Jewelry photography isn’t as simple as it seems unless the photographer learns and masters the keys to capturing beautiful images of them—sharpness, lighting, and exposure—and how to alter them in each setting to produce the best results possible.
But don’t worry—not it’s as difficult as it sounds! As long as you’ve had enough of practice shooting in Manual Mode on your digital camera, you may use the guidelines below to start capturing more amazing jewelry shots.
1) Choose the Right Camera
Any camera may be used for jewelry photography as long as you can change the aperture and shutter speed manually and shoot in RAW. It helps to be familiar with the camera you want to use so you can make modifications fast and simply to achieve the desired appearance.
If you’re shooting with a DSLR or mirrorless camera, ensure sure your lens has a wide aperture. Many beginner or kit lenses have a maximum aperture that is too small for macro and product photography. For the best effects, use a lens with an aperture of f/1.8-f/4.
2) Choose the Right Surfaces
Place the jewelry item on a hardwood table, a simple white or reflecting surface, or just zoom in on important aspects to omit the remainder of the object while using a wide aperture to blur away the backdrop.
3) Find a Sturdy Tripod
To guarantee that your photographs are razor-sharp, utilize a tripod and, preferably, a remote shutter release to steady your camera. It will not only prevent camera wobble, but it will also assist maintain your objects framed in the same precise way, making it easy to alter your focus and tweak your lighting.
4) Adjust White Balance Settings
One of the most common mistakes in jewelry photography is failing to pay attention to your white balance settings. It is critical to capture proper colors in your photographs while photographing jewelry for documentation and sales. You wouldn’t want to picture silver rings and submit them as gold rings, would you?
Prevent this by manually changing the white balance on your camera until the jewelry in your shots begins to seem as it does in real life. You may try using a gray card to modify the white balance for your current lighting condition, or you could shoot in RAW so you can quickly modify the white balance in post-processing without affecting image quality.
5) Use Off Camera Flashes
Even for jewelry photography, many photographers recommend using natural light. However, for a more professional look, employ off-camera flashes to create a more regulated lighting setup.
Whatever method you use, it is critical that you be able to provide soft and uniform lighting in order to avoid as much shadow as possible.
You may optimize your lighting arrangement even further by making the best use of your existing light sources, such as reflectors or light boxes.
The Glow LED Studio-Cube ($65 for the 17-inch cube and $95 for the bigger 27-inch cube) is a fantastic example of a professional light box, with which you can put the product to produce soft illumination from all directions. This removes the uncertainty from very complex lighting settings for jewelry photography.
While you’re about it, switch off any other superfluous light sources in the room and avoid combining different forms of illumination that may generate various color temperatures.
6) Manage Reflections
Because gemstones and metals are very reflective, you’re likely to see yourself (and your camera) mirrored in the jewelry, which you definitely don’t want.
When it comes to jewelry, removing reflections is a trial-and-error procedure. As previously said, wrapping a piece of paper over and underneath your camera lens can assist to reduce reflections and bounce more light back towards your subject.
There is no need for costly installations. Then, on either side, use a diffused overhead light to offer adequate lighting without producing highly reflecting patches, and gently elevate your camera (with the tripod) so you’re shooting down at your object.
7) Choose a Good Jewelry Photography Background
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being a little more creative with your fashion choices. You may certainly add intrigue to your photo if you want to! Just be aware that cramming too many items into your frame may divert your visitors’ attention away from the beauty of the jewelry.
In general, keep it basic and consider how the backdrop, colors, and other aspects interact with your subject. They should always compliment and draw attention to the jewelry, as seen in the photo above.
8) Feature Contrasting Colors
You may use contrasting colors to create dramatic and appealing imagery by arranging your jewelry on intriguing and colourful surfaces. Experiment with complimentary hues to discover what kinds of pictures you can create with your jewelry.
Using a solid color or many shades of the same hue, as seen in the example above, can help your things stand out immediately. However, maintain it to a minimal and avoid utilizing too many hues, which might divert your visitors’ focus away from your core subject.
9) Clean Your Jewelry
Taking excellent jewelry shots also necessitates keeping your objects clean and polished. What may not appear visible to the human eye may become apparent when blown up in the very detailed photographs captured by your digital camera.
Unless your gems require extensive cleaning, you may just remove dust and add shine to them before the shoot by wiping them down with a light, moist cotton or microfiber towel. You may also wear cotton gloves to avoid putting fingerprints on the items every time you handle them.
10) Focus with Precision
The common purpose is to accentuate the focal point of your jewelry, such as the center diamond or the charms on a bracelet, so you’ll probably just use Auto Focus on those. However, even in close-ups, the focus may be incorrect, so you should double-check it by analyzing the image and zooming in for a closer look. Refocus, validate, and lock it if it is not accurate.
Before you wrap up the session, make sure you have several winning images with the full piece of jewelry in focus. This is especially useful if you’re shooting for a catalog and only have space for one or two product shots that need to demonstrate all of the jewelry photography nuances and nuances. Even with a large depth of field, this may appear to be impossible, but it is doable using focus stacking. This approach allows you to take many images with each element of your jewelry in clear and crisp focus, resulting in a final image with everything in focus.