Beginner’s Guide to Jewelry Photography

In this time and era, when consumers are buying everything online, almost all e-commerce businesses have to level up their photography game. Good quality, attractive pictures are essential for successful selling. Product photography makes or breaks your selling – if your product looks good to the eye, there’s a high chance that consumers will end up buying it.

It does not matter if your product is a double-sided tape or a delicate piece of jewelry, photographs of your product are meant to talk to your consumers in a way written content can never do. However, jewelry photography requires a little more attention than other products. If jewelry is your product, you should be able to showcase it as the most attractive thing on earth.

From the minute details to the intricate shiny stones, the photography of your jewelry should be detailed, attractive, need-inducing, and alluring. Nevertheless, because of how small, shiny and delicate pieces of jewelry are, matching their elegance and beauty through photography is a real challenge.

Basic Guide to Jewelry Photography

Camera and jewelry

The importance of visual aid in selling your product is undeniable. It means there is no escape for the sellers from jewelry photography – no matter how intimidating it might appear. We have rounded up some fundamental but crucial points for all the beginners out there to photograph their pieces of jewelry with a professional touch. So, let’s get started.

Preparing the Props and Materials

Props and materials are a fundamental requirement for a successful photoshoot. No, we are not talking about the fancy stuff that is expensive by any standards. The following are some essential props, materials, and tips that you should be using to enhance the beauty of jewelry you are capturing:

1. Let natural light be your guide

With your shiny piece of jewelry already shining like a star, the flash in your camera would not do any good – no matter how dark or bright it is. If you want to capture the shine of your jewelry pieces without ruining the picture, then find someplace heavily flooded with indirect natural light.

It is the most inexpensive photo setup that you, as a beginner, can have. Resembling a professional studio, you ought to find an indirect source of light that illuminates the surroundings without flashing direct light on to your camera. You might want to position your piece of jewelry near a window.

2. Neutral background to defy reflection and increase focus

Finding a natural source of light and shooting your product under it might also not get you the desired results. A neutral background that diminishes the reflections is essential. It is important because otherwise, your piece of jewelry will absorb all the colors in the surrounding and might not appear as the same color.

Therefore, in order to capture the real color and without the unnecessary white reflections, always shoot with a white backdrop. A small white A4 sheet or a white folded paper is enough to make a background that really lifts up the colors in your jewelry piece.

3. Use a Light Box

If you want your jewelry photographs to look professional and stand out, then investing in a high-quality lightbox is an excellent option to go for. If you run an online store and sell products like jewelry, watches, or other items, then a lightbox is a must-have. With this amazing gadget at hand, you can have both a backdrop and a good spread of lighting at the same time, enhancing the quality of your photos and looks of your products.

Check out the best light boxes available in the market here.

4. Tripod for steadiness

No matter how hard you try, images do get blurred and hazy due to shaky hands. Investing in a tripod is a great step that you would not regret. The tripod will help you capture extremely sharp photos without blurring them.

5. Camera Lens

Especially for jewelry photography, the focus is as important as anything. You need to fine-tune your lens to focus on that diamanté or pearl. It is recommended that you should get a macro lens with a focal length of at least 60 mm. With this focal length, you will be able to obtain 0.5x magnification.

However, this recommendation is for a beginner level. If you can afford to have a more expensive macro lens during your first few photoshoots, then get the one that can provide life-size magnification.

6. A Mannequin

When displaying your product, it is crucial that you take photos that resonate with the customers. For shooting a ring, you might want to use a model’s hand wearing the ring. Or you can use a mannequin to show off how utterly ravishing a necklace will look on the potential customer.

Moreover, using mannequins or models help portray the real shape of the jewelry after it is worn – thus, relating to the customers on a more realistic level.

7. Cardboard

This is an amazing beginner trick to portray your pretty necklaces. Use cardboard as your prop and make holes to tuck in your necklace in the same way as it would be worn. This prop helps enhance the focus on the pendant and really brings out the best you have to offer.

8. Double-Sided Tape To The Rescue

This prop advice is specially related to photographing rings. Although professional photographers develop the talent to shoot rings from various angles with perfection, for a beginner, it is best to capture the ring from a diagonal angle, covering the whole item.

You can always use double-sided tape to pin your rings to the base (your background) so that they are in a standing position. This lets you capture the whole item with all its glory.

Some Tips for Photographing Like a Pro

Some Tips for Photographing Like a Pro

  • Clean Your Items

The very minute detail that you could not see through your naked eye is clearly visible in your photos. So, you need to clean and polish your jewelry items before the shoot thoroughly. Use a soft microfiber cloth or a damp cotton cloth before clicking.

  • Using a Macro or Telephoto Macro Lens

As mentioned above, a camera with a macro lens is essential for jewelry photography. If you own a DSLR, you can get a telephoto macro lens that has a focal length ranging from 100 to 200 mm. This allows you to take photos with extreme focus as well as from a considerable distance without compromising on the quality of the picture.

However, when shooting up close with extreme focus, you have to make sure that you control reflections. You surely do not want to have your own reflection on the jewelry. To avoid this, you can use a white piece of paper with a hole in the middle. It will help you focus while concealing your reflection.

  • Controlling Lighting

You should at least have two flash heads for adjusting the lighting for your object. Or, if you are using the natural light, make sure that the light does not directly fall upon your piece of jewelry. You can try different angles that offer a bright but indirect light.

Controlled lighting background and a bracelet

Also, as mentioned earlier, always use a white background when shooting jewelry items because white background diffuses extra lighting, absorbs the reflections, and brings out the real color. Moreover, while experimenting is always good, never try and mix different lights together for jewelry photography. It might create a different color temperature and make your pieces appear different from what they actually are.

  • Focus, Focus, and Focus

For the most part, the jewelry photography involves focusing on the pendant, the diamond in the ring, or the real pearls in the earrings. However, focusing them is the biggest problem as even with the most steady tripods and professional cameras, you need to retake several times after viewing every image and zooming them to the maximum.

  • Correcting The White Balance

White balance settings are crucial to photographing jewelry. You should know all about the white balance settings in your camera and be able to adjust it according to your needs. This set of settings enables you to take photos with precise colors. For instance, if your settings are out, you might end up capturing a silver ring as a gold one – imagine the agony!

You can adjust these settings in your camera and fine-tune them until your images have the same color as they have in reality.

  • Being Bold And Creative

It never hurts to try and bring something completely different on the table. While mannequins and cardboards make the essential-most props for beginners in jewelry photography, you can always experiment with a contrasting background. Shooting stones with the backdrop of a contrasting surface is something new and exciting.

However, nothing should be finalized without reviewing the pictures again and again. You can even use flowers for bringing out the colors and contrast them with others. There is one general rule that dominates all – you should not crowd your photos with too many colors or props as they might take away attention from your item.

Always make your jewelry item the limelight of your picture and every other thing, including background or props, to enhance the focus on the jewelry.

Quick Tips

  • Always use a standard image size to capture your photos. Consistency leads to a better viewing experience as otherwise, some items may appear bigger than the others.
  • Try and have a consistent background – at least for one set of jewelry items. Consistency in backgrounds helps customers to focus and hold their attention for a longer period.
Where to Buy
Canon EOS Rebel T5 Digital SLR Camera Kit with EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens
Sony SLT-A58K Digital SLR 20.1MP Camera with 18-55mm Zoom Lens
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras, Lens Only

Best Cameras for Beginners in Jewelry Photography

Honestly, you can buy the most expensive camera in the shop but still get unattractive photos. So, it isall about the light settings, the props, and the materials that help you capture the best shot. However, the following are some of the best cameras and macro lenses that can help make your jewelry photography a success:

  1. Canon EOS Rebel T5
  2. Sony SLT-A58K
  3. Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
  4. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens

If you are interested in buying the best indoor DSLR, check this article on Top 6 DSLRs for Indoors.

Final Words

Now that you have an insight about how to go about your jewelry photography, you better get going for buying the perfect camera or investing in the props. Products nowadays are sold based on how they look. Online shopping has rendered e-commerce as the king of all and forced the customers to rely solely on the images shown to them. Thus, it is necessary to capture the images as close to reality as possible.

With this detailed guide on how to go about perfecting your jewelry photography, you can now be a pro at it.