The most important thing when you are selling jewelry online is How To Photograph Jewelry. The success or failure of your jewelry business depends on the quality of its product image.
How will you convince shoppers to buy if they can’t see the jewelry in detail on your website? Customers are attracted to sharp, beautiful images.
It isn’t easy to photograph jewelry. You can help yourself by having a variety of tools for supporting your photography. It can be frustrating and difficult. This guide will help you prepare, lighten, position, and retouch your photos. For more information, please refer to the article.
Prepare Your Props And Materials
1. Camera and tripod
When photographing jewelry, it’s not about the camera as such but the lens.
We recommend choosing a macro lens with a focal length of 60mm when purchasing your first macro lens.
This focal length allows for half-life magnification (0.5x), while more expensive macro lenses provide life-size magnification (described at 1:1).
A tripod is essential for capturing product images in focus.
Do you not have the dummy to use? Make a jewelry clipboard. Cover a piece with cardboard and tape, or pin the ends of your necklace to it. The length of your chain can be adjusted by adjusting the clip.
Although it might take some extra time to use cardboard, it will show the natural shape of your necklace. It will also look great when you take the picture from the front.
3. A window and natural light
It is a bad idea to take a photo with your flash of shiny jewelry. Your product will be reflected in bright light and covered with white light spots.
If you don’t have a professional studio or are a skilled photographer, it is best to take jewelry images under natural lighting. Natural lighting is indirect. Position your product close to a window in the day.
Bright sunlight can create harsh shadows and reflections. This can be done by covering the window with white paper or a sheet of paper. Any other color will affect the light’s color.
For earrings that hang from the wire, you can use fishing string or thread. Although this takes a little longer to set up, it will make a great photograph. You can use a piece of cardboard folded in half to stretch the string between the panels, as shown in the image below. Make sure that your dangling pieces are still in place when you take the picture.
5. Backdrop: White sheet or paper
Because jewelry has a reflective quality, it absorbs all colors. To avoid changing the jewelry’s color, you need to shoot with a white background. Also, white reflects light while dark colors absorb it, so your product will look better lit on a white background.
Although it is more difficult to take good jewelry product images than a product image of a plain blue chair or other similar items, jewelry has the advantage of being larger.
To create a white background, you don’t have to stretch a sheet of white paper from one wall to the next. You can use a piece of paper folded in half to make it stand up. It’s as easy as that!
6. A mannequin bust
Props are a great way to show your jewelry in the best possible light. Many craft shops will carry mannequin buses for necklaces. These are great ways to give your jewelry a realistic look.
Black busts are a great way to make the jewelry stand out. They also give the product an elegant feel. As I said, it will look better if you photograph your product in white. Jewelry is no exception. If you have only a black jewel bust, cover it with white cloth and take your picture. The background can be removed later.
7. Blu-Tack, glue dots, or double-sided tape
Blu-Tack and glue dots are great options for rings. The rings can be held horizontally to get a great angle, as shown in the photo.
8. Clean Your Jewelry
Beautiful jewelry photos require that you ensure your items are polished and clean. Your digital camera will take high-resolution images that show what may not be obvious.
You can remove dust from your jewelry without having to clean them thoroughly. Cotton gloves can be worn to protect your items from fingerprints.
What is the Best Lighting for Photographing Jewelry
Speedlights and strobes that are not on-camera will give you a bright, appealing light source that will allow you to shoot at a slower shutter speed. This will reduce your ISO. You can match the color temperature of your flashes with the white balance setting on the camera.
Strobe lighting is a newer type of lighting source that requires a lot more investment than traditional lighting.
Many product photographers make use of the ease and cost-effectiveness of LED lighting. There are many LED lighting kits available that come with a lightbox and constant lights. They are easy to set up.
Because you see what you get, LEDs are a great option. It is easy to predict the outcome and can make quick changes to get your desired look.
How to Photograph Jewelry
It can be difficult or frustrating to photograph small reflective subjects such as jewelry if you’re starting in photography. Although not all your photos will be able to display magazine quality, it is possible.
These steps will make your photos look great.
1. To take the right type of photo, use a macro lens
You would expect a kit lens to be included in a DSLR or Mirrorless camera purchase.
Kit lenses typically have a wide-angle element with a short zoom. The focal length is usually between 18 and 55mm numerically. These lenses are great for taking photos of life’s moments, but they are not suitable for small objects such as rings and earrings.
You can overcome your primary problem by purchasing a dedicated macro lens at an entry-level.
Look out for lenses that contain the word macro and have a focal length of approximately 60mm.
This fixed zoom allows you to set the camera at a very small distance from your subject, and the magnification will appear half-life size (or 0.5x), making it ideal for photographing jewelry.
If you have the funds, a macro lens can be a great option. It will give you a 1:1 (lifesize!) representation of your subject.
2. Use a sturdy tripod to avoid camera shake
Camera shake is the worst enemy of a photographer.
Any minor blurring caused by holding the camera in one’s hand, like photographing jewelry, will be apparent in the final image.
A tripod is a good choice to avoid this determining factor. A tripod should have a removable tripod head, an Arca Swiss compatible head, and a spirit level on either the tripod head or legs.
A tripod ball head has the advantage of fluid movement that allows you to achieve the desired angle. The head can be adjusted freely without locking it. Once you have chosen the angle, the locking mechanism will lock the head.
Arca Swiss tripod plate compatibility means that you can easily slide your camera onto the tripod ball head. The spirit level will also help you determine when the tripod has reached its level.
3. Light your jewelry evenly and thoroughly
A standard lighting system for macro photography should include at least two continuous or flashlights. One for the subject’s left and one for his right.
Online stores sell many flash lighting sets in kits. These include umbrellas, diffusers, stands, and a flash trigger that attaches to the camera.
Flash heads can be made to disappear by attaching reflective umbrellas with fabric diffusers.
4. Select the correct aperture and ensure everything is in focus
You can’t make jewelry photos brighter with a macro lens.
However, this is not the only disadvantage. This is due to the depth of field.
A large aperture, such as f2.8, allows more light to enter the lens but only a very small portion of the subject focuses. The rest of the focus is called bokeh, and it is what you call ‘falls off.
Although bokeh can be used for portrait photography, it’s not suitable for jewelry. Because you won’t see every detail, a large aperture like f2.8 or even f4 is not recommended.
Aperture Priority (Av) is the most effective mode for photographing. This produces less bokeh, which is more effective at capturing the fine details of a piece of jewelry.
You can read our blog post to learn more about aperture.
Once you’ve mastered aperture priority and you’ve purchased a tripod, professional lighting setup, and a macro lens for your jewelry photos, you can turn them into photographs that sell.
Jewelry photography tips
These jewelry photography tips will help you whether your business is new or established.
Take consistent photos
You should create a set of guidelines to guide your jewelry photography. In e-commerce photography, consistency is important. Variations from shot to shot or product to the product will distract customers.
It would help if you documented everything, including camera settings, lighting, background, and equipment positions. You should be able to resume shooting on another day with no noticeable changes.
Keep backgrounds simple
Inexperienced retailers may look at a plain background and think it’s boring or misses the opportunity to brand. They then try to stand out with vibrant backgrounds that are active and colorful. This is a mistake.
Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten all recommend white backgrounds. Plain white backgrounds or light gray backgrounds keep the attention on your product. Black is also a popular choice for jewelry photography. However, some marketplaces may not allow black background images.
White backgrounds are inexpensive and easy to make. You can also easily edit the background of your photographs. White backgrounds can be used to create lightboxes, seamless white paper, or even white products. You can use the free photo editing software to correct any imperfections or other issues in your stand-in background.
Use fewer props
This is the same mistake we made when trying to keep our eyes on the “keep it focused” principle. Props can distract you from the important things in your life. Perhaps you think that your jewelry looks best when it is staged in elaborate ways, or perhaps you want to display it in a more natural way using a dummy.
Props can distract from your product, which is the reality. In shots that feature your product, there are occasions when it is appropriate to use models and stylish props. These are editorial shoots and can be used for branding purposes.
These editorial shoots are appropriate for magazine covers, banners in emails, and hero images on website websites. They are not appropriate for product pages.
These kits can be used to create jewelry photography. Your jewelry photography should be consistent and focused on the product. Many props can cause inconsistency or distraction.
Customers should be able to look at your jewelry without having to try to figure out if it’s a reflection of the photographer or a flaw within the stone.
Jewelry product photography is difficult because of the presence of metal and gemstones. High-reflective objects can be difficult to photograph without creating distracting reflections. This guide will help you photograph reflective objects. You can also use a double overhead lamp to shoot metallic jewelry.
Take photos from different angles
It can be disappointing to click on a product on a category page only to find no images. Perhaps the customer preferred an overhead shot of the necklace but desired a closer-up shot to see the engraving. It’s up to you.
You have gone to great lengths to prepare your product, lighting, camera, and equipment. Do not limit yourself to just a few images. Showcase every part of your jewelry to build trust. Images are more effective at selling your product.
Retouch your photos
A bad Photoshop job is the fastest way to kill a sale. Badly retouched photos can make a product look fake and ruin a customer’s confidence in it. You can either invest your time learning Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom or hire a professional.
You should also retouch your images using templates. These templates should be consistent in cropping, setting margins, and aligning product images. Consistency is the key.
Consider hiring a company that does post-production processing if you don’t have time or the skillset to improve your images.
How to retouch jewelry photographs
Because of the focus stack, the image of the rings required the most work in Photoshop. It is easy to focus stack multiple images in Photoshop. The software does the majority of the work. Open the files in Photoshop to begin.
Select Scripts and Load Files to Stack from the ‘File” tab. You will be prompted to choose ‘Add Open Files and ‘Attempt To Automatically Align Source Images. This doesn’t create a focus stack. It only aligns the images and ensures they are at the same magnification.
After that is done, select all layers. Next, click the Edit> tab and select Auto-Blend Layers. This will create masks on each layer. It will detect which part of each image has been focused and ensure that your entire image is sharp.
After this step is completed, you can continue any post-production work that you have planned.
Each shot required some level of post-production cleaning. The only Photoshop work required for the gemstone necklace was to clean it, remove scratches and add color.
The composite work required for the diamond necklace (in the video, you’ll see that I took another shot to add some sparkle to the diamonds), while the rings needed the focus stack and other finishing touches.
I minimized the amount of post-production work required for each image by making sure my lighting and composition were as perfect as possible.
What is the best way to photograph jewelry?
What is the best way to photograph jewelry? The best way to photograph jewelry is with a mirrorless, DSLR camera. You’ll need a tripod to avoid camera shake, and to make sure your jewelry is lit evenly and consistently. Set your camera to the correct aperture and make sure your product is in focus.
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How do you photograph jewelry without reflection?
Eliminating reflections is a trial-and-error process when it comes to jewelry. As previously mentioned, placing paper around and at the bottom of your camera lens will help block off reflections and bounce more light back towards your subject.
How do you take jewelry pictures with an iPhone?
Hold the camera at the sweet spot —probably 4” or so from the jewelry with an iPhone, too close, and the camera can’t focus. Don’t zoom in by enlarging the view on your screen, it degrades the picture. Instead, move the camera in closer or crop the photo when editing.
What is the best color to display jewelry?
Black is a good choice for most primary colors, but some grey metal tones such as gunmetal can start to disappear. There’s a reason most published material is done on a white background. White is often considered a non-color and provides negative space.
Online jewelry shops share a common trait: Beautiful product photos. The most important thing when selling is the way the product looks in the customers’ eyes. Customers will be captivated by photos of the jewelry’s beauty and sparkle.
You’ll see the results in higher sales and more revenue by investing in high-quality photographs and properly displaying your jewelry.