Photographing jewelry without exaggeration is a difficult process. Jewelry is usually very reflective and small, and the colored stones in the photos do not look like reality. For example, emeralds may look like tourmaline in the photo. The same misinterpretation can occur for tanzanite, which looks like an amethyst without following photographic techniques. In this article, we will provide tips for proper photography of jewelry to make it look more real.
Titles of this article:
Jewelry photography equipment
The best camera for jewelry photography
The best lens for jewelry photography
Camera settings for jewelry photography
How to photograph jewelry with iPhone and other smartphones
Necklace photography method
Photography of earrings
Ring photography method
Photography of silver jewelry
Photography of jewelry and social networks
In today’s world, photographing products is one of the key criteria influencing their sales. Jewelry pictures help to attract the audience’s attention. If the images can not attract the audience in 7 to 8 seconds, consider the product lost. Overall, 67% of customers prefer high-quality photos, while 93% believe that product images influence purchasing decisions. These figures show the importance of investing in product photography. You need the following equipment to photograph jewelry:
- Camera and lens
- Lighting sources (make sure the color temperature of the lights is the same)
- A table where you can place light sources and jewelry on one level
- Jewelry stand
- Preservative wax to hold jewelry during photography
- Light box or tent to create soft lighting
- A roll of white paper, foam or reflector boards and a diffuser panel.
- Gray photography card to achieve the correct exposure
The choice of camera is one of the most important criteria for jewelry photography. With so many options on the market, choosing the right camera and lens can be a bit confusing. Contrary to many people’s beliefs, jewelry photography does not require expensive equipment. You can buy the best DSLR cameras, but if you do not have enough skills, you can not achieve the desired output.
The truth is that there is no such thing as the best camera for jewelry photography because as long as you have the necessary skills you can achieve good results with different equipment. Instead of looking for the best camera, it is better to focus on your needs and choose a camera that meets those needs. Here are some good cameras for jewelry photography.
Almost all DSLR cameras are suitable for jewelry shooting, but you can start with the Nikon D3400. This amateur camera lets you adjust important camera settings such as aperture and shutter speed to suit your needs. The D3400 is almost identical to its predecessor, the D3200, except that it is smaller and has a Snapbridge feature that supports Bluetooth connectivity between the camera and the smart device; As a result, you can transfer your images automatically and seamlessly.
Any camera with basic settings is a good choice for jewelry photography; Because when shooting small jewelry, you have to shoot from a certain distance to put the details in full focus. To do this, you need to open a wider aperture so that different parts of the jewelry are not blurred.
Canon EOS 1200D
Whether you are new or seasoned, the Canon 1200D is a great choice for jewelry photography. The standard 18-55mm zoom capability is an ideal option for capturing still life subjects. In addition, it has good flexibility in manual settings and is compatible with 60 lens models. If you spend a lot of time shooting, this camera has more battery life than competing options.
Sony Digital SLR Kit lets you capture close-up details for close-up photos with a 20.1-megapixel sensor. The camera is also equipped with translucent mirror technology that improves autofocus performance. The Sony SLT-A58K, like the Canon camera, is designed for optimal battery life with durability, quality and flexibility.
Macro lens is one of the essential prerequisites for jewelry photography. With these lenses, you can achieve high-detail close-up images. There are a variety of macro lenses on the market, but for jewelry photography you can consider the following options:
Nikon AF-S VR Micro NIKKOR 105mm f / 2.8 G IF-ED
If you are looking for a closer look at the jewelry, you can use the Nikon Micro NIKKOR 105 mm lens. This lens is equipped with a fast aperture of maximum and f / 2.8 and a ratio of 1: 1. Another advantage of this lens is the reduction of vibration and image stabilization, which guarantees the quality of the images.
Canon EF 100mm f / 2.8 Macro USM lens
This lens is optimized for close-up or close-up photography, and its autofocus works perfectly for macro photography. This lens has a focal length of 100 mm and a maximum aperture of 2.8. Also, this lens is small and easy to use, and at the same time it produces good results.
Lens 55-18 mm
The 18-55mm lens works perfectly for shooting jewelry such as bracelets, necklaces and long earrings. For example, the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm lens produces high-resolution images. Like the Micro NIKKOR 105mm, this lens is equipped with image stabilization, which minimizes camera shake and helps produce high-quality images.
There are only a handful of macro lenses that produce perfect results when shooting jewelry. Of course, there are a variety of options on the market. When choosing a macro lens, make sure the ones you are considering are at least the focal length. For example, a macro lens of 18-55 mm has a minimum distance of 0.28 meters. The shorter the distance, the more suitable it is for photographing jewelry.
If you are new to jewelry photography, follow these tips:
- First of all, get acquainted with how the camera works and its various buttons and settings. You can also switch from automatic to manual mode and change settings such as aperture.
- Set your camera to aperture mode and adjust the aperture accordingly. Aperture is determined by F-stop. For example, high off-stops such as f22 have smaller openings than off-stops such as f8. Also try to make settings based on the subject and purpose. Remember that the shutter speed is set automatically when shooting in aperture-priority mode.
- After applying these settings, you can note the shutter speed and test it. If the photos of the jewelry are darker and the colors are incomplete, you can switch to manual mode.
- Remember that camera settings vary by environment and subject. So do not be afraid to experiment and try different settings to get the formula that suits your needs. There are four types of lighting settings for jewelry photography.
The simplest and certainly the most accessible way to illuminate is to use natural lighting. You can adjust the position of your desk in relation to the window so that it is close to the light source or shoot completely outdoors. This way you can achieve equal light distribution.
One of the disadvantages of natural lighting is the timing. For example, if you have a large collection for photography, you need to fine-tune your schedule. Also the best time to photograph is the golden hour, which covers the first moments after sunrise or the last moments before sunset. During these hours, the sunlight is at its lowest point, so you can achieve a good result by creating distributed lighting.
In addition, try to avoid the noon hours. Also, some jewelry may look more attractive during certain hours of the day, so the choice of shooting time for each jewelry is different. For example, sapphire has the best effect under a clear blue sky. Its color changes depending on the weather conditions and shows itself in the photo.
Back and side lighting
Backlighting is the process of placing a light behind a piece of jewelry. These settings are useful for shooting glass-like jewelry and can display their crystal shape with high resolution. Side lighting, on the other hand, gives the jewelry a three-dimensional appearance. Such a technique is important to avoid blurry images.
Soft lighting using light box (light box)
DIY lightbox is one of the cheapest options for jewelry photography. However, making a lightbox manually can take a long time. As a result, it is recommended that you purchase a ready-made lightbox to save time. It is recommended that you purchase a lightbox if you are photographing jewelry on a regular basis. In setting up the above lighting methods, you need tools such as foam boards, cloth, or white paper that play the role of reflecting or distributing (diffuser) light.
How to photograph jewelry on a white background
White background photography is one of the most popular photography methods in e-commerce and other online markets such as eBay and Amazon, which is recommended for online retailers. White background photography not only gives the product a professional, clean and sophisticated look but also contributes to its credibility and credibility. The following tips are recommended for photographing jewelry on a white background.
- Use a light box or photo tent
- White background like white paper roll
- Tripod and camera
- the source of light
- Suitable image editing software
Keep in mind that no matter how meticulously you follow photography techniques, some images may need to be edited, such as lighting and contrast, or the removal of redundant sections in image editing software.
How to avoid reflection in jewelry photography?
Proficiency in the laws of reflection and understanding changes in jewelry lighting affect jewelry and are a good way to avoid unwanted reflections. Jewelry photographers often use backlighting to avoid glare and shadows.
Place the back of the light distributor, such as a white cloth or foam, between the light source and the product. Do not forget to place the foams on both sides of the product. Foam boards act as light reflectors that distribute light around the product while controlling and eliminating intense reflections.
These days, smartphones are not the only means of communication, but they can be used for almost professional photography and even jewelry photography. To photograph jewelry with a smartphone, do the following:
- Select your favorite phone. Some of the most suitable phones for jewelry photography are: Samsung Galaxy S8, iPhone 7Plus and Google Pixel 2.
- Place your jewelry on a table and record the details from the desired angle.
- Use a tripod or other image stabilization tool to reduce camera shake.
Choose light sources carefully. You can use the light sources mentioned in the previous section. Never combine light sources with different color temperatures as they will ruin the appearance of the photos. Also, do not use the camera flash as it may cause sharp reflections and shadows. Also, the camera flash is not suitable for achieving high-quality images.
Check the zoom capability of your device. Always stay 1 to 2 meters away from jewelry and use the camera’s aperture setting. You can use a side macro lens for your phone. Amazon has a huge selection of macro lenses compatible with smartphones such as the Xenvo iPhone Clarus 15x macro lens and the AMIR macro lens with 10x magnification. You should also not limit yourself to these macro lenses. Try different options and choose the most suitable lens for your subject.
Necklace is one of the most popular gifts we give to our loved ones during special occasions. For this reason, its proper representation has a great spiritual value. As a result, the necklace must be shown in an emotional way that can evoke the customer’s emotions through quality images. Consider the following tips for photographing a necklace:
- Be careful in choosing the lighting technique. To photograph the necklace, use soft lighting with a light box or photo tent. Distributed lighting gives the necklace a dreamy look and at the same time creates striking shadows. Choose the right background for your necklace. As mentioned earlier, white backgrounds seem easy to the eye, so online marketers prefer them to other backgrounds. The white background is also suitable for the website because it gives a regular look to the space. When the background image is neat and clean, the customer can easily check the product details and gain their trust.
- Photo background is one of the most important elements in product photography because if displayed correctly, it can direct the audience’s attention to the product. The black background shows the reflective parts of the jewelry well, but the white background is suitable for stones that are not reflective. As a result, you need to make sure your photos look clean and organized.
- Use a necklace stand. Photographing a necklace on a stand makes the buyer imagine it on their neck and also reflects the details well. Different angles of photography of the necklace show what the necklace looks like when worn and its details and changes are well displayed. These angles help to fill the gap between the potential customer and the screen.
To photograph and show the earrings better, do the following:
- Gather all the necessary items. Select the earring stand based on the model of the earrings.
- Review the basics of lighting and other jewelry lighting techniques so you can better choose the method that suits your subject.
- Separate the earrings according to their type. For example, photographing long earrings is usually more difficult.
- When photographing earrings, be careful to maintain order in the image.
- Choose an earring stand that fits the earring. For example, you can put them on the table. Do not place long earrings on the cup or other elements that distract the viewer.
Do not forget to try to show the size of the earrings well to the customer so that they realize the size or smallness or height and shortness of the earrings.
Ring or ring photography can be difficult not only for beginners but also for professional jewelry photographers. The reason for this is a small size and unique design of the rings, which require precise focus. To photograph the ring, you must observe the following points.
- Clean the ring before shooting. The rings should look spotless and shiny. In addition, try to clean the ring with a clean cloth and gloves to minimize the time required for the final editing of the photo.
- You can use wax to hold the ring. Also pay attention to what kind of settings or lighting you need for each ring model and do not forget to check the minimum focal length.
- You can use medical wax or toothpaste to hold the ring up.
- Start shooting with manual focus so you can change the aperture and depth of field settings.
- Modify the final image using Photoshop or other image editing software. You can search online sources for jewelry retouching.
When photographing silver jewelry, observe the following points.
- Make sure you have all the equipment ready. Use the gray card to get the right exposure.
- Use natural lighting. If natural light is not available, use a lightbox and place two light sources in opposite directions to achieve a balanced light distribution and avoid intense shadows.
- Using a gray card not only adds contrast to the image but also helps you to display the color of silver jewelry more accurately.
Photography of pearls
Pearls are unique jewelry. The complex process of producing them begins with living organisms such as oysters. The production of natural pearls takes years, for which reason they are very expensive and scarce. The scarcity of natural pearls has led to other ways to produce them. For example, culturing pearls is one of the methods of producing natural pearl-like pearls, except that large nuclei are injected to stimulate the oyster and release the pearls. Pearl photography is especially confusing for photographers due to its low reflectivity. To photograph pearls, it is necessary to observe the following points:
- Use a light source and place it 1.5 to 2 meters from the subject. In this way, the appearance and dimensions of the pearl will be more determined and it will be easier to control. Avoid multiple lights. Pearls themselves are reflective. Excessive use of light can change their appearance.
- Use the lightbox and take pictures in a dark room. Lightbox is a good source of soft lighting. You can use the dark room to add contrast. The dark reflection of light creates soft, dark shadows that emphasize the pearl’s natural luster. Use the lightbox with the front cover to control the shadows that fit the subject.
- See fashion or jewelry magazines to place pearls and arrange them for photography. You need final editing to get the perfect images.
The number of social network users is increasing day by day. As a result, it is not surprising that smartphones are on the rise. The ability to connect digitally is improving day by day and can dramatically change people’s lives. Some of these changes include information usage and purchasing activities.
Customers live in a visual world and are easily attracted to designs and images online. In fact, 93% of people believe that images are one of the most influential factors in their decision to buy. It only takes 7 to 8 seconds for the audience to be attracted to an image or brand. This definition demonstrates the importance of studio-quality jewelry products on social networking platforms and increases audience trust in the brand. Follow the rules below to increase the quality of images and prepare them for social networks.
- Using the law of one-third: The law of one-third is one of the basic principles of photography to create attractive images. In this method, your frame is divided horizontally and vertically into three parts, resulting in 9 parts. You can also draw this grade in your mind. Then try to focus on the intersections of the lines. This framing process is essential to achieve a natural interaction between the customer and the audience and the image.
- Record different angles and do not be afraid to offer a new angle to potential customers. Sometimes creative thinking can change the look of a product.
- Try to create images that fit your lifestyle to better show the effect of jewelry to the audience. Create a narrative through images to inspire the need for the product and increase the customer’s desire to buy it.
- Creatively crop images. Just do not crop the photo just to fit the social media format. For example, try a diaper crop to give jewelry a more attractive appearance.
Editing jewelry photos
Retouching and editing images is one of the most important parts of photography. Retouching is the process of editing images to improve and recover images for digital and print format, which includes the following:
- Eliminate waste points
- Smooth and align photos
- Adjust light and contrast
- Eliminate unwanted and intense shadows and reflections
- Retouch studio quality photos
Jewelry photography is sometimes tedious, especially when you realize you can not solve the problem with just one click.
Jewelry photography is a challenging process, But being challenged does not mean it is impossible. In general, you should first ask yourself, what is your goal in jewelry photography? Choose your equipment based on the reason you give. You do not necessarily need expensive equipment. In addition, the final editing process is recommended for publishing photos both online and in print. Finally, always progress and have a brave heart to be on the right path.