phone’s camera if you have a good lighting setup and an interesting background.
Once you’ve got the main shooting equipment ready, you can move on to getting your props and materials that will help you make this shoot a success. Since shooting jewelry is similar to shooting food in some ways, your goal is to make it presentable and appetizing. This means that choosing the right props for the shoot is essential.
Props are all about texture, color, and size, so pick ones that complement the jewelry item you want to take photos of. A black ring box will look perfectly fine when paired with silver or platinum rings, but it won’t be as attractive when paired with a gold ring. Big pieces of jewelry such as chunky necklaces need big props, or they will look out of place in the photo.
For example, if you photograph a pair of earrings you would like to sell as bridal/wedding jewelry, you might select a white fabric and some silk flowers as your prop elements.
2. When photographing jewelry, use a tripod
Taking great photos of your products is one of the essential skills to have as a jewelry maker. People want to see your actual product, not a stock photo or a generic picture of it in a box on a shelf.
If you want to make any sales with your products, you need to be able to take professional-looking pictures that show off how beautiful they are. If you can’t do it yourself, you need to hire a professional to do it for you.
Tabletop tripods are specifically designed for taking still shots of small objects like jewelry. They’re extremely small and lightweight, making them perfect for setting up on the ground or a table without worrying about them being in the photo. Tabletop tripods also allow you to place your camera at unique angles to get the perfect shot.
Shooting jewelry can be very challenging. It’s small, reflective, and delicate. You need to ensure your camera is perfectly still for every shot to get the best results. We recommend using a tripod with a macro lens or extension tubes.
Tripods are a must for jewelry photography. Tripods help you get sharp photos of your jewelry, especially in lower lighting conditions where you will need longer shutter speeds that can cause a camera shake.
A tripod is essential. It will allow you to create a nice, sharp image that highlights the finer details of your jewelry. It also makes it easier to experiment with different lighting techniques and camera settings without worrying about holding the camera perfectly still.
You may also find that you need to make minimal adjustments to the angle of your camera to get the best view of your jewelry. For example, you may want to adjust the angle from a straight-on shot to a slight downward angle or vice versa. Tripods make these adjustments easy and allow you to capture multiple angles easily.
3. Invest in the proper lighting setup
If you’re taking jewelry product photos regularly, consider purchasing a light tent or lightbox. These devices provide an even distribution of light to reduce glare and shadows.
Good lighting is essential to creating a solid product and brand image, particularly when it comes to reflective, delicate, and even transparent jewelry. Lighting can mean the difference between an image that sparkles and one that looks dull.
If you don’t want to invest in a light tent or lightbox, you can make one yourself. You need a cardboard box, white tissue paper, and some tape. Just cut holes for the lights on each side of the box and insert tissue paper inside to create a diffused light source.
Invest in the proper lighting setup when photographing your product. We recommend using a lightbox with LED lights as a great starting point for high-quality photos of your jewelry. There are numerous types of light sources for photography. Some can be more suitable than others when you’re shooting jewelry.
There’s no right or wrong type of lighting source. It all depends on the effect you want to achieve. The basic setup is called a three-point lighting system. This is where you have your key light, your primary light source that lights up the subject, the fill light, which reflects and illuminates the front side of the subject, and the back or hair light, which separates the subject from the background.
You’ll also need some reflectors to bounce light onto various areas of your subject, such as their face or hair (if you’re photographing someone). While there are plenty of expensive options for taking professional-looking photos of your jewelry, more affordable options don’t require fancy equipment or a photography degree.
4. Don’t Forget to Take Detail Photographs
Detail shots are necessary for the online store, for the buyer who will be able to see all the intricate details in your jewelry, and it gives him a feeling that he is holding this item in his hands. Detail shots are small, close-up photos of a specific piece element. These photographs highlight the design and craftsmanship in your pieces and can showcase intricate details that would be lost on a full-frame shot.
It’s a good idea to use detailed shots in your product images, as well as on social media, marketing materials, etc. because they give potential customers a better understanding of what they’re getting.
When shooting detail shots, use only one light and one reflector. Stand up and shoot down on the piece to eliminate shadows. Try to create a “floating” effect by placing your subject on a glass table. You can also use an acrylic block to achieve this floating effect and use plexiglass boxes made especially for jewelry photography.
Place your subject on a white surface, preferably white glossy cardstock paper or glossy material. If you are shooting on a table, make sure your background is clean and neat and does not have any wrinkles. To get rid of reflections, try to turn off unnecessary lights and close windows or curtains to avoid direct sunlight.
The trick to photographing jewelry is to ensure enough variety in your shots. You already know you want to do a photo for each item, but one of the most important things you can do is include detailed pictures. For example, if diamonds are set into the center stone of your ring, take a photo showing off the diamonds and the stone setting itself. This will help customers visualize how the piece will look when they wear it.
A good jewelry photographer will have a secret weapon in their arsenal of tricks. This secret weapon is known as the macro lens. A macro lens is a unique lens that can get up close and personal with your subject and produce exceptionally sharp photos that show even the smallest details. Some photographers purchase their macro lenses new, while others buy used lenses to save some money.
When photographing detail shots, you will want to ensure your camera settings are correct to produce high-quality images that your clients will be satisfied with. We recommend using an aperture setting of F8 or higher to ensure everything is in focus, a shutter speed of at least 1/200th of a second or faster, and an ISO setting of 100 or 200 for best results.
Once you have your camera set properly, we recommend placing two off-camera flashes to the left and right of your subject at about 45 degrees from where you are shooting. You may also want to set some light stands in front of your subject on either side, about 1 foot away from the jewelry piece, and angle them slightly toward it to avoid any harsh shadows on the piece being photographed.
5. Keep Things Clean
Photographing jewelry is a challenging task. You’ll often run up against issues like reflections, lighting, and the inherent smallness of your subject matter. But the rewards of a well-executed jewelry photograph can be significant, especially if you’re selling on an eCommerce marketplace or social media.
Like any other product, keep your jewelry images clean and clutter-free. Make sure that the focus is entirely on the item for sale and don’t distract viewers with background colors or objects that could interfere with their ability to see the details and finer points of your jewelry.
When photographing jewelry, keep things clean and simple. You don’t need a lot of accessories or props. It’s best to keep the focus on the jewelry itself. The first thing you want to do is make sure your hands are clean. You’ll probably be handling it with gloves on if you’re using a professional camera. You don’t want any oils from your hands or dirt from your fingers on the jewelry.
You can find online tutorials on cleaning jewelry, but in general, a soft cloth and some warm water will do the trick. You can also use a polishing cloth or an ultrasonic cleaning machine, but this isn’t necessary if your jewelry is already in good shape.
Dust and lint are the enemies of any photographer, but they can be particularly problematic when taking close-up shots of small objects. A top-notch ring shot isn’t going to impress potential buyers if they’re distracted by dust on your lens or streaks on your camera sensor.
A good trick is to use a small paintbrush to gently brush off any dust from your jewelry before taking a picture. Of course, it isn’t just the camera and lens that need to be clean. You also want to make sure that the jewelry is free of blemishes and fingerprints. If you’re photographing a ring, make sure there are no smudges or fingerprints on the stone. Shine up the band and make sure it is free of scratches.
6. Be consistent
There is more to it for a jewelry photographer than just placing the product in front of the camera. Jewelry photography requires careful planning and preparation.
Getting your product images shot can be an intimidating prospect when you’re just starting because good eCommerce photography can be expensive. But there are hundreds of product photography tools to help you get the job done yourself.
The key to good jewelry photography is consistency and attention to detail. All the little things you do to make your pictures look great add up to tell a story about the quality and value of your jewelry.
If you’re photographing a ring and a pair of earrings made of the same materials, they need to look like they belong together. The way you create this consistency is through lighting techniques and post-processing techniques.
Some items, like necklaces and bracelets, are easy to photograph because they have a natural shape. Others can be difficult to capture without putting them on a stand or model.
The primary purpose of jewelry photography is to show all the item’s details. You want the customer to get a sense of what it would be like to hold and examine the pieces.
To achieve this goal, you have to make sure there are no distracting elements in your images.
The viewer should be able to see every detail without being distracted by anything else. This means you need to be consistent with the background color and lighting so that it doesn’t compete with the piece.
For the list to look uniform, use the white or light color as your background. If possible, choose a studio space with a nice amount of natural light coming in from one side and place your jewelry on a table or shelf near that natural light source.
For added consistency, you can also shoot all your photos at the same time of day, when the light is coming in from the same angle and intensity.
The best way to take professional-looking jewelry photographs is to keep the lighting and background consistent. Even if you are photographing various jewelry, you should use the same photo setup and a consistent style.
If you take photos with multiple backgrounds, your customers won’t be able to visualize how the product will look in their location. One background and one lighting setup are essential elements for creating a professional look that can help build trust in your brand.
Once you have your photo setup ready, you can photograph all your jewelry in one session. If you need to create an image for your website or an online store, there are tools you can use to create a gallery of images without having to compose each one individually manually.
7. Make use of white background when photographing a jewelry
Jewelry will always be on the go, so your products must be easy to find and display. The best way to make your products stand out is with good photography.
It can be challenging to get the focus and lighting right when you’re photographing jewelry.
Using a white background helps draw attention to the critical areas of your product: the texture, color, and sparkle. Plus, it’s easier to edit a photo with a white background on a transparent background. This helps customers focus on the product rather than being distracted by the background.
Much of the jewelry you’ll sell will be displayed against a white background. This means that you can use a white backdrop whenever you’re photographing jewelry in your studio. A white background will help minimize shadows, giving everything in your shot more detail and punch.
But there are also situations where it might not make sense to use a white backdrop — for example, when it’s time to photograph a black-tie event or if you need to photograph smaller pieces of jewelry that don’t have enough space on a white background. When photographing jewelry for sale on eBay or Etsy, you will often be limited by the images’ size. You can still take great photos of your product, but they won’t look as good because the sizes are so small.
The good news is that eBay and Etsy both have tools that allow sellers to upload multiple images at once — so if you’re selling on both sites, you only need to upload as many photos as you have space for. In these cases, you can use a black background instead of a white one.
Most cameras will allow you to set different white balance settings depending on the lighting you’re using. You should use the “daylight” or “sunny” setting for photographing jewelry with a white background. The auto white balance setting may work just fine, but it’s best to test it out with the other settings to see which one makes your jewelry colors look most accurate.
A white background is a popular choice for product photography because it lets the products stand out. However, it can be challenging to achieve in practice. Pure white is tough to capture on a digital camera. When you look at the images in different environments, you may see them as either yellow or blue depending on the color temperature of their light source.
The real challenge comes when you want to photograph your jewelry against a gray or black background. This can be done, but it requires careful planning to have no dark tones in the scene.
8. Be cautious with reflections when photographing jewelry
Successful product photography depends on being able to control the light. You’ll want to ensure no glare and that the product is evenly lit, so you should pay particular attention when taking photos of reflective surfaces.
Glare can be challenging to get rid of without professional equipment, so avoid shiny surfaces when possible. If you must take a photo of a reflective surface, you will want to make sure it’s facing away from the camera or use a polarizing filter on your lens.
A polarizing filter allows you to adjust the angle of the reflected light, which helps reduce glare and makes your subject appear more realistic. It’s also not a good idea to photograph jewelry on a table. The surface will have reflections of your camera and lights, which can be distracting and make the jewelry challenging to see.
The best way to photograph jewelry is with a lightbox. This is a box with an opening for your camera lens, with white fabric lining the inside walls. Lightboxes are available commercially, but you can make one at home from materials you can find at any home improvement store:
Use a utility knife to cut a hole in the top of a plastic storage bin that is large enough for your camera lens to fit through (make sure it’s as centered as possible).
Line the inside walls and bottom of the box with a white foam core board from an art supply store. Cut the foam core board pieces to fit neatly inside the box. Glue the boards in place with spray adhesive.
Set up two bright lights, so they shine down into the box. If you’re using hot lights, make sure wire cages protect them, so they don’t catch fire.
Place your jewelry on top of another piece of foam core board inside the box. Shoot through the hole in the top of the box.
Shooting reflections can be an excellent tool for adding another dimension to your photos. Reflections can add depth and complexity or enhance the composition of your images. They also can make an image appear more abstract and artistic. Here are some tips for shooting better reflection photos:
Plan for the perfect conditions. Photographing reflections is all about timing, as the light conditions throughout the day hugely impact how reviews appear in your images. For example, with water reflections, if you want a mirror-like reflection of the sky, you will need to shoot during calm weather and at sunrise or sunset when the sun is low on the horizon.
If you don’t mind a bit of distortion in your reflections, you can get interesting effects by shooting at other times of day; however, if that’s not what you’re after, then take note of the conditions and plan accordingly.
Use a polarizing filter. A polarizing filter is a must-have accessory for photographing reflections in water or glass. A polarizing filter will eliminate glare and give your images more depth and color saturation.
9. Use a live model when photographing jewelry
A good product photo can mean the difference between a sale and a return. So it’s worth mastering the art of taking pictures that make your jewelry look great, even if you’re not a professional photographer. If you’re selling jewelry, the model should be wearing it. This is one of the most important things to remember in jewelry photography. People want to see how the jewelry looks on a person to imagine how they’d look while wearing it.
When it comes to selling jewelry online, there are a few ways you can go about shooting your product. One is using a live model. This approach is best for items like rings and bracelets that need to be worn on someone’s body, as it shows potential buyers what it would look like on an actual person, rather than just hanging in the air.
When looking for a model, it doesn’t always have to be someone with a professional modeling background. You might find that an amateur model is more relatable to your customers than a professional one. If you need jewelry models for your brand, we’ve got some tips below to choose the right people.
Hire a friend or family member who already has lovely skin and teeth or is willing to get them professionally cleaned for the shoot. The best way to set up your model is by having her stand against a solid wall. If you don’t have a wall available, you can use a white or black backdrop.
If you are using a model, make sure that she isn’t wearing any other jewelry or accessories that will distract from your product. Also, make sure she isn’t wearing an outfit with too many patterns or colors that will take away from the jewelry piece being photographed.
Use yourself as the model (if you’re comfortable doing so), or have someone else photograph you wearing your jewelry. After all, you won’t always have models available when you’re launching a new product line or taking photos for your website, so it’s good to know how to do this yourself.
Even with the aid of Photoshop, lighting is crucial when photographing jewelry. If it’s not done right, the photos will look flat and unappealing. The best way to light your product is by using one light source that illuminates the product from above. You can also use two lights: one from above and one behind the product. This will help fill any shadows that may exist in your photographs.
If you allow people to borrow your jewelry for photography purposes, ensure it is insured against loss or damage. If you don’t have insurance for your inventory, consider getting it covered by an insurance provider like Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company.
10. Keep everything simple when photographing jewelry
How do you make your jewelry stand out? With the proper photography. The secret is to keep your setup simple. You don’t need a studio or expensive camera equipment, just some time and a little creativity.
Photographing jewelry is a bit different than other types of product photography. Jewelry has to be photographed on a surface, but the background needs to be neutral to let the jewelry stand out.
When photographing against a solid background, you can use a tabletop lightbox or add your background to the scene. As long as you have some way of illuminating your subject, you can create beautiful images with little effort and no expense.
If you’re starting with product photography, you might be tempted to purchase as many different types of lights as you can afford. Instead, keep your setup simple and learn to use a single light source effectively.
It’s important to remember that your jewelry images will be small on most people’s computer screens and mobile devices. This means you’ll have to work doubly hard to get high-quality shots so customers can see details when they’re looking at your products online.
The trick is to take a lot of photos with different angles, lighting setups, and backgrounds to have plenty of options when it comes time to select the perfect shot.
With jewelry, it’s essential to keep the setup simple and focus on the details.
Instead of using a flash, you can use just one light source, like a desk lamp, to highlight the shape and color of your jewelry. If you want to add more detail, try using different colored paper in the background.
You will want to work with a simple white background for most jewelry photography. This can be a sheet of foam core board or a piece of seamless white paper available at any art store. You will also want to use a couple of lights. If you don’t want to buy lights, you can use natural light and open a window, but the quality of the images will suffer because you won’t have enough light.
A light tent is also an option for taking your jewelry photos. You put the jewelry inside the tent, and the light bounces off the tent’s walls and onto the subject, giving you excellent even lighting. If you are using artificial lighting, we recommend using constant lights instead of flashes (strobes). This is because it is much easier to see what your shadows look like when using steady lights instead of flashes.
For instance, if you are lighting with flash photography, you have no idea what your shadows look like until you take the photo and view it on your computer screen. But with constant lights, you can see what your shadows look like immediately without taking any pictures.
11. Allow plenty of time for post-production
Our category of jewelry requires more time in post-production than any other. There are many small parts to photograph and retouch, done with extreme attention to detail. When photographing jewelry, the process is more time-consuming than other products such as clothing or shoes. Jewelry is small and often has intricate details that require minimal adjustments in Photoshop (such as cleaning dust or scratches).
It takes a lot of time to ensure that each image looks excellent because your customers will notice even a tiny imperfection. In particular, the image-editing process can be pretty extensive in jewelry photography. The reflection of the photographer in a ring, for example, is just one small thing that needs to be removed or altered in post-production.
There’s a fair amount of post-production work involved with any product photography. Post-production is the process of editing and retouching images to make sure they look their absolute best. For this reason, it’s essential to allow plenty of time for post-production when photographing jewelry.
Your product photography is only as good as your post-production. Post-production involves a series of steps to enhance the image quality of your photos, and it can account for nearly 50% of the time it takes from start to finish in the product photography process. It’s essential to allow plenty of time for post-production for products that require careful attention to detail, such as jewelry.
Post-production workflow can be broken down into three steps: cropping, editing, and retouching. The post-production stage is the part of the creative process that often gets overlooked but is vital to achieving a professional result. It should be factored into any project from the beginning and budgeted for. If you are doing your post-production, allow enough time for yourself, preferably a good night’s sleep before you begin. As with all creative work, it is essential to keep it fresh.
Once you have taken your images, you can make many adjustments and enhancements to take them from ordinary to extraordinary. Professional photographers’ most common software packages are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. These are powerful pieces of software that can enhance any image, but they can also be difficult and time-consuming (and expensive) to learn.
Timing is everything when it comes to jewelry photography. It takes time to create beautiful images that capture the essence of each piece. And if you don’t allow enough time, you’ll rush the process. In addition, you’ll likely end up with photos that aren’t as good as they could be — and that could hurt your sales.
A small jewelry business can be started for a reasonable investment. You need to purchase tools and equipment, such as pliers, files, and torches. You also need to acquire your materials, such as beads, gemstones, metals, and findings. Costs for these depend on the type of jewelry you make.
You might find old jewelry at thrift stores or garage sales that you can take apart and use the findings. This is an excellent way to reduce your costs while starting.
Rent a small space in a commercial location where you can set up your workspace.
Ensure it has water access because you’ll need to work with chemicals and good ventilation to remove noxious fumes from the area. Look for a location that has some foot traffic so people will see your open sign and come in. If possible, try to set up in an area that tourists frequent.
Are you a beginner in photography who wants to be seen online? Consider posting your work at iShinora. iShinora is a multi-faceted platform that empowers creative individuals. On one hand, it helps them spread their talents to a larger audience and get compensated for their work. On the other hand, it connects brands to creative content producers in order to help them discover the best creative talent on iShinora and avoid the headache of going through hundreds of agencies.
However, there are certain features that make iShinora different from other platforms.
The first thing that sets iShinora apart is its user-friendliness. It is easy to create an account, provide contact information and showcase your work.
The second thing about iShinora is that it relies on a community of users as well as moderators who are experts in their field (photography, design, videography). They will help you improve not only your photography skills but also your marketing and branding abilities so that potential clients can find you easily.
Thirdly, iShinora has an easy-to-learn algorithm that determines which photographer or designer should get rewarded with a job or need to improve their portfolios.