Home Guide How to photograph jewellery

How to photograph jewellery


Everything can be learned through an experimental approach. While it might take some time, you will ultimately succeed in figuring out what to do – and what to avoid. The problem is that this learning method is not very efficient.

Don’t waste time trying to learn from your mistakes. Learn from our experience instead.

Jewelry photography comes with several challenges. Jewelry is small, reflects light, and it can be difficult to place it correctly for pictures. But these challenges can be easily overcome with a little preparation.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when photographing jewelry.

  1. Dirty and poorly prepared products
    Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Of course, your jewelry should be clean and shiny. The challenge is with the lighting and the level of detail captured by a DSLR or DSLR camera. Details invisible to the naked eye will be highlighted when the jewelry is photographed.

Wipe your jewelry every time you touch it. Wearing gloves could save you time and avoid having to re-photograph products.

  1. Inconsistent photo capture
    Establish a set of rules for jewelry photography and follow them. When it comes to photographing jewelry, consistency is essential; and variations between your products or photos will distract your customers. Document everything: camera settings, lighting, background, and gear position. Make sure you are able to photograph your products on another day without much change.
  2. An overly elaborate background
    Some inexperienced merchants believe that a white background is “boring” or that it does not promote branding. They try to differentiate themselves through colorful and elaborate backgrounds. It is a mistake.

There is good reason why Amazon, eBay, Rakuten, and most marketplaces recommend or require a white or neutral background. A white or light gray background helps direct attention to the right thing: your product. Black is also widely used for jewelry photography, but you might have difficulty submitting your images to some marketplaces.

White backgrounds are inexpensive and easy to create. You can use pure white paper, create a softbox, and even photograph white goods against white backgrounds.

  1. Unnecessary accessories
    This error is comparable to the previous one. Accessories are a distraction to be avoided. You might think that your jewelry could be more attractive if it is presented in an elaborate fashion; or maybe you just want to present them realistically using a mannequin.
    In fact, most accessories distract from your product. To photograph your creations, there are times when it is appropriate to use elegant accessories, mannequins, or to take advantage of interesting places. But photos like this are usually published in magazines for branding purposes, inserted as banners in emails, or used as background images in websites and landing pages; they are not displayed in product category pages.
    Sets for jewelry photography are relatively inexpensive. Remember, the goal is to direct customers’ attention to your product and take consistent photos. Most props create inconsistency and distraction.
  2. Reflections everywhere
    Reflections on jewelry could confuse your customers; they must be avoided.

The presence of precious stones and metal creates a technical challenge when it comes to photographing jewelry. It is difficult to take pictures of highly reflective objects while avoiding capturing annoying reflections.

Tip: Use dual vertical lighting when photographing metal jewelry.
Place your jewelry on a sturdy surface such as a table, and place a large softbox on each side. Diffuse the two lights using photography umbrellas. Place a roll of smooth white paper behind and under your product, and attach the paper to the tripod below your camera lens. This will block foreground glare and reflect more light on the product.


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