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Any jewelry rings, bracelets, or necklaces presents a unique set of challenges, especially when taking professional photos of them. Most jewelry comes with small and reflective features that staging and creating a setup for it tends to be complicated. While it may seem tricky at first glance, having the right know-how allows you to get started with no problem. We will guide you in preparing and planning for your setup, staging the subject, and taking your best shots.
To produce high-quality photos, you need to have a good setup right from the very start. Before nailing your setup, know first the necessary materials, tools, and equipment you need to photograph jewelry items as good as possible.
- Plain, White, and Clean Backdrop
Jewelry often comes with intricate details. If you use a busy backdrop for your setup, your main subject loses the attention it needs. So, as much as you want to use your company’s brand colors or a printed backdrop, think first whether it can benefit the presentation of the main subject of your photo or not.
- Professional or Smartphone Camera
Any type of camera will do as long as it can produce a good photo. Many would think that a high-end device is all that you need to create an impressive output. However, your camera is only a part of your setup; it does not sum up the whole. So, whatever device you have right now, that would already suffice.
- Tripod or Smartphone Mount
Invest in a quality tripod or smartphone mount, depending on what camera you will use. Sure, you can always make do with any flat and even surface. But nothing beats the flexibility and convenience that comes in a tripod. With it, you can conveniently steady your camera and avoid taking shaky photos.
- Proper Light Source
When it comes to taking photographs of small and intricate items like jewelry, you need to have adequate lighting. You can choose between natural lighting or studio lighting equipment. Along with that, you can make use of a fill light or reflector to ensure that you will capture evenly lit photos.
As stated, taking photographs of various types of jewelry presents a unique set of challenges. But worry not since most of these challenges can be managed with the same set of dos and don’ts.
- Do use a white backdrop
Black and red backdrops may make your subject look elegant. However, using white allows light to reflect well and even on your subject, resulting in an output that brings out the intricate detailing of the jewelry.
- Do have a “just-in-case” kit ready.
You may encounter hitches in your photoshoot setup that can affect the progress of your shoot. That is why you are advised to have a just-in-case kit ready before any session. This kit may include pins, tape, glue, and any materials that will keep your setup intact.
- Do find ways to diffuse light
You may have the high-end lighting equipment in your hands. However, you need to keep in mind that you are taking photographs of a highly reflective subject. During sessions, find ways on how you can diffuse the light from the source so as not to affect your final output.
- Don’t take focus for granted
As mentioned, most jewelry comes in small sizes and with intricate detailing. This makes focus a very important element in jewelry photography. Set your aperture to low and check whether the edges of the item are blurry or not.
- Don’t dare to use your flash
If you already have a good light source, then don’t bother using your camera’s flash anymore. Using both your light source and your camera flash will only result in a poorly lit photo with funny colors. The light coming from camera flashes are harsh, and it will not look good on your subject.
- Don’t make the mistake of using filters
If you are planning to use your smartphone camera, resist the urge to use any filter. If you have adequate and soft lighting in the first place, the use of a filter is unnecessary. Using filters also result in an unprofessional-looking output, and you surely wouldn’t want that.
- Your Whole Setup is More than the Sum of its Parts
Don’t worry about not having a high-end camera, a fancy background, or not having the best lighting equipment. Even if you only make use of a smartphone, a plain white background, or the sunlight, it can still create professional outputs as a whole.
- Keep an Eye on the Details
Every type of jewelry has its own distinct detailing. For example, the ring you are about to take a photo of may have a beautiful center stone that would obviously be the highlight of your photo. However, make sure that you will not forget about the rest of the ring’s details, such as the bridge, shank, and accent stones.
- Ensure You Have a Clean Subject
Do you want to sell your jewelry products successfully? Then make sure that you clean it first before taking photos of it. No amount of lighting can help you out if you have smudged or dusty jewelry. The quality of your subject affects the quality of your final photograph output.
- Make Use of Props
Props, such as a mannequin bust or hand can help in the presentation of your jewelry items. Apart from that, it gives your target audience the idea of how it would look like on an average-sized individual. Props also give your jewelry items a realistic shape and form, and it also gives your entire products a sense of elegance.
- Keep Things Simple
Even if you are advised to make use of props, know that simplicity will always bring out the best in your subject. If you are unsure on how to stage your subject using the props, then abandon them altogether and shoot the jewelry as it is.
When it comes to jewelry photography, preparation is the key. Now that you have the basic know-how, you can already get started with this photography with confidence!