Tips On How To Take Better Jewelry Photographs
Knowing how to take the best jewelry pictures is essential if you have a jewelry business, or you have small products and want to improve the way you present your inventory to your customers, or you simply have a good camera in storage and want to get something out of it.
Gems and jewelry have a very special brightness and contrast and it is very important to know how to take the best photographs of jewelry, so having good images, in which you can appreciate every detail is vital when you want to present a jewel for sale. You must take into consideration aspects such as: the lighting that will help you to highlight the details of the jewels; the composition so that we do not have a deformed photograph and the focus to achieve a good sharpness.
Take the best pictures of jewelry, like a pro
In this section we will show you how to take the best photographs of jewelry, from the simplest tricks, professional techniques, mistakes to avoid and even general tips to get good photographs of jewelry and gems for your catalogs or online store.
It would be great if you could hire a professional photographer and relax from this problem, but if we have a small budget and you have the talent to take the camera, you can take the initiative, so that you can take the best jewelry swabs, doing it yourself following our simple steps.
First, let’s talk about what you’ll need to take the best pictures of jewelry:
- Jewelry Store
- A good camera
- White T-shirt
- A piece of cardboard, preferably white.
- Aluminium foil
Steps to take to take better jewelry pictures.
- Choosing a good appropriate fund:
We will turn a thick white piece of paper into a perfect background for taking the best jewelry pictures, especially if you are a novice photographer and as you get more experience you will consider using a more colorful background that can enhance the design and color of your jewelry. The background is one of the most important parts of jewelry photography because it adds a visual interest to the photograph without distracting the viewer.
- Use natural light:
Sunrise and sunset are the best times of the day, because the sun has the right intensity to take the best photographs of jewelry and anyone else in general. If you decide to take a different time of day for your photos, try to create a slightly softer lighting to complement your piece of jewelry from any angle.
- Don’t abuse the light, use a spotlight!:
A piece of cardboard wrapped in a piece of aluminum foil can function as a reflector that reduces the light from the jewelry piece when you focus on the reflective points. If you wish to use the camera’s flash, placing a handkerchief over it will help to fully diffuse the strobe. Also, a white shirt at the time of photographing the jewelry will also help diffuse the light from the camera’s flash when the room you are working in is filled with brightness.
- Details are the key:
If you use the macro mode of your camera, you’ll get sharp pictures with the close-up. Try different angles, and you’ll get a better idea of how you can see the jewelry from the front, the side and even the back. With lots of practice, the details in your pictures will be better.
- Show the jewelry with a model:
It is obvious that your audience will find it more interesting to get a closer look at the piece on your model’s neck, or a gem hanging from the earlobe, and it will also help them get a better idea of the size of your jewelry. We assure you that by doing this, you will be able to take better pictures of the jewelry you own.
Errors you have to avoid to take the best photographs of the jewelry
It is unlikely that when you begin in this area you will be able to take the best photographs of jewelry, because whenever you begin in an area, no matter what it is, people tend to make beginner’s mistakes (whether by mere ignorance or lack of experience), if we do not realize our mistakes, it can lead to failure.
In this section we will explain some mistakes you should avoid doing when you are starting out in the world of jewelry photography.
- Not having a good product presentation:
All imperfections around the jewelry (we are talking about missing pieces, dirt, product labels and others), can be removed before you start taking pictures. Although this implies that we must invest a little time on our part, but we will be rewarded with a clean product that is appreciated at first sight.
- Product inconsistency:
We have to have a format for the presentation of the products, because when the images change a lot in relation to others that are part of the same catalog, what we get is an inconsistency of the product, and this is taking away professionalism from the image of the business. We need to apply a type of “template” for each type of product, so that we can keep an order in your catalog.
- Avoids very striking backgrounds:
A white background must be used to present clean and simple images to the customer, thus facilitating their shopping experience. Simple backgrounds such as white and grey do not give the product a timeless feel, and there are all kinds of distractions left over from other backgrounds, making the customer focus much more on the product.
- Control the number of reflexes:
We have to pay close attention when applying reflections to the product we want to show, because a high number of reflections could distract the customer’s vision. If you think you have problems with reflections we invite you to change the position of the product in relation to the light.
- Smooth focus of the photograph:
If you want to capture the full attention of your customer, your jewelry images need to be as sharp as possible. By applying a clearer focus to them you can make the image look much more artistic, however, this is not necessary in jewelry photography because the human eye is always looking for the sharpest sharpness possible.
- Do not apply light directly to the jewelry:
Generally, a very common mistake in jewelry photography is to apply light directly to the piece, and this only makes the imperfections in your products much more noticeable, generating some shadows, unwanted reflections and highlighting other details that cannot be fixed in the post-production phase. Instead, keep in mind that it is much better to photograph jewelry in very soft light, either natural light from any window or soft light from a studio.
- Few angles:
Your customers want and need to be able to see your jewellery pieces from different angles, to be able to see as realistic as possible to the product. Having more angles will help you promote it better. We suggest you take the pictures at least from a right angle, i.e. from the front, with a very important approach and from the top.
Applying professional techniques is not difficult at all.
If you’ve really made the decision to continue taking your own photographs of your jewelry store, you need to learn the techniques that a professional photographer uses on a daily basis, as well as having professional equipment, so that you can take better photographs of your jewelry.
In this section we will explain some mistakes you should avoid making when you are starting out in the world of jewelry photography.
- Cleaning the pieces, you are going to photograph
The most thorough photographers ensure that the product is impeccable. The objects must be in perfect condition and therefore it is not a bad idea to handle them with special gloves and to have a good special suede for hand jewellery at all times.
It is a completely non-negotiable accessory, basically it is a requirement without which we should not even begin to work and that has to be accompanied by a remote trigger or at least with the camera timer.
- The lighting schemes
One mistake that beginners often fall into is to provide short light pictures. The control of the scene is totally fundamental, and for this we have to rely on the white artificial light, avoiding above all the unwanted shadows, with the help of the schemes that we present below:
- Use the very practical light tents (i.e. the soft and diffuse ones), plus a few flashes – or spotlights – in the classic layout – on each side of the camera – and one that is more directed to the background. It is very useful for spherical and complex parts. There are those who choose to use LED dots inside the store, rather than flashes to illuminate jewellery with many iridescent dots, or at least, in addition to the primary lights, a LED bulb direct to the object to enhance iridescence. A single flash that has a diffuser or window in front of the camera.
- A single flash that has a diffuser or window in front of the camera, however, must be aimed at the subject and be accompanied by two white reflectors on each side of the scene inside the store.
- A studio kit that is soft, zenithal and continuous light – which is perfect for controlling previews – with some white reflectors on the sides.
- It is not a bad idea to include a black fillet to give it volume, and this time in postproduction, to be able to add silhouettes that will naturalize the shot. Having black objects and silver paper screens on hand will help us to shape and trim edges and shapes.
- Color balance: This is one of the most critical aspects of taking better digital jewelry photographs, because the color of the pieces of the solution will depend on the final evaluation.
It is not very difficult to come across photos that have a hot dominant on them, which is not at all advisable to work with jewelry. It is often necessary to provide this information to the object, and the most reliable thing to do is to provide it with context, that is to say, either by integrating it into a model or into a mannequin that, on the other hand, will not hinder its visibility or distract attention from the most important thing, that is, the jewel.
- When taking pictures of static objects, and needing a very precise focus, it is preferable to dispense with the automatic modes (although the best of them in the case of jewelry, is the point mode), and it is suggested to switch to manual mode, which, with the help of the magnification in the Live View camera, will make our work easier by ensuring a perfect focus. Obviously, the approach has to be readjusted in Photoshop, according to the web output we require.
- Placing the camera in this function or shooting with lenses of this kind will be an option that will help us to highlight the details and provide us with depth and perspective in the shot. The gaze goes directly into the scene and focuses on a specific point, the point chosen so that the client can perfectly assess the object. In addition, it can be combined with the choice of aperture priority mode or either A or Av.
- Be natural. To take the best photographs of jewelry, being employed on a daily basis, will make your audience can relate more to it. For example, if you want to show a watch, you have to consider someone wearing it.
- Show more and not less. On many websites an article is displayed and then in the description we find a writing that says “it is also available in red and blue”. If you have a product in a wide range of colors, let your customers see each of the options. A series of photographs showing the variety of colors will make the product much more attractive and give you a better chance to sell.
- Filters are a thing of the past. Nowadays, everyone takes pictures from their Smartphone, and they use various filters to get a different style. This can be a very fun tool for a night out with your friends, but it’s not ideal for taking pictures of your product, so if you want to have the best jewelry pictures, then avoid them.