Before using images of your jewelry on your website, ads, social media posts, or any other promotional materials, it’s important to have jewelry retouching done to all your images. A skilled photographer may be able to take good photos of a brand’s jewelry pieces, but this isn’t enough. And while there is no one right way to do jewellery retouch services, there are common mistakes in jewelry retouching that can negatively affect the end result of your editing process.
At Jewelry Retouchers, we know how to edit jewelry photos down to the smallest detail to produce flawless images ready for your brand or client’s use. Here are some of the most common jewelry retouching mistakes some beginner editors tend to make, why you should avoid them, and what you should be doing for best practices and good jewelry retouching techniques instead.
Not Retouching the Smallest Details
Product photographers understand that there are some steps they can take to minimize the blemishes that appear on jewelry before post-production retouching. These precautions are important because minimizing these flaws can reduce the risk of having them overlooked in post-production and affecting the overall image that the client uses. However, some blemishes like fingerprints, scratches, dust particles, glue stains, and other debris may be unavoidable in the process, so these need to be retouched out of the image.
When going over an image, you might think that you don’t have to retouch some flaws since they’re extremely small, and a customer wouldn’t likely zoom in enough to notice the flaw. However, the fact that you noticed this flaw in post-production means that it has an effect on the overall image. One mistake to avoid in jewelry photo retouching is to leave even the smallest blemish in the image. No matter how small the issue is, it needs to go.
While there’s a chance that many customers might not see the flaw, it can have an effect on the pixels and how your image renders. For example, if there’s a faint fingerprint on a smooth metal surface on your jewelry, it can affect the overall texture of your jewelry. And don’t limit your search for these unwanted details on the jewelry itself: make sure the surrounding props and background are also flawless, as these can lower the overall quality of your image.
Inconsistent Aesthetic for E-Commerce Pages
When it comes to images for ads and social media copies, your photos don’t have to be the exact same. For instance, if you look at Pandora’s social media posts, there are a lot of images that feature a close-up of their jewelry against a white background, while other photos feature models or a themed image depending on the jewelry they’re displaying. But when it comes to images for your catalog or e-commerce page, it’s a common mistake in jewelry retouching to be inconsistent with the style and aesthetic of all your images.
Even if your brand sells different types of jewelry, there should be an established aesthetic for all the images. Features like the image size, composition, highlights, and shadows should all be similar. Having similar features can make it easier for customers to compare products and see the differences in the details.
The typical jewelry image for e-commerce pages are those with a white background, minimal shadow, and retouched lighting to show all the important details on your jewelry. You can maintain consistency with the lighting by using custom preset filters on editing software like Lightroom. For Photoshop, it’s best to have a list of settings and aesthetic guidelines to help you maintain uniformity.
Excessive Cropping and Wrong Aspect Ratio
Speaking of inconsistency, this also applies to following an image aspect ratio. Many software programs and apps have automatic aspect ratios designed for ads and social media content, so it can be easier to set a uniform image size. Another common mistake in jewelry retouching is when you use the wrong aspect ratio or non-uniform ratio. This can result in uneven and inconsistent sizes once you use these images.
A similar issue happens when you don’t know how to crop your images. White spaces aren’t necessarily a bad thing, so it’s important to know when to stop. You might be cropping too much that the image ends up looking overcrowded. You could also be cropping the shadows that are giving your image more depth, which can translate to an awkwardly cropped shadow on your images. If the photography was done right, each piece has similar proportions to each image. Just like the aspect ratio, make your cropping consistent.
Forgetting the Unwanted Reflections
During photography, certain gemstones and metals may capture the reflection of something around them or a lighting issue that creates an unsightly distraction or affects the quality of the image. This is an unavoidable issue that can happen during photography, and it’s easy to overlook this detail if you aren’t paying attention.
The best way to avoid this is to take precautions during the photography shoot. This means turning off or blocking any other light source than your own lighting setup in the room. Doing this can prevent an unwanted light reflection or additional shadows that darken certain areas of your jewelry. Be aware of anything in your studio that can be reflected onto the jewelry. During retouching, be sure to look at each element closely and then use the appropriate tool to remove the reflection.
Too Much HDR
High dynamic range is a feature found in many cameras or can be added in post-production. This feature allows you to boost the highlights and shadows, improving the sharpness and vibrancy of an image. When used correctly, it can emphasize the smaller details of your image and give your customers a clear image of your jewelry. However, a mistake to avoid in jewelry photo retouching is when you use this too much that it starts to affect the highlights and shadows of an image.
Too much HDR, and you’re looking at highlights that are too faded and shadows that are too dark. This means that some areas are too discolored that your customers can’t see the actual details of your jewelry. It’s important to know how much HDR to use and to avoid going up to the extremes with this feature.
Not Double-Checking Your Color
Color correction and fixing the color tones in your image are typical parts of jewelry retouching. However, a common mistake in jewelry retouching is not taking additional steps to double-check if your color correction is correct. For instance, it can be difficult to identify the right color tone for jewelry pieces with several elements, so editing a lot of shadows and highlights may lead you to be inconsistent with your editing.
Aside from creating and labeling specific layers per element, a good practice is to look at the final image on different screens to check for irregularities. Ideally, your monitor or screen should be optimized to see what your image really looks like, but it won’t hurt to double-check on a second monitor or on your mobile device.
Avoid Jewelry Retouching Mistakes By Working with the Professionals at Jewelry Retouchers
There are just some of the common mistakes in jewelry retouching and how to correct your photos. For beginners, it can take a lot of time and practice before you can catch these errors and create flawless images that bring out the best in your jewelry.
But to avoid letting these mistakes happen to your images, it’s best to leave it to professional jewelry retouchers to handle your post-production editing and retouching. Get in touch with Jewelry Retouchers today to learn more about our services.