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How To Photograph Your Jewellery

Knowing how to photograph jewellery is a large part of any jewellery business’ marketing tool, helping designers to showcase their latest pieces accurately and in detail. However, for those who are primarily jewellers – and not photographers – this can be a difficult part of the business to master. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to photograph jewellery effectively, to help you master the art of jewellery photography and begin to sell your pieces to a larger audience online. Learn how to photograph jewellery at home or in a studio, how to photograph gemstones, and more with our advice.

How to control your studio lighting when photographing jewellery

Shiny precious metals and luminescent pearls. They make for beautiful designs, but when it comes to how to photograph jewellery and reflective surfaces, flash photography becomes difficult to master. One way of saving your product images from glares or darks spots is to use as much natural light as possible, helping you to illuminate your designs as evenly as you can while eliminating the need for artificial light.

Of course, that’s not to say that artificial studio lighting isn’t important for jewellery photography. Using it subtly can help you create the appearance of natural light, even in the depths of winter. Consider investing in a photography light box. This handy gadget will help you to create your own jewellery photography setup when learning how to photograph jewellery at home. A photo light box diffuses any brightness that is coming from multiple sources and directions. This helps to make your jewellery photography much more evenly lit, with less shadows or dark points. Discover how to photograph jewellery in a light box below.

How to photograph jewellery in a light box

Getting to grips with how to take photos of jewellery using a light box may take some time but the key is in the setup. Once you have your light box on a table, your backdrop fixed in place, your tripod at the right height and your lighting in the right position – your jewellery photography techniques can really grow from that point. Take your time when adjusting the lighting and the position of the product you’re shooting. By moving your designs forward and backwards, relative to the light, and constantly testing the shots you can create, you’ll soon be able to find an ambient lighting that works well with your designs and jewellery photography.

How to photograph gemstones

A photo light box will provide you with soft, ambient lighting for your designs. But if you want your pieces to really stand out when learning how to photograph gemstones, the use of a light box may not be the best route to take. In order to add that extra bit of sparkle to your images, specialised lighting should be placed in nearly the same position as your camera. The specialist lighting used specifically for diamond and gemstone photography uses LEDs that imitate daylight in order to avoid glare. It provides you with the hard light required to add sparkle to your jewellery photography without unwanted glare. With your LED lighting pointed directly at the face of your gemstones, you should be able to capture that sparkle in a polished and professional way.

How to photograph jewellery and get the right angle

Playing around with the position of your designs to get the right shot when taking pictures of jewellery is possibly one of the most time consuming yet rewarding elements of jewellery photography, and one that can really make an impact on the final results. If you make a considerable number of pendants, think about using some prop wax to stand them up so that there is a clearer view of your work and the detailed intricacies that have gone into it. Simply take a small amount of the prop wax and place it at the bottom of the pendant so that it stands up of its own accord. Only a minimal amount is needed, as you won’t want the wax to feature in your final images. By doing so you can move away from traditional bust shots and instead create a highly professional macro shot of your work that really speaks for itself.

Play around with the positioning to find what works best for you, as it may be that you find suspending earrings from a wire works really well, or draping necklaces across a textured backdrop complements your designs perfectly. The key is finding a style that works for you, your collections and your jewellery photography.

How to take photos of jewellery with a DSLR

If you’re just getting started when it comes to photographing jewellery, the jargon that comes along with a high tech DSLR camera can be a mine-field. But don’t fret because not every setting on your camera has to be adjusted manually. The beauty of using a DSLR as a beginner in jewellery photography means that there are some techniques that can be automated with your camera’s settings.

White Balance: This refers to the way in which a camera alters itself to adjust to the light conditions, helping the image and the design you’re photographing to appear in its truest colours. White balance can be set on your camera and automatically adjusted as you shoot, which means it will simply adjust to the lighting that you’re using. Helping you to produce a high quality image. So make sure you get to know how to set the white balance on your DSLR as this can make or break a product image.

Depth of Field: Setting the depth of field or aperture on your camera is vital when it comes to close up jewellery photography. This setting adjusts how sharp your images will be and refers to the distance between the farthest and nearest objects in the shot. In most cases of professional jewellery photography, you’ll want to ensure that you have a large depth of field, as this makes each part of the object your photographing appear sharp and in focus.

Some jewellers may play around with their aperture settings in order to bring an element of their jewellery piece into sharp focus, while the rest of the piece remains in a softer focus. This is a playful way of showcasing one element of your jewellery design and setting it apart from the others. However, it’s important to remember that with an online shop, your customer will not be able to try on your piece or touch it. In which case it becomes important to allow your customer to see all elements of the piece in close detail. So, if you use an image with a soft focus, remember to change the depth of field for the next shot of that piece so the customer can clearly see the whole design, from different viewpoints.

Whatever collection you’re in the process of photographing, each piece will present individual challenges and opportunities to refine your technique. But rest assured it will be worth it. After all, getting this right will make sure that your customers see your jewellery pieces in the very best light possible – and that’s key to growing your jewellery business into an online success.


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