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10 tips for photographing jewellery

Photographing jewellery can be quite tricky. Because of the nature of the products, being small and often shiny, specialised lenses and careful lighting are highly desirable. However, no matter what type of camera and lens you have, the following 10 tips will enable you to achieve better results.

1 - LIGHTING

I cannot emphasise the importance of appropriate lighting. Poor lighting can give a negative impression of your product. On the other hand great lighting can bring your jewellery to life. Often professional photographers use studio lighting for shooting jewellery, but studio lights are expensive and require a great deal of experience. However, natural light is free to all and used sensibly, it is a great source of light for shiny objects such as jewellery. When using natural light, make sure the light is diffused and avoid direct sunlight.

2 - COMPOSITION

Think about the composition before taking your shot. Composition is just as important as lighting and it is worth planning it in advance. I often do a lot of sketches before a shoot. These sketches enable me to decide on certain aspects of the shoot such as the angle of the product, the background, the props, etc. Planning the composition ahead can save you a lot of valuable time.

By placing jewellery tools in the background we are providing a more interesting composition. Jewellery by Elin Johnston.

By placing jewellery tools in the background we are providing a more interesting composition. Jewellery by Elin Johnston.

3 - SHARPNESS

Make sure the main subject is sharp. Out of focus products do not make a great impression. Use a tripod if you have one, otherwise support your camera on a solid, sturdy surface such as a table.

4 - FOREGROUND AND BACKGROUND ITEMS

To make the image more interesting, focus on the foreground product and place complimentary products in the background and out of focus. This way you draw the eye to a specific detail while giving a hint of further interest beyond.

Jewellery by Pamela wilson

Jewellery by Pamela wilson

5 - GET CLOSE

Get close or if you do not have the appropriate lens to photograph your jewellery close up, shoot hi resolution images and crop in. When uploading images to web only, 72 dpi is sufficient, but shooting at 300 dpi enables you to crop in and not loose much image quality.

6 - THINK CREATIVELY

Think creatively - use interesting/complimentary props and don’t be afraid to experiment.   

Ceramic Jewellery by Michelle Butler

Ceramic Jewellery by Michelle Butler

7 - TAKE SHOTS AT DIFFERENT ANGLES

Take shots of your jewellery at different angles, some of the angles you have not thought about initially might surprise you.

By taking this photo from above and at an angle, we're creating a more dynamic shot

By taking this photo from above and at an angle, we're creating a more dynamic shot

8 - SHOOTS DETAILS

If possible take details of your jewellery. The more visual information you provide the more chance of it getting noticed.

9 - FINALISE WITH POST PRODUCTION SOFTWARE

Use a post production software such as Lightroom, Photoshop or others to finish off your image. No image comes out of DSLR cameras without needing some adjustment to exposure, contrast or even sharpness. An adjustment to your image, no matter how small, can make a big difference to the final quality of the image.  

10 - ENJOY THE SHOOT

Finally, try to enjoy the shoot and take your time to get it right. It would be a shame to diminish the work you have taken such pains to create by using poor photography.

As you have seen from our portfolio, one of our specialities is product photography. The above tips hopefully will help you take better photos of your jewellery. However, if you decide to do what you’re best at and leave the photography to a professional, please talk to us on 028 9756 5681.

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