The Dos and Don’ts of How to Photograph Jewelry
As a professional photographer, I know how important it is to get the details right when photographing jewelry. It can be easy to overlook the small things, but they can make all the difference in getting a great shot. In this guide, I’ll share my top tips on how to photograph jewelry, from choosing the right aperture to ensuring everything is in focus. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to take stunning photos of your jewelry that will wow your clients and customers.
How to Photograph Jewelry
Before you learn how to photograph jewelry, you will need a few things: a digital camera, a tripod, a light source, and a white background.
First, set up your tripod and attach your camera.
Then, set up your light source so that it is shining on the jewelry.
Next, set up your white background behind the jewelry.
Finally, take your photo!
The Basics of Jewelry Photography
The smooth surfaces of watches, bracelets, and necklaces are a nightmare for a photographer. Not only do they reflect light, but they also create glare.
The small size of the lens and the high magnification it offers makes it difficult to achieve a sufficient depth of field.
Now, here’s my top 10 list of the most important tips to remember for photographing your jewelry.
10 Tips on How to Photograph Jewelry
Photographing things can be a challenging task if you are a beginner.
Don’t expect all of your pictures to be perfect right out of the gate. They’ll get better with practice and experience.
Follow these simple steps and your photography will improve.
1. Macro Lenses Are Great for Small Objects
If you have purchased a new DSLR camera or mirrorless, chances are you have a kit lens included in the box.
A kit lens generally has a wide-angle and short zoom. The focal length will typically read from 18 to 55mm.
While these lenses are great for people and animals, they are not suitable for smaller objects like rings or earrings.
If you are having difficulty taking close-up shots, then investing in a dedicated, entry-level, macro camera lens will almost certainly solve this issue.
Find a camera lens that is labeled ‘Macro’ with a 60mm focal length.
At this focal length, you can position the camera at a short distance from the subject, and the magnified image will be 0.5 times life-size, which is perfect for taking pictures of small objects like rings.
Even better, if you have the money, consider a 1:1 macro lens that will provide you with a life-sized representation of your subject.
2. Avoid Camera Shake With a Sturdy Tripod
A camera’s vibration is the bane of a photographer.
When photographing smaller objects, such as pieces of jewelry, any slight movement from your hand holding your camera will be noticeable in the finished photo.
To eliminate blurriness, be sure to mount your camera on a tripod. A sturdy, stable, and adjustable one will help prevent any shaking.
The adjustable legs of the tripod allow you to position the camera at different angles. Once you’ve locked the adjustment, you can shoot at that exact point.
The compatibility with the Arca Swiss system allows you to quickly attach your DSLR camera to the top of the camera. The built-in bubble levels help ensure that your photos are perfectly straight.
3. Apply Even and Thorough Lighting
Macro photographers typically use at least two lights, with one on each side of their subjects.
When purchasing a photography light set, look for one that comes with all the components you need, like an umbrella, a diffuser, and a tripod.
When using an umbrella with a cloth diffuser attached, any reflections on your camera will be eliminated. This is an easy way to avoid having distracting glares in your images.
4. Set The Correct Aperture And Focus
Don’t be fooled into thinking that a wide-aperture (like 2.8 or 4) is going to make your photos of shiny objects like diamonds and gems any brighter than they already are.
When shooting with a large aperture of 2.8, only a small portion of your subject will be in sharp focus and the rest of it will appear blurry. This is commonly referred to as ‘bokeh’.
Bokeh might be desirable for portrait photography, but it certainly doesn’t work well for jewelry. A large aperture, such as f2.8 or f4, will result in less detail being visible in the jewelry piece.
When shooting in Aperture priority, use apertures of 11 or 16. This will keep your entire image in sharp, clear detail.
If you want to show off the intricate details of your jewelry, it’s best to use a smaller aperture. This will produce less bokeh and ensure that everything is in focus.
Once you have learned how to use Aperture Priority mode and obtained a professional camera, a tripod, and a macro lens, you will be on your way to taking stunning photos of your jewelry.
5. Keep It Consistent
Having a consistent style for your photographs makes it easier for shoppers to browse through your product pages. By implementing guidelines for how your photos are taken, you can ensure consistency.
Imagine if every website you visited had a completely different style of photography. It would make finding and trusting a brand very difficult.
6. Keep It Simple
If you’re unsure about how to style your product, keep it simple. A clean and straightforward presentation will let the product shine through.
Make sure your backgrounds are clean and not too busy on your product pages.
Detailed photos can be great for campaigns, but when customers are trying to make a purchase, you want to give them all the information they need at a glance.
7. Use a Reflector
By placing a reflective surface opposite your light source, you can balance out shadows and create a more evenly lit scene.
8. Capture Details and Enable Zoom
Taking high-quality photos of your items will allow customers to see every detail of your product. By showing the product’s sides, back, and type of closure, you can help your buyer pick the right item for him or her.
Enable zooming on images so your customers can get a closer look at the product. No details will be left out!
Including high-quality photos in your eBay listing will help your buyers understand exactly what they’re getting.
9. Work with Models
Having a few models that are a good fit for your company’s image can be great. It can help show your customers what your product looks like in a real person, and it can help build brand awareness.
Australian jeweler, Bowers House, chooses models that best represent the style and look of their products. This helps ensure a strong visual representation of the products, which appeals to their target audience.
10. Try Moving GIFs
One way to add some movement to your eCommerce store is by using GIFs. They don’t take up as much loading time as videos, but can still add a fun effect. You could use them for products that move or show how the product works.
One or two moving images on a product page can help capture shoppers’ attention and show how a product moves. This can be an effective way to add some excitement without sacrificing load time the way video would.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Photographing Jewelry
When you take pictures of your handmade earrings, it’s easy to miss some of the details. Things can go wrong quickly.
Here are the common mistakes you want to avoid:
Not Preparing Enough
Before you shoot, take time to clean, shine, and buff your pieces. It may seem like it takes longer than just snapping a photo, but it’ll save you a lot of time later.
If your lighting and camera setup aren’t uniform, the different colors of your products will look different. To keep your colors the same, use a consistent light or set.
Bad reflections can make it difficult for customers to see the details of your products, and it can also make your photographs appear unprofessional.
Color accuracy is important when photographing products.
It can be really disappointing for a shopper if they’re looking for an item that is gold, but it turns out to be silver.
Shoppers don’t read descriptions. They rely instead on photos found on Instagram and Pinterest.
Pinterest and Instagram are popular among consumers who like to shop by looking at photos.
If you’re looking to avoid a lot of returns, make sure the color is accurate.
Inconsistent Image Size
Earrings come in all shapes and sizes, and it can be difficult to show every pair in your collection without some of them being too small to see.
It is important to keep all of your images the same size so everything looks uniform and easy to navigate in your store.
Consistency is key in anything you do.
Use the same photo style, whether that’s a light or a dark one, to keep your branding consistent.
By having an inconsistent background, it is difficult for the consumer to skim your online shop.
Not Enough Images
Never underestimate the power of having multiple images of your product. The more photos you have, the better. Also, be sure to show the product from different angles and close-ups.
Many brands are guilty of not providing enough information. It is hard for shoppers to picture a product if you only provide them with a single image.
The more images you include, the fewer customer inquiries you’ll receive, and your conversion rates should increase.
When trying to sell expensive items, like fine jewelry, it’s important to include in-context images so customers can see exactly what they’re getting. This will reduce the number of customer inquiries and increase sales.
Start Photographing Jewelry Today
Now that you know the basics of how to photograph jewelry, go take some awesome pictures for your online store! By following these simple tips, you can take stunning photos of your jewelry that will wow your clients and customers. If you’re looking to improve your photography skills, be sure to check out our other blog posts on a variety of topics. And don’t forget to practice – the more you shoot, the better you’ll become at capturing those perfect shots.