If the way to a man’s heart is Food then the way to a woman’s heart is jewellery.
Photography is the most important part of selling a product. And when the product is jewellery, then it becomes very important to balance the angles, manage the reflections, choose the props, and background and capture the minute details becomes very important. This is known as Jewellery Photograph.
Jewellery Photograph involves capturing the jewellery as a product, which is usually done by the clients to increase sales, display on the website or online stores, and promotion and brand.
There are several types of Jewellery Photography, like- Ecommerce Jewellery Photography, Editorial or Commercial Jewellery photo shoots, and Creative Jewellery Photography.
Photograph Jewellery Equipment
The photography equipment one uses will depend on his or her budget. We can keep costs minimal if we buy a few of the items below. Or we can buy more expensive gear like lighting or displays for our jewellery.
Here’s some of the basic photograph jewellery equipment we’ll want to have:
The truth is, one doesn’t need the most expensive camera to take photos of his or her jewellery. New jewellery store owners can execute a shoot with an iPhone or Android, too. If we have a smartphone handy, use it. If we already own a DSLR with a nice camera lens, we can use that.
Always use a tripod. Tripods are cheap, effective, and improve both quality and consistency. When our camera is held steady by a tripod, we can use optimal aperture and ISO settings. Mark a spot on the floor for our tripod and it will be easy to replicate our setup, even when shooting on different days.
Light is necessary to take photographs of our jewellery. A room with windows next to a wall is a good option. The bigger the window, the more light we’ll get. If we don’t have natural lighting, we could buy artificial light sources, like a softbox.
One can find photography lighting kits on Amazon. Don’t get caught up in all the reflectors and LED lights right away. Keep the setup simple. After we’re familiar with the camera, we can try different lighting tactics in our photo shoots.
A standard folding table works best. Look for one with a width between 24 and 27 inches.
White background for jewellery photography
There are many different ways to create a white background for our shoots. If we plan to take a lot of different photos, consider buying a white paper sweep.
Paper sweeps are big rolls of paper one can use to create a white or colored background. If the sweep gets dirty, simply cut the dirty piece off and roll out a clean section. The alternative to sweeps is poster board, which we can find at our local drug store or online for cheap.
There’s always a shadow side when shooting product photography. It’s usually too dark to produce a good image. We can place a white foam board to reflect light back into the shadow to brighten it up.
Clamps or tape
We can use tape or clamps to keep our foam boards and sweeps in place when shooting on a table.
How to Photograph Jewellery?
Set up your table
Find the space for the photo studio. If one is near a window, set up the table 90 degrees to the right or left of it. The closer one is to the window, the softer the light will be.
Once the table is set up, then one will want to set up his or her sweep. There are different ways to do this, but the goal is to have the sweep vertical. If we’re next to a wall, we can tape our sweep to it. If we’re not, we’ll need to make something to secure the back of our sweep too. A wooden block or bricks could work.
Place our tripod in front of our setup. If we’re using a smartphone with a short tripod, find a place on the sweep to place it. We should have enough space for our jewellery if we’re using the standard table.
Position our lighting
If we’re shooting with natural light, we’re already set with lighting. Jump to the next step.
But if we’re using artificial lighting, our setup will look a little different.
Place one light source and softbox or umbrella at a 45-degree angle to the product. This will keep the lighting soft and even. Keep the camera directly in front of the jewellery piece. If the product is placed toward the back of our sweep, we may see some shadows. Move the product closer to us to get a pure white background.
Style our jewellery
If we’re just starting out shooting jewellery photography, we’ll probably start with just a white background. To make our photos more interesting, we can also place your jewellery on props, such as:
- A marble slab background
- Simple textured backgrounds
- Ring holders or stands
- Group photos with other pieces of jewellery
Prepare our photograph jewellery
It sounds obvious, right? Of course, your jewellery should be clean and polished. The challenge comes from the level of detail captured by a DSLR camera and the proper lighting setup. The final image will often be blown up several times the jewelry’s actual size. Details invisible to our naked eye will be revealed when photographed.
Wipe down our photograph jewellery every time we touch it. Wearing cotton gloves may save us time and reshoot.
Once polished, photograph jewellery should be placed in the center of the flat part of the sweep. Some room is to be left to sneak our white reflector card in later.
Set our camera
High aperture and full-focus photography will create a sharp image our customer’s trust.
Our customers want to see every detail. Give it to them with aperture settings of f-11 or greater, and set our ISO to as low as possible—preferably ISO 100.
Ensure the white balance is set accurately so the photograph jewellery is to be captured with the colors we intended. Either set it manually or use the camera’s automatic mode and double-check the results.
Take a photograph of jewellery
The camera is to be positioned on its tripod so we can shoot slightly down at the product. Lights are to be positioned (with diffusing umbrellas) above the product on either side, the product is to be angled at each down, and the power to be set. This setup should evenly fill the frame with light without creating ugly bright spots on your product.
Retouch and finalize jewellery photograph
After shooting your photograph jewellery, we’ll want to prepare images for our online store. Post-production processing involves making photos look professional and beautiful.
The easiest route is to hire a professional editor to retouch the images. This can be a huge cost and time savings versus learning how to edit photos from scratch.
If one prefers to do it oneself, choose a free online photo editor and learn the photo -editing -basics. The basic photo editing techniques available are enough to help us enhance our photos and make them shareable across all our marketing and sales channels.
Jewellery Photography Tips
Take consistent photographs
Develop a set of guidelines for your photograph jewellery and follow them. Consistency is key in e-commerce photography and variations from product to product or shot to shot will distract our customers. Document everything: camera settings, lighting, background, and equipment position. Make sure we can resume shooting on a different day without any noticeable changes.
Keep background for jewellery photography simple
Some inexperienced retailers look at a white background and think it boring, or a missed opportunity for branding. They try to differentiate themselves with colorful, active backgrounds. That’s a mistake.
There’s a reason Amazon, eBay, Rakuten, and most marketplaces require or recommend a white or neutral background. A plain white or light gray background keeps the focus where it should be: on your product. Black is also popular in photograph jewellery, but be aware we may have difficulty submitting black-background images to some marketplaces.
White backdrops are cheap and easy to create, and we can easily edit out the background of our photos. You can use seamless white paper, create a lightbox, and even photograph white products on white backgrounds. If our stand-in background has blemishes or anything else we need to fix, we can also use free photo editing software to fine-tune it during post-processing.
Use fewer props
The reality is that most props draw attention away from your product. There are times when it is appropriate to use stylish props, models, and interesting locations in shots that include your product. Those are editorial shoots, for branding purposes. Editorial shoots belong on magazine covers, as hero images on websites, and as banners in emails. They do not belong on product pages
Photograph jewellery kits are relatively inexpensive. Remember, we want our photograph jewellery to be consistent and focused on our product. Most props create inconsistency and distraction.
We want our customers to be looking at our jewelry without trying to puzzle out if that’s the photographer’s reflection or a flaw in the stone.
Take photographs from different angles of jewellery
It’s incredibly disappointing to click on a product on a category page and find there are no more images. Maybe the customer liked an overhead shot of a necklace but wanted a close-up shot to clarify some engraving on the side. Give it to them.
More images lead to more sales, so capture as many angles of our product as possible.
Retouch our jewellery photographs
Few things kill a sale as quickly as a bad Photoshop job. Poorly retouched photos feel fake and destroy a customer’s trust in the product image, and therefore in the product. Either invest the time to become skilled in software like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop or hire a professional.
In addition to retouching, you should create templates that consistently crop, set margins, and align your product images. Remember: Consistency is key.
Mintly, the hiring marketplace for the gems, jewelry, and precious metals industry, shares some tips to photograph jewellery and aids in providing jobs for freelance photographers.