How to Photograph Jewelry – top 10 Jewelry photography tips

jewellery photography

The key to a good jewelry photography is attaining the perfect exposure, lighting and most importantly, the sharpness of the product. These three are the main elements a photographer needs to master to achieve a profession jewelry photograph.

Jewelry photography is all about capturing the details of the product using the right amount and quality of light and sharpness to make your product stand out.

jewellery photography

Jewelry is not an easy product to photograph, it requires a good knowledge of lighting. A jewelry may be made of gold, silver, diamonds or even metal, which gives us an idea that some of these may reflect a good amount of light and some might not.

You can not define a specific arrangement of lighting for jewelry photography as each kind of jewelry has different properties and each of them will reflect back varied amount of light.

You can not define a specific arrangement of lighting for jewelry photography as each kind of jewelry has different properties and each of them will reflect back varied amount of light.

We have come up with 10 simple tips and tricks to help you understand the basics of jewelry photography which will assist you in clicking professional level photos in your home itself, that too with minimum investment. Here we go:

Setup and equipments:

The first step while starting your jewelry photo shoot is to choose the ideal background. Mostly, when I photography jewelry for my clients, I try and make my background as simple as possible and avoid any distractions to focus solely on the product.

Next thing on your checklist should be the selection of the light source for your jewelry product. The best and the most economical way is to invest in a light tent, and, believe me, it will not cost you more than $ 20-25. It provides you the scope to place your light anywhere you desire in the 360-degree range of area.

Once you have these two basic elements ready, the next question you should ask yourself is: how do I light up my jewelry product?

Lighting:

While lighting your product, you should always avoid to expose it directly, as the light falling directly on the product will create hot spots and hard shadows. Then what?

Lighting your product through light diffusers such as a softbox helps spread the light evenly and eliminates the hot spots and any form of reflections on your product.

jewelry photography light setup

3-way lighting is the best approach which I often use to expose my product evenly. Position two lights with a softbox mounted on each of them, one on the left side of the light tent and other on the right side. The third light can be positioned just behind the camera, to act as a fill light, which helps in exposing the product from the center and add sparkle to your jewelry.

Use a macro lens:

The key to a crisp and sharp jewelry photo is the macro lens. In simple words, a macro lens helps you capture your product from a short distance, enabling you to eliminate any extra background to focus only on your product. I would suggest, always carry a macro lens during your jewelry photo shoot in order to capture each and every diamond or pearl crisp and clear.

My personal favorite macro lenses are Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens and Tamron 90mm f/2.8 SP AF Di lens.

Setting the focus of your camera for perfect jewelry photography:

Another important key to click a sharp image is to efficiently set the focus of your camera. In the digital cameras, the auto-focus feature sometimes fails to correctly focus on the product, when using a macro lens. I would advice, always switch your camera to manual focus mode and with the help of the focus ring of your macro lens, set the focus exactly where you want the maximum sharpness on your jewelry.

Use a tripod and a shutter release for better jewelry photography:

While clicking jewelry, it is very important to place your camera at a stationary position as with the change in slight angle of your camera the whole lighting of your product can change. Moving your camera few inches here and there can make your diamonds turn dull, this is the reason jewelry photography is one of the hardest form of photography to master. With every angle, the effect of light changes.

This is the reason you should always place your camera on a steady tripod.

Using a shutter release cable or remote helps you avoid any shake which might occur while clicking the shutter release button of your camera.

jewellery photography

Depth of field

In order to focus on the entire piece of the jewelry, set the aperture value of your camera to maximum, which means the aperture is the smallest which makes you focus on the entire piece of jewelry, instead of a selective region.

White Balance

White balance is a process to eliminate the color casts which usually the human eyes can not see, the cast can range between bluish and yellowish color tunes. In order to remove the color casts, head to your camera setting and select the option of custom white balance.

In order to remove the color casts, head to your camera setting and select the option of custom white balance. Next, hold a piece of gray card or a white paper in front of the lighting where you are planning to place the jewelry. Click a photo of the card and use the image as a reference white balance to shoot your photos.

Patience

You might be thinking, how much time would it take to click a piece of jewelry? You are wrong my friend, jewelry photography required a lot of patience and time. You might spend hours to get that perfect shot, adjusting the lighting, introducing bounce cards, etc.

Keep clicking until you get the PERFECT frame your desire.

Always shoot in RAW

This is something I always keep in mind before starting with my shoot. Make sure you set the image format to RAW or RAW + JPEG, as it helps you retain all the detail in the image and would help you during the editing process.

Do you still have some questions pertaining to Jewelry Photography? Feel free to shoot them at us in the comments below. :)

About Author

Kunal Malhotra
Kunal Malhotra, a photography enthusiast whose passion for photography started 6 years back during his college days. Kunal is also a photography blogger, based out of Delhi. He loves sharing his knowledge about photography with fellow aspiring photographers by writing regular posts on his blog: The Photography Blogger. Some of his favourite genres of photography are Product, Street, Fitness and Architecture.

  • Nirant Kavani

    Hi Kunal,
    I m Diamond Jewellery manufacturer as well retail, by hobby and for need i m jewellery photographer. traditionally we small camera for our data images. Recently i bought NIKON D5200 with 18-140mm lense f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR . i have gone through ur post and you recommend macro lense . what is ur opinion for my combination. Can i go with this lense or i have to buy macro also..?

    • If you want to click sharp images for your jewelry products i would still recommend you to use a macro lens. Trust me you would yourself see the difference in the quality and sharpness of the output. If you want to use the images for prints or on ecommerce sites, do prefer buying a macro lens.

      • Nirant Kavani

        Thanks krunal…!! any suggestion for macro lanse which i have to pick..??

  • Siddharth Bajaj

    Please connect with me at 9891060350.
    thanks
    Siddharth Bajaj

  • Prerna Pashte

    Nice blog. Very useful.
    http://jewelleryphotographymumbai.in/