There is no doubt that jewelry is one of the most stunning and luxurious pieces to do business in. However, it is also one of the hardest markets to conquer the competition and stand out due to the sheer number of competing businesses. Because of this, investing in jewelry retouching has risen in popularity and necessity among independent jewelers and merchants in an effort to distinguish themselves from their competitors. If you are an independent jeweler or trader that shoots their own jewelry photos but have no experience in jewelry photo retouching, then this is the perfect guide for you to get your feet wet. Read on and find out how to retouch jewelry photos like a pro!
Hang On, My Pieces Are Stunning. Why Should I Have to Learn Jewelry Image Retouching?
Anyone who deals in jewelry is bound to have an eye for style and fashion, so we understand your sentiments. As a team of fellow creatives, we at Jewelry Retouchers love the idea of letting our work speak for itself. However, there is no harm in giving your thoughtfully designed pieces a little push in terms of how they register on the screens of potential customers. Think of jewelry image retouching less as a necessary adjustment that your piece needs to look beautiful, and more of a vehicle to enhance what is already there. Not all customers will see a gem for what it is truly worth at first glance, and no one knows that better than long-time players in the jewelry industry. Just as you polish every piece before a photograph so it looks its best for the camera, jewelry photo retouching is a way of polishing your photo before it hits your customers’ screens.
What is Jewelry Retouching?
To the uninitiated, jewelry photo retouching may seem like an intimidating task. However, don’t let this idea keep you from trying to learn your fair share of jewelry retouching techniques. The entire process of jewelry image retouching is to take the existing charm and beauty of your piece and to elevate it with some simple tweaks in post-processing. To give you a baseline idea of what jewelry retouching is all about, the Jewelry Retouchers team can best sum it up in four simple steps: the 3CR. Clip, Clean, Retouch, and Crop. Read on as we discuss each step in greater detail and why we do it below.
1. Clip the Image
When taking photos of jewelry, it is easy to forget that we should not overwhelm the photo with props and elaborate backgrounds. Adding too many additional details can distract the eye from the true star of the show. Let your jewelry pieces shine on their own merits by clipping the image from the photo and utilizing clipping paths so you can transfer it over to a blank canvas. This short and simple jewelry photo retouching process allows you to create perfect catalogue or showpiece photos of your jewelry pieces with a plain white background that allows your pieces to look crisp and elegant as they take center stage.
Jewelry Image Retouching Tip: Do it like the pros do and create separate clipping paths for different sections of the jewelry piece. From the gems used and their different ‘faces’, to the metals used to create the band and crown where the jewel has been set. This is because the adjustments you may be making later into the process of jewelry photo retouching can differ per section. You can make this process even easier if you have a tablet that allows you to trace angles and crannies that a mouse simply can’t maneuver as efficiently.
2. Clean Up Your Image
Have you ever experienced looking at a fancy new screen and seeing smudges all over it? Or perhaps you have felt the heartbreak of seeing scratches mar the perfect piece of jewelry? Nobody likes the look of tarnished or smudged pieces—especially not your customers. Seeing these little imperfections can give off an unwelcome vibe of carelessness and turn them off from browsing the rest of your wares. Cleaning up your jewelry should not stop during the shoot proper. Aside from handling them carefully with gloves and polishing with a microfiber cloth, you should also keep an eye out for any missed blemishes like smudges and scratches during the post-processing phase of your jewelry image retouching. Carefully apply different jewelry retouching techniques such as the Clone Stamp tool and the Spot Healing Brush tool to remove even the most minute imperfections from the piece.
3. Retouch Its Beauty
From unwanted glare and reflection to inadequate color and brightness—sometimes photos just can’t sufficiently capture the amount of detail in each piece of jewelry. Apply jewelry image retouching that does the real deal justice by playing around with how light affects the piece through the Brightness and Contrast menus. Is the photo looking too warm to let the purity of your pearl and diamond pieces shine? Adjust the White Balance for a more accurate depiction of its actual beauty. By far though, one of the best jewelry retouching techniques you can apply to pieces featuring gemstones is to sharpen the image. Sharpening or using the Smart Sharpen tool can highlight the natural prisms and planes of your jewelry pieces. This will allow potential customers to fully admire the exquisite craftsmanship of the piece– from the intricate cut of the stones to the delicate forming of the band.
4. Crop for Perfection
More often than not, your clipped jewelry is not the center of the photo you have taken it from. This can make its placement on your website awkward if you upload it as is. As a finishing touch to your jewelry photo retouching process, you must center the adjusted image on the canvas and crop it to an appropriate size for featuring it on your website’s pages or your social media platforms. This is the last step to any jewelry image retouching, and the final touch before you can use it across your channels for touching base with customers!
We hope that you learned something from this crash course on jewelry retouching techniques and applications. These four steps are a great foundation for picking up the necessary jewelry image retouching skills that can make your pieces shine. If you are still intimidated by the prospect of applying these edits yourself for your online use, then feel free to get in touch with us for professional jewelry e-commerce photo retouching that you can trust!