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Jewelry Photography Tips for the Non-Pro

Ask any professional photographer, and they will tell you just how difficult it is to take high-quality shots of jewelry. The very nature of the product creates the challenge. Small and highly reflective items make it difficult to capture accurate photographs of the items. If you are running an e-commerce business, you know how important it is to capture accurate images of your jewelry. Nothing is worse than a dissatisfied customer who feels that the product they purchased isn’t reflective of the images you placed in your online store.

Keeping a pro-photographer on staff is expensive, and many jewelry stores don’t have that type of cash flow available. The good news is that it is possible to take decent quality images of jewelry with some basic equipment and some training. Here at Picsera, we have even created a photography coaching program that can help you learn how to take jewelry product photographs. But don’t stop reading because we have a handful of jewelry photography tips to help you get started.  

We also offer a great service for those who are strapped for time. Ship your jewelry to us, and we’ll get our experienced professionals to take beautiful images of your products and edit them for you too.

Success in jewelry product photography begins with careful preparation!

This step doesn’t require any special training, but it’s highly important to the success of your photographs. We recommend that you carefully clean the jewelry before taking any product photographs. Invest in some white gloves and a pair of tweezers to assist you in prepping the jewelry for product photography. Just be careful you don’t scratch the product when using tweezers. There are some brands of tweezers out there with silicone tips try to find a pair.

Your goal is to remove fingerprints, specks of dust and other flaws. You should inspect the jewelry closely to ensure there are no missing gems or damaged components. Any flaws in the product will be easily identifiable in your photos. This is probably one of the most important jewelry product photography tips we can give you. Carefully, cleaning your jewelry will save you valuable time. You won’t have to spend hours retouching images in Photoshop.

Showcase your jewelry from many angles

Our second tip should be pretty common sense. Take lots of jewelry product photographs. Offer buyers multiple views of the same piece. You want to showcase the quality of beauty of your product.

There are lots of ways to shoot jewelry. Some people like to hang or suspend earrings from a freeze. This is simply a frame from which you suspend the earrings using opaque wire or fishing line. You can use the same set up for hanging necklaces, rings and other items- see photo below…

Jewelry Freeze Frame- Picsera

The key is to ensure that you maintain consistency in the shots. If you are photographing several different pairs of earrings, use the same angles and cropping for each jewelry product photograph. Inconsistent angles will confuse buyers and ruin the visual appeal of your store.

You have to have the right jewelry photography equipment!

It’s important to pick up the right kind of equipment. Your photographs will suffer if you try to take photographs using a cheap cell phone. Don’t be tempted to cut corners.

Purchase an entry-level DSLR, a basic kit lens and a sturdy tripod. You should also consider purchasing a set of extension tubes which will allow you to get in close to your items for great jewelry product photographs. Extension tubes allow you to take macro shots of your jewelry products. Meaning you can shoot close-up shots that capture detail.

You should also purchase a light tent for shooting jewelry products. The light tent will diffuse that light and eliminate any glaring reflections that might make your images look busy and distracting. A table top light tent will suit most types of jewelry photography.

It’s also important to purchase some good lighting. A couple of fluorescent lights will do the trick, or you can use LED lights purchased from a home supply store. The photo below shows a jewelry setup using fluorescent lighting.

Fluorescent Lighting Setup for Jewelry- Picsera

Another great jewelry photography tip is to tether your camera to a computer. You can use a simple USB wire. The photographs will instantly upload to your computer where you can assess the shot and make any necessary adjustments. Viewing your images on the back of a camera can be difficult. The larger the viewing screen, the better you will be able to see your work.

Save your images to the cloud

To save space on your computer, think about using a cloud storage service like Dropbox. Having a large volume of photographs on your hard drive can slow down your computer. Nothing is more annoying than waiting for your computer to perform basic operations or open photo-editing software. It may take some time to initially upload your images to Dropbox but once you begin the process the amount of time needed to upload images decreases.

Once your images are uploaded to Dropbox, it becomes quite easy to share your images to social media. You can also share them with us quickly and efficiently so we can take care of the polishing and perfect your jewelry product photographs.

Some Final Thoughts

You are not alone in struggling to capture beautiful images of your jewelry. There are many other companies out there just like yours. Etsy has even created blog posts that give their sellers advice.

“I think most jewelry makers have faced this problem at least once: How to take a good photo and how to style that photo to highlight the best features of the piece of jewelry.”

The good news is there are a lot of options available to you. Just choose the solution that works best for your business. Perhaps you choose to take advantage of our professional photography services. Ship us your jewelry and we’ll take off all the hard work. You could also choose to use our tips to teach yourself how to photograph jewelry then send us the files for editing. It’s important to choose whatever method works best for your workflow. The ultimate dream is to hire a full-time professional photographer to shoot images for you, but we all know how much money that kind of endeavour can cost. Don’t despair there are lots of other businesses who don’t use a pro-photographer. You too can be successful if you follow our tips and take the time practice your photography skills, just a little bit.

Learn more about our Jewelry Photography and Retouching Services