Jewelry photography can be a fun activity for you to engage in to capture the essence of your pieces. And if you’re new to shooting inanimate subjects, this article provides proven tips for taking pictures of jewelry.
A lot of times, it can be intimidating to take high-quality photographs of jewelry because of how intricate the details are in these shiny, precious gemstones. That being said, if you’re too busy to try it out yourself, you can always invest in professional product photography to do all the work for you.
But if you do want to practice jewelry photography, worry not! With the right tools and equipment, you can take on jewelry photoshoot projects on your own—maybe even in the comforts of your own home.
So, how do you photograph jewelry? Let’s dive in.
Jewelry Photography Tip #1 is to Prep Your Station
Learning how to photograph jewelry begins with the materials and equipment you will need for the project. As a beginner, you don’t have to invest too much in high-quality, professional-grade equipment to get stunning photos. Investing in basic equipment can greatly help in taking next-level images.
Choosing the Right Camera
In any photography project, the most essential equipment you will need is a camera—more specifically, the lenses. You can either use a DSLR or a mirrorless camera but what will really set the difference between your photographs is the lens that you will use.
Buying a camera usually comes with kit lenses that have 18mm to 55mm focal lengths, and these are usually better used to capture moments and portraits. With small and intricate items like jewelry, you will need macro lenses that have around 60mm focal length. This will give you a half life-sized (0.5x) magnification—ideal for tiny subjects.
In professional jewelry photography, lenses with life-sized (1:1x) magnification is the preferred setup. So, if you could loosen up the purse strings a bit more, try investing in this type of macro lens.
Get a Tripod
Taking photos by hand can lead to inconsistent and blurry photos. This is why getting a tripod is necessary when taking still product shots.
A few things to consider when buying a tripod for your photoshoot are to get one with the following:
- A removable ball head,
- An Arca Swiss-compatible plate,
- And a spirit level.
The ball head will help with smoother movements with every angle, the Arca Swiss plate will let your camera easily attach and detach from the tripod, and the spirit level will let you know if the tripod is aligned.
All these features will help stabilize your photos and get consistent angles every time.
Take Advantage of Natural Light
With jewelry, it’s difficult to take photos with the flash on, since the gems and other materials will reflect the light. If you do decide to use lights for your photoshoot, you will have to use diffusers to absorb the light reflections and make a lot of adjustments.
The advantage of using natural sunlight is that you can light up the jewelry without having unnecessary reflections. It’s advisable to set up your photoshoot station by the window during the day to maximize the sunlight.
Use a White Backdrop
The thing about jewelry is that it can absorb other colors because of its properties. The ideal backdrop for this type of subject is to use plain white backgrounds—even just plain paper or a white sheet would do. You can hold up and mount the sheets from end to end and just edit the background of your raw photos after.
Support Sheets with Cardboard or Foamboard
When you’re using a fabric sheet or paper, it might be flimsy if you don’t support it. To avoid this, you can put a cardboard or foamboard to support the back of the sheets and keep the items stable as you take your photos.
The cardboard backing can also help you while taking photos of necklaces since you can make cuts from its ends to hold them up.
Use Clamps, Tapes, or Glue Dots
Mounting sheets on cardboard means that you need to use clamps or tape to hold them together. This will make sure that the backdrop doesn’t move as you take your photos. As for the glue dots, you can use this to keep your jewelry—like rings and bracelets—upright.
Prepping Your Station is an Essential Step
Like with any project you do, prepping your materials and equipment is a key step that can make your job easier as you move on to the next task of your project. The beauty of photographing small items like jewelry is that you don’t need a big production to take captivating photos.
All you need is a few pieces of materials mounted on a table, your camera, a well-lit window to shoot beside your subject, and you’re good to go!
Jewelry Photo Tip #2 is to Style Your Shots
Now that you know the pieces of equipment that you’re going to be needing for your photography project, we can start setting up the whole production.
Given that your photoshoot station is set up with a white background, your tripods are already upright, and your station is strategically placed with good lighting, you can start setting up your camera and jewelry and start taking photos.
Position and Set Your Camera
Once your table is set up, you can position your tripod and camera in front of your station. Make sure that the camera is placed at the right height and angle. Don’t be afraid to use makeshift props to test if your product shots are at the right-angle placement.
Of course, the “right” angle depends on how you want to take photos of your jewelry. You have to decide beforehand whether you want a shot from the top, from the front, or a little bit underneath for more of a “hero shot.”
Don’t forget to set your camera’s ideal settings too—with respect to the lighting and the vision you’re going for. Try adjusting your white balance settings to see if the colors in your images are popping out.
Prep and Style Your Jewelry
Once you’ve got your station ready and your camera all set, you can start prepping your jewelry for the photoshoot!
It may sound obvious but a good reminder to do before the actual photoshoot is to clean and polish your jewelry. The thing with photographs is that it captures even the smallest of details, so it’s best to keep your pieces clean. You can wear cotton gloves while handling your jewelry so that you won’t have to keep cleaning it as you move it around.
When styling your jewelry, you can mix and match some props to put together your photos. You can use ring holders, stands, velvet boxes, wooden platforms, marbled surfaces, and other accents that can accentuate the beauty of your pieces. Don’t be afraid to test out different props. You never know what’ll work unless you try it.
Jewelry Photography Tip #3 is Attention to Detail
Learning how to photoshoot jewelry is fun and exciting. It may seem like an intimidating project, but the fulfillment you get once you see the finished product is worth it.
Edit and Finalize Your Photos
Once you’re done with the photoshoot, the last step is retouching the raw photos. This step ensures that you can see and take out unnecessary details in the photo, while also allowing you to fix the colors, shadows, and all the other image factors so that they complement each other.
Enhancing the details in your photos can help your jewelry be more alluring to the eyes of your consumers or viewers.
Just remember that with jewelry photography, you have to be mindful of reflections, lighting, and smudges. Again, you don’t really need to spend too much on materials to get next-level images. All you need is a vision and the basic tools to complete your photoshoot.
Partnering with Stellar Studios
Jewelry Photography captures the intricacy of each piece and translates them into stunning images.
With Stellar Studios, you can showcase and highlight the beauty of your jewelry through our years of industry experience, photography expertise, and boundless creativity.
Our services ensure that we capture the details of your jewelry and highlight them in an extraordinary way.
Check out our product portfolio on our website and get in touch with us!