Jewelry photography is significantly different from other kinds of photography, and you might have a hard time making studio-quality jewelry shots. It may also take you a bit of practice before you finally get how to sell jewelry right too.
While jewelry photography is a bit tasking and complicated, there are a few tips and techniques that you can apply to help get high-quality images.
To help make the process easier for you, this article provides you with very easy and applicable tips for taking jewelry images. Here are the most helpful ones.
Clean the pieces before photographing them
This may sound very basic but most photographers don’t sometimes do it or they when they do, they fail to do it right. You should clean and polish the pieces well ahead of the photoshoot.
If you don’t properly clean the pieces you intend to photograph, fingerprints and dust could interfere with the final image’s clarity.
Alcohol is the best when it comes to cleaning jewelry before the photoshoot. This is because as opposed to water, alcohol will not leave droplet marks on the pieces. A microfiber piece of cloth works best with the cleaning. Ensure you don’t leave any fibers on the jewelry.
Get lighting right
In jewelry photography, lighting is important. You will need to get this part right if you want to produce studio-quality images. The best option, like in any other kind of photography is natural light. If you choose to go with natural light, however, you will need to choose an appropriate time to take the images. The best times are the first and the last hours of sunlight.
Artificial lighting also has its advantages as you are a lot more in control of the situation in this case. Sometimes you might have a large inventory of jewelry to photograph. For this reason, you may prefer to set up artificial lighting.
When using artificial light, it is important to ensure that the jewelry is evenly lit to avoid the formation of shadows. It is required that you use two lights. One at the back of the piece you are photographing and one at the side. When choosing the light sources, please make sure they are of the same light temperature for high-quality images.
If you want to get the hustle out of lighting, a gemlight box can significantly help get it right.
Choose an appropriate background
When you are picking a jewelry background, it’s important to make sure you pick one that will best help highlight all the intricate details of the pieces you are photographing. If you pick a background with other distracting details, then you may not be able to capture your audience’s attention as you set out to.
Where jewelry photography is involved, white is the most common kind of background used. This is because a white background gets the distractions out of the way, and the audience can focus on the piece’s details. If you are photographing small pieces, white is the most appropriate background.
Black is also another common background used in jewelry photography, especially with exotic pieces. With a black background, you will have an easy time managing reflection. Black back backgrounds, just like white ones are also very easy to find, which further makes things easier for you.
There are also other kinds of backgrounds you can choose too if you want to be creative and innovative, but whatever kind of background you choose, ensure its one that maximizes the focus on the pieces of jewelry you photograph on them.
You will need a macro lens
If you need to get clear jewelry images, especially if you need large images, then a macro lens is something you must get. A macro lens allows you to capture and magnify the small details of the pieces you are photographing and display them clearly for your audience.
A sturdy camera tripod
When you are photographing jewelry, you need the camera to be extra still. Any wobbling, and you will get very burly images you cannot use. For this reason, you will need to get a very sturdy camera tripod to eliminate the camera shakes.
Jewelry pieces are generally made of very reflexive materials. For this reason, you need to do all you can to eliminate reflections on the images you capture. You can do this by diffusing the light around your subject. Shinning two lights of the same light temperature helps eliminate reflections.
You may also need to have a white paper wrapped around the lens to reflect the light on the subject. This way you minimize the chance of you or anything else around the working station being reflected on the jewelry.
Photo retouch software
Due to the small nature of jewelry pieces, it’s hard to accurately capture all the details you need to. You will need photo retouch software to help retouch and edit the images to bring out the details of the piece. The most common one is Photoshop, but there are also other options available out there you can choose from.
Focus stacking is only possible with a photo editing software. It is a photographing technique where you take several images while focusing on different details of the subject to get a sharp focus of each, and then bringing all the different parts together, to create a wholesome detailed image.
With the small nature of the jewelry, focus stacking comes in handy to help you present a wholesome image of the piece you are photographing.
Jewelry photography may be challenging and may take you a few trials before you get it right, but it can be done. If you master these tips and techniques, you will be a lot closer to perfecting the art. The most important thing to remember is that while dealing with jewelry, you need to capture every intricate detail. It is these details that capture customer’s eyes the first few seconds and this is when you capture their attention.