Performing jewelry retouching isn’t just limited to the jewelry piece itself. When clients expect the best results from their images, they’ll want flawless photos that are overall eye-catching while still highlighting the best features of their jewelry. Providing the highest level of service means taking care of every detail of an image, including the background. This means taking care of the jewelry background cleaning and retouching in every final output.
It can be easy to overlook jewelry background retouching, which is why it’s important to know what to spot and how to fix even the smallest flaws in your image’s background. Here are some jewelry background retouching tips to help you deliver the flawless results necessary in jewelry photography.
Even Your White Background Needs Retouching
Images of your jewelry pieces in a crisp white background is a must-have photoset for any jeweler brand or retailer. This white background can be done in post-production or in a photo shoot. If the images are already provided and they have a background that isn’t plain white, it’s possible to perform jewelry photo background removal to remove the background and then polish the lighting and other settings to enhance the jewelry.
But for shoots that use a lightbox or a white background in the studio, beginners and those with little experience may try to skip retouching altogether. However, this is a common mistake to make, as your image will still need some jewelry photo background cleaning. On top of the usual jewellery retouch steps of adjusting the lighting of each element of a jewelry piece, there’s also erasing shadows, minimizing the tiniest blemishes like dust particles and scratches, and adjusting the light that affects the entire photo.
Even if you have a background in your studio, your image still needs some amount of retouching. This is to get the background, props, and overall composition of your image in its best possible quality.
Check Closely for Blemishes and Reflections
This is usually a step that’s said for jewelry to minimize any flaws that need retouching, but the same can be said for all types of backgrounds. A regular backdrop can be prone to scratches and dust particles, while a flat lay can have wrinkles, smudges, scratches, and other blemishes. In some cases, these blemishes can be distracting that it takes away the focus from your jewelry. In other cases, it may not be as evident in the image, but you’ll find that it can affect the quality of an image down to the smallest pixel.
To address these blemishes and get the best jewelry photo background retouching results, it’s important to know which editing tools in Photoshop are best. The Spot Healing Brush Tool is best for dust on broad surface areas like a backdrop or flat lay, while the Healing Brush Tool is best for the edges of props or the backdrop. The Patch Tool is best for blemishes in solid colors or symmetrical patterns that you can copy and paste over the flaw. As for reflections from mirrors or glass backgrounds, you can use a combination of these tools and additional color correction to minimize the lighting and discoloration effect from your background.
Pick Colors That Don’t Clash
While you might be enhancing the colors of your jewelry through color correction, hue/saturation changes, and changes in your brightness, contrast, sharpness, and other settings, your background might be undoing all of your work. If you’re picking a background color or pattern that clashes with your jewelry, your jewelry background retouching may be doing more harm than good, and you’re better off with a plain white background. For instance, some gemstones could lose their vibrancy when the background is a similar color that ends up clashing. Also keep in mind your brand’s colors to avoid having a background that clashes with the brand’s colors.
In this case, it might be hard to tell what works and what doesn’t work with the jewelry and the rest of the brand’s online aesthetic. A good rule of thumb is to retouch your image so that it has a white or transparent background. From there, you can make copies of the image and then change the background color as needed. Depending on the color, you may also need to make some lighting adjustments.
Erase Shadows, But Only As Needed
One of the common mistakes in how to edit jewelry photos that beginners tend to make is erasing all the shadows in an image. Because of the good lighting that’s emphasized in an image, it looks and feels unnatural to not see even the slightest drop shadow or natural shadow in an image. That’s why, unless the lighting settings are adjusted, having no shadow in an image can make your jewelry look flat and easily blend in with the background.
Because it’s much easier to erase existing shadows than to draw in a realistic-looking shadow, a good rule of thumb is to only erase shadows as needed. Find where the light hits your jewelry, erase any excess undesirable and distracting shadows in the image, and enhance the natural shadow to get a shot that adds more depth to your jewelry. If you have to add a shadow to a photo given by a jeweler, this can take some skill and experience from Photoshop to create a realistic and natural-looking effect.
Don’t Overdo Cropping Your Image’s Plain Background
If your jewelry photo has a plain background with no color or props, you might be tempted to over-crop your image to minimize the amount of white space the image has. However, this can lead to two issues in terms of your image quality and the consistency your image has relative to your other jewelry images.
First, over-cropping can have an issue with image quality. White space isn’t necessarily a bad thing to have as long as it isn’t too excessive. In fact, it can be used to put focus on your jewelry. If you try cropping to the point that the edges of the photo are a few pixels away from touching the jewelry, this can give an overcrowded and claustrophobic feeling to your image since every element of it is crammed with your jewelry piece. This also poses a problem with the shadows, as you could end up awkwardly cropping out the shadow, which cuts an important part of the overall composition of your image.
Second, over-cropping one image can lead to an inconsistent image set with all your products. A good practice for jewelry photo retouching is to be consistent with the size and aspect ratio of your images. By doing this, it’s much easier to display consistent images in online catalogs, carousels, and online stores. This can make it easier for customers to browse and compare your products, compared to the difficulty of having to compare different image sizes.
Get Flawless Backgrounds for Your Jewelry with Jewelry Retouchers
These are just some of the jewelry background retouching tips and best practices to follow. By using these, you can minimize the flaws and blemishes that distract your target customers from the beauty and aesthetic of your jewelry. Whether you’ve made your background during your photoshoot or in post-production, these are some of the ways to make sure your background complements or enhances the main product of your image.
At Jewelry Retouchers, we provide high-end retouching services for jewelers, independent sellers, manufacturers, and others in the industry. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our exceptional services that bring out the best in your jewelry to help them shine.