First impressions are invaluable when it comes to retail. You have to entice your customers from the get-go, so your promotional materials should showcase the splendor and sparkle of your jewelry.
Jewelry, however, is notorious for being difficult to photograph. This is because taking jewelry pictures is not straightforward as there are many factors to consider. That being said, there are tricks on how to photograph jewelry that’ll surely make each piece shine.
In this article, we will provide you some tips for taking pictures of jewelry to elevate your photos:
- Prepare All the Necessary Equipment, Props, and Materials
- Take Lighting into Account
- Try Out Different Techniques
- Complete Your Picture with Post-processing
Prepare All the Necessary Equipment, Props, and Materials
Different jewelry presents different challenges. Using the right equipment, props, and materials will help you get the best quality photo for every piece of jewelry in your collection.
Here are some equipment, props, and materials you should consider investing in:
- Gray Card
A special camera is not required to photograph jewelry. Any camera will suffice, as long as you can use its manual mode. What’s important is that you know how to maximize your camera.
Familiarize yourself with your camera. Make sure you know how to manually adjust its settings, especially its shutter speed, ISO, and aperture.
Here are some pointers for the camera:
Aperture – It is the opening of the lens that controls the amount of light that enters the camera; the aperture adds depth to pictures.
The right lens will help you utilize the aperture better. It’s best to use lenses with a wide aperture for photographing jewelry. Macro lenses within the range of F/1.4-F/4 give the best results.
Extension tubes and close-up lenses are great alternatives to macro lenses. You can insert an extension tube between the camera and its lens to elongate the distance to the sensor. This allows you to get closer to your subject due to the shortened focusing distance.
Meanwhile, a portable close-up lens is screwed onto the lens, able to keep the autofocus function of your lens and let you choose the magnification. However, to do so, it sacrifices image quality.
ISO – Simply put, ISO is how sensitive your camera is to light. It affects the brightness of your photos. The higher the ISO, the brighter your picture is. In comparison, the lower the ISO, the sharper the image becomes. For taking pictures of jewelry, setting your ISO to 100 or 200 would give it clarity.
Shutter Speed – It is how long the camera lens stays open to let light through to capture images. The longer the shutter speed, the brighter the image becomes. Adjusting the shutter speed is a great way to brighten your pictures without having to set up more light sources.
A reliable tripod is vital in taking photos of jewelry. It helps keep the angle and perspective consistent for your pictures by keeping the camera stable. It also enhances the sharpness and focus of the photos, improving the image quality.
A portable gray card, typically 18% gray or middle gray, is used as a standard to balance exposure as well as provide reference to white and color balance.
Utilizing backgrounds can change the look and feel of your photoshoot. It gives you room to be creative and experiment. However, you should make sure that the backdrop you use enhances the product and does not overpower it.
A basic background is white. As white reflects light, it avoids altering the color of the pieces you want to feature.
Once you’ve decided on all the props, materials, and equipment, what follows is to check on the light.
Take Lighting into Account
One of the most crucial jewelry photography tips is to be mindful of the lighting. It’s important to minimize shadows as well as glares and bright reflections to better showcase the contours of the featured piece.
These are some tips to keep in mind:
- Natural Light
When taking photos of jewelry, avoid using built-in or pop-up flashes as much as possible. If it’s necessary, you can soften the light from the flash and cut down reflections by diffusing or reflecting it with a white reflector, scrim, or diffuser cap.
Natural light from the sun is the ideal light source when having a jewelry photoshoot as it produces a flattering atmosphere that highlights the piece further but it’s still best to use natural light indirectly so shoot on cloudy days or near entrances.
Since metals and gemstones are exceptionally reflective, you have to account for reflections whenever you have a jewelry photoshoot especially in surfaces where it will be too distracting. Strike a balance between avoiding reflections while minimizing shadows.
Experiment with light sources; try using large lights along with sunlight or position your light directly overhead. Explore different settings to see what suits each piece.
Apply Different Techniques
Once you’ve determined which lighting to use, the next tip on how to photoshoot jewelry is to explore different techniques to further enhance your photos.
Some techniques you can try are:
- Look into the Composition
- Decide Where to Focus
- Explore Angles
Look into the Composition
Present each piece in a flattering way and compose the shots in a way that showcases its beauty when worn. Use props and mannequins or hire models that can help your customers gauge the size and wearability of your jewelry. Make sure all the details in the photo compliment the jewelry without taking the focus off the piece featured.
Decide Where to Focus
Depending on the piece you want to showcase, you should decide where the focal point of the photo is. In jewelry with gemstones, it’s usually best to feature the largest one. Meanwhile, inscriptions can be the focus of rings. Make sure that contrasts and colors are still prevalent while highlighting a characteristic of the jewelry.
Become as descriptive as possible in your photos. Capture angles that will give the customer an idea of how the piece appears in person and what it feels to have it.
Complete Your Picture with Post-processing
The last jewelry photo tip is to retouch your images. The most basic edits you can do are:
- Adjust lighting and color
- Remove unwanted shadows and imperfections
- Align photos
Jewelry retouching helps your jewelry shine from within the photos you take. It also improves the photos by cleaning up the background, balancing the colors, and removing misleading imperfections.
You can do it yourself using photo editors and learning from photoshop guides. However, this will take time and effort given that you will need to start from scratch. The other option is to avail of jewellery editing which will save you time and energy but it can take more time and resources.
Make All Your Jewelry Sparkle
Taking photos of jewelry is tricky. Getting the perfect photo takes time, effort, and practice. The best way to achieve flawless photos is to follow our photography tips for jewelry. They’re sure to make all your jewelry sparkle and stand out.
That said if you want to be certain of the quality of all your photos without having to learn Photoshop, you can work with high-end jewelry retouching companies such as Jewelry Retouchers.
Jewelry Retouchers offer high-quality services that will make each piece of your collection shine. Contact us to learn more about our services.