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How to Take Photos of Jewelry

Taking photos of jewelry with a mobile phone

Take your jewelry product photography to the next level

In Today’s digital world, content is king. Having a successful jewelry website design requires quality product data. One of the most important aspects of quality data is jewelry product photography, as it is the first interaction and point of engagement for your consumers.

It’s easy to feel intimidated by the seemingly daunting task of photographing such small, reflective, and intricate pieces. Thankfully in this day and age, there are many ways to achieve beautiful results whether you use traditional jewelry photography, a picture-perfect lightbox approach, or take it to the next level with scalable interactive 3D jewelry rendering.

Traditional Jewelry Photography Tips

Just about any camera can do the job

A good camera takes a great photo if you understand its settings and how to use them. As with any tool, every camera has a purpose it was designed for, it’s limitations, and strengths. The best camera for jewelry doesn’t exist, because you can fine tune settings or modify with equipment as long as you have the results you’re looking for in mind. Just about any standard DSLR / Mirrorless Camera will get you where you want to be.

Clean and Prep Your Jewelry

Your jewelry should be cleaned and polished, as anything that can’t be seen from the naked eye will be obvious in a high-resolution image. A soft bristle toothbrush and a few drops of gentle dish soap in water will bring sparkle back to any stone, and a damp microfiber cloth will remove fingerprints and any oils from the surface of metals.

Keep Your Composition Simple

Keep your backgrounds as simple as possible, and ideally to one color or texture. Be mindful of the piece that you are photographing and what suits it’s design the best. A plain white background is an industry standard for a reason, as it doesn’t take away from the jewelry’s natural beauty and keeps the consumers eye focused. Clean simple jewelry photography is best for product shots, and the more fun creative images are great for social media.

A Winning Shot is a Focused One

Depending on what type of jewelry piece you are photographing, you’ll have a point of main focus, such as a center stone. If you’re using a phone to capture the product shot, make sure to tap on the phone screen exactly where you want the image to focus on before taking the photo. If you are using a DSLR or mirrorless camera, you can utilize the auto focus feature to do the job for you.

Sometimes even the auto focus isn’t enough to produce an entirely crisp image, but there are editing solutions you can utilize to construct the perfect image, such as focus stacking. This technique combines multiple images with different focus points into one with the help of photoshop.

Proper Lighting is Essential

At the end of the day, lighting will be your best friend. Natural light is the easiest and most accessible light source and works wonders for jewelry. This technique can be helpful in providing an ample amount of evenly distributed light. If the light is too bright for your photo, try placing a thin white sheet, or piece of wax paper behind your jewelry piece to tone down the brightness.

Another incredibly useful tool for balanced light distribution is a lightbox. There are ways to build one yourself, but can be time consuming, and when you're faced with the task of photographing large amounts of inventory, the most efficient use of your time will be considering a ready made lightbox such as the fairly affordable Glow LED Studio-Cube or more professional GemLightbox.

Don’t have the time for Jewelry Photography?

Another rapidly growing solution for obtaining consistent high quality images is 3D jewelry rendering. Jewelry rendering is similar to photography, with the major difference being the ability to control everything about what you see and display products realistically and quickly down to the most intricate details. Traditional photography can be a somewhat easier learning curve to master, but also is very time consuming and limits you to the finished products you have access to.

Photorealistic 3D jewelry rendering opens the door to new possibilities by allowing you to quickly modify the colors and stone shapes, create new products that don’t exist yet, and even animate your beautiful jewelry products into 360° Web Spinners or Branded Video Banner Backgrounds.

3D jewelry rendering can actually be less expensive to produce, save you time (which saves money as well) and unifies the look of your ecommerce jewelry website with clean highly detailed jewelry product images. If time is not on your side and you want to take your ecommerce jewelry website to the next level, this may be the best solution for you.

You’ve Got This!

Whether you decide to photograph your jewelry products yourself, hire a photographer, or get started with 3D jewelry rendering, updating your product images will always push you towards success and define who you are and why consumers should trust and shop with you. These tips will hopefully guide you in the direction that is best for you. Best of Luck!