Jewellery photography can prove to be more difficult than it seems. The products create challenges due to their reflective nature and size. Familiarising yourself with important photography processes will make your job a lot easier.
We have put together a few useful tips to help you master the jewellery photography techniques. Once you’ve nailed these, your product photography will never be the same.
Here are our top 6 tips on how to photograph jewellery effectively.
1. Lighting – Choosing The Right Source
Choosing the right lighting for your images is a must. This is because without good light, you risk the bad exposure detracting from your product. As a result, you can end up losing important sales because of it.
Sunlight is the cheapest light source that can be used in photography. However it’s important to keep in mind that just because it’s easily accessible doesn’t mean that it’s easy to work with. Using sunlight as your primary light source comes with challenges. One of them is the blue and dull appearance that natural light can cause.
On the other hand, considering other options, such as common indoor light sources, they tend to make your products look red. In this case, our ultimate recommended solution is to invest in studio lighting as well as a light box.
If you’re on a budget, you can pick up a set of lights online for a reasonable price. It’s always a good idea to research beforehand and check over the specifications to find out what’s right for you.
Professional studio lighting opens up many possibilities. So many, in fact, that it can sometimes seem overly confusing. We have always been huge fans of testing, no matter what it is you’re doing. Playing around and trying out different lighting setups will help you get accustomed to your new gadgets. In addition, you will see which arrangement works best for the idea you are trying to achieve.
One valuable piece of advice we can give you is not to overdo it with brightness. Overexposure is very difficult to correct in post production, so avoid if you can.
2. Background & Accessories – Complementing Your Products
When it comes to backgrounds, you really don’t need much. A clean white background and a sturdy table will be enough to produce stunning jewellery photography. You will also need sheets of white paper to reflect the light and bounce it back onto your product on the shadow side.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with being more creative. You can add to your shots whatever you choose. Just remember, as a general rule in photography, sometimes simplicity is key. Let the props complement your subject rather than detract from it.
Another very important item you should acquire is a tripod. To ensure your images come out sharp, a sturdy tripod is a must. In addition, you can purchase a remote shutter release to stabilise your camera. Both of these will give you more control, and ensure all your jewellery is framed in the same way.
3. Camera Settings – The Technical
Shoot in RAW format if possible when photographing your products. This will ensure your files are large and uncompressed. You will also have a greater amount of image data to work with and get the highest level of quality.
Get your camera as close as you can to your jewellery to achieve a sharp picture. Investing in a macro lens for jewellery photography is a good idea as they are specifically designed for shooting smaller objects. Combine it with a higher f number on your camera settings to get more of your product in focus.
To make your product look extremely sharp, we recommend taking multiple shots of the same angle, but using different focal points. You will find this especially useful when editing everything together during the post production process.
4. Product Prep – The Key To Success
Good photography requires preparation. Make sure you thoroughly clean your products with a jewellery cleaner before you shoot them. We recommend using gloves for handling your jewellery to avoid unwanted fingerprints. While cleaning, ensure the backdrop for your photo shoot is dust free and doesn’t have any marks.
When positioning your product, play around with different variations to find the best angles. Take a few test shots and when you’re ready, fire away.
5. Things To Avoid In Your Jewellery Photography
Make sure to look out for unwanted reflections in your images. They can have a bad effect on your product, making it visually unappealing.
Similarly, consider checking over your photos for accurate white balance settings, preventing undesired colours from ruining your photography.
6. The Final Touches
Make use of the photo editing software you have available. We prefer to use Adobe Photoshop, but there are many free options available too.
Beware of over editing your images and drastically changing the way they appear. This could compromise your customer’s trust and cause a lot of trouble for your business. Remember, the key is to ensure a spotless look while preserving the authenticity of the product.
Selling jewellery is all about presenting it in the most compelling way. No matter how beautiful or expensive your product is, your sales will suffer if the photography of it is bad. Similarly, investing in high quality jewellery photography will certainly help you convert.
Use this article to pick up the necessary tips and techniques to help you learn how to photograph jewellery to achieve desired results. If you need any help, please get in touch and we will be happy to assist.
We possess over 30 years of experience in professional studio photography. Our extensive experience has taught us the best photo techniques for spectacular results. Our photography studio is located in Leicester, but we offer remote services in the whole of the East Midlands area (Nottingham, Coventry, Derby & more), and most parts of the UK.
Take a look at our jewellery photography page to discover the work that we do.
Professional photography is cheaper than you think. Send us a message with your requirements and we will get back to you with the price offer.