Looking to give your jewelry photos a touch of class for your website? It can be challenging to successfully capture the beauty of your precious products online, because it requires a different approach than, say, a pair of sneakers. With the right approach, you too can make your collection shine.
In jewelry photography, the biggest challenge lies in how delicate and shiny the products generally are. That makes it hard to do justice to all the fine details and the beautiful colors of the metals and gems.
The proper lighting, lens, and studio set-up are crucial to avoid overdoing it with the reflections or doing too little, making the result dull.
This article will teach you tips and best practices to make your jewelry look brilliant. We will list the equipment you need for professional quality. Also, we’ll discuss the possibilities of taking your photography to the next level through styling and post-production.
All the equipment you need for professional photography
When it comes to photographing jewelry, there are a few pieces of equipment that are absolutely essential to get the best possible results.
A macro lens
A good camera is an essential tool, but for photographing jewelry, it really comes down to the right lens. Use a macro lens to capture all the intricate details of delicate products. This is especially important for jewelry pack shots, where you only focus on the item itself.
The least you should aim for when buying a macro lens, is a focal length of 60 mm and magnification of at least 0.5x. However, if you’re looking for the best photo quality, get a macro lens with a focal length of around 90-100mm and a 1.0x magnification (for a 1:1 proportion). These are more expensive, but also capture all the beautiful details of the jewelry perfectly.
Getting proper studio lighting equipment is essential to avoid reflections. Jewelry reflects light very quickly, so you need to use soft and gentle lighting to avoid creating harsh reflections. A good (and free) alternative to studio lights is a steady supply of natural light, which is rarely available.
Therefore, it’s wise to invest in the right lighting for your jewelry. A set of three or four studio lights should be more than enough to get well-lit images. Use diffusing umbrellas to soften the light and get rid of reflections. Alternatively, you can use a lightbox to ensure an even light source for your jewelry photography.
A tripod comes in handy when trying to capture precise details, because it keeps the camera steady. You don’t want your photos to come out blurry due to even the slightest shaking of the camera. So, to rule that out a sturdy tripod is a no-brainer.
In order to get the most professional and detailed photos, you need to make sure your camera settings are optimized for photographing jewelry. You want to use a narrow aperture, preferably f/11 or higher. With a tripod and an even light distribution, you can keep your ISO and shutter speed low for a much details in your shots as possible.
The background is another essential thing to consider before you start photographing jewelry. In general, a clean white background is preferable to make the products stand out. A white sheet is an affordable way to cover this, if you lack a professional studio set-up. If you use a lightbox, you’re all set, as it already comes with a white background.
Interested in using other backgrounds for your jewelry products, such as black or gradient? Read all about it in this article on our website.
All jewelry photography equipment in a single package
Are you having trouble getting all the right photography tools together for your jewelry shots? Then you’ll be happy to know there’s an easier option. Our partner StyleShoots creates innovative photography machinery for e-commerce, incorporating all necessary studio equipment in a single device.
Thanks to built-in features like lights, computers, software, and camera, you can streamline your production process and easily optimize your settings for efficient photography. This saves you the need for other studio equipment and takes repetitive tasks out of your hands.
Using props to stage your jewelry products
When photographing jewelry, it’s important to use props to showcase the product in the best possible way. There are a number of different props that you can use, depending on the type of jewelry being photographed. It pays to be creative. A little DIY goes a long way, so you usually don’t need to spend a lot of money on props for a professional result.
For rings, it’s often helpful to use a stand or a small cushion. This prevents them from slipping and makes it easier to photograph the entire ring at an angle. You can also use prop wax or white putty to keep the product in place. It’s easy to take flat-lay photos of rings by laying them on a plain white surface.
For earrings, you can use a variety of props depending on the style of earrings. If you are photographing hoop earrings, then it’s helpful to hang them from a piece of ribbon or string. For photographing dangling earrings it’s good to use something to hang them from, such as a small stand.
Another standard prop for bracelets is a small stand. This can be used to keep the bracelet in place and make it easier to photograph. If you are using a stand, it’s important to ensure it doesn’t overpower the bracelet in the photo. A simple white stand is a good choice for this purpose.
Furthermore, if you photograph multiple bracelets together, it’s best to use a bracelet holder. This is a device that holds the bracelets in place and makes it easy to take photos of them from all angles.
For watches it’s usually essential to mimic the shape of the watch when worn. This adds context to the photo and makes it easier for the consumer to visualize wearing it. You can also use a stand to showcase watches.
In the case of necklaces, you want to use a prop that elongates the necklace. You can do this by hanging the necklace from something like a horizontal metal bar with a piece of ribbon or lace, or by using Christmas ornament hangers. Hang the necklace from two ends to create a V-shape for a natural look.
For flat-lay photos, you can give your necklace an attractive round shape with a round object like a bowl, which you edit out in post-production.
A nice prop for photographing jewelry is the jewelry box. This lets you show the product in its ‘natural habitat’. You can even combine it with other products that match or even reinforce its look. But avoid adding too many distractions, as it takes the focus from your product.
While more costly than the props mentioned above, mannequins are great if you want to give your customers a better sense of how the jewelry looks when worn. There are several kinds to use, depending on the type of jewelry. For rings, bracelets and watches, you’ll use a hand mannequin. For necklaces you need a bust to hang it from, whereas for earring you need a special mannequin head.
Using models to showcase your products is an even better way to display jewelry than props. This always gives the most dynamic look and shows just how a piece of jewelry looks when you wear it, better than a mannequin would. Using models for your product images is expensive, which may be a reason not to do it too often.
A tool to make the production of model images considerably more cost-efficient is POS3D. This makes on-model imagery less time- and money-consuming because it combines jewelry pack shots and basic model photos to create realistic model images powered by AI technology.
Image editing to optimize your jewelry photography
If you want to make sure your jewelry product images are optimized for e-commerce results, photography alone isn’t enough. You always need image editing to perfect the photos and ensure a consistent quality all through your website.
Spend less time on photography
Professional editing does even more than that. It saves you time and energy in production. With the right post-production workflow, your images don’t have to be perfect right from the start. Regular impurities like reflections and scratches are easily edited out.
Because of that, you no longer need to bend over backwards to create flawless photos. We can even guarantee color consistency on all images of a product with color correction. And props can easily be edited out to remove unnecessary distractions from the product.
Efficient photo production
Besides correcting images, it’s even possible to increase your studio output. As we mentioned before, POS3D enables you to create realistic model images at only a fraction of the cost.
If you sell different color varieties of the same piece of jewelry, it’s not necessary to take every product to the studio. Instead, thanks to recoloring technology, you can replicate all color varieties from a single image.
These solutions drastically reduce the funds and time needed to produce jewelry photography. Still they are only two of how Bright River can make your production workflow more efficient. Discover post-production solutions on our website.
Let Bright River improve your jewelry photography
E-commerce is all about sales. That’s why you want your product images to also serve that purpose. We know how to boost your business by making your photography shine online. We do it every day for numerous businesses.
As your post-production partner, we streamline your entire image editing process with our AI-powered workflow. That frees you up to divert budget and energy to other aspects of your business, because you can rest assured that your product images are optimized for e-commerce.
Numbers you can rely on
You don’t have to take our word for it, we can let the numbers speak for themselves. We optimize over 11 million images for e-commerce every year (more than 40 thousand daily) for businesses worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies. 99,7% of these are on time and no less than 99,4% are right the first time.
Discover how we can make your life easier
Our post-production services help you towards a more streamlined and comfortable workflow. Furthermore, it will help increase sales and reduce returns with more convincing and high-quality product images. You don’t have to worry about your jewelry photography not being up to par for your customers or spending too much time editing the images. We’ll take care of that.
Schedule a quick call with us to talk about the solutions for your business and get a quote. If you process less than 2500 images annually, you’re better helped by creating a free STREAM account to start utilizing our services immediately.