How To Photograph Jewelry – Jewelry Photography Tips (2023)

While going to a jewelry store to buy a beautiful piece of jewelry is still a thing, a lot of it has changed ever since e-commerce jewelry selling has taken over a big part of the jewelry business. Now, most people purchase them online by checking the photos or at least checking the photos before going to the store to purchase them.

But when you are taking jewelry photography, either for your business or someone else’s, there are a lot of things you should keep in mind. Because such photography is not a piece of cake glares, reflection, and not capturing the right color or shine are common issues here.

So if you have such a project ahead, feel free to stick around a little more. Because today, I will share how to do jewelry photography like a pro and share some handy tips to improve your jewelry product photography skill.

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What Equipment Do You Need For Jewelry Photography?

One of the most important parts of jewelry photography, or any photography for the matter, is the equipment you use for the captures. Now, what equipment you use depends mostly on your budget, location, and preference. 

Most people or professional photographers choose to use various props and backgrounds for photography to add creativity. Some even prefer to use expensive gears to ensure the best quality result. 

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But if you want to keep it to a minimum or have fewer resources, you can still take excellent photographs. All you need to do is ensure you have the basic or most important equipment for photography. And here is the list-

Camera

Of course, you cannot do photography without a camera. But the problem is that you cannot do such photography with any camera.

No, you don’t need to go for a high-quality or top-branded DSLR camera for jewelry photography. But it has to be something good enough to capture the real color, and shade, showing enough necessary details.

Using a DSLR camera is definitely an added advantage. But nowadays, we all have smartphones like Android or iPhone that offer almost similar quality photos.

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So whether it is a phone camera or a digital photography camera, you can use it as long as you are okay with it. And if you want a DSLR for photography, you can do some research and find a good-quality camera within your budget range.

Tripod

Do you hand-hold your camera? That’s totally fine as long as you feel comfortable with it. It can also help you take shots from various angles without making any changes in the product’s position and angles.

However, if you are planning to take shots from a similar angle or want to take shots from above with the product on a flatlay, your best and most reliable equipment would be a tripod. Why?

Tripods can help you take photos more comfortably if you have to change the decoration or the scenario frequently. Rather than setting down the camera, you can just move to your work surface, fix what needs to be fixed and get back to the camera to take photos from a similar angle.

On top of that, holding the phone or camera in your hand can take shaky photos. But there is no such chance here if you have the camera or phone set on the tripod. Moreover, tripods are extremely handy if you are taking stop-motion photos.

Table

For placing or positioning the jewelry pieces, you will need a flat surface. But you cannot do that on the floor or neither on a surface that is uneven. That is why it is best to use a flat table. 

Now here is the thing is, the height of the table has to be neither too high nor too low. I would say a 2 to 3 feet high table should work fine. If you have a tripod, you can position it easily based on the table’s height.

Lighting Source

Finding the right light source is easy because it gives you the freedom to explore from various directions. But if you are using a tripod, you must make sure you have everything under the best light source. So what do you do if you do not have a natural lighting source?

In that case, you can just use artificial lights. There are photography lights of different sizes in the market. You can choose one based on how you want to take the photos or whether you want to take close-up shots.

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Remember that you do not need many bright or LED lights. Just keep it minimum and explore until the lighting source seems right to you.

Background

The photo background plays a vital role in the product’s appearance and overall image quality. Though it is up to the photographer what the background for the image will be. And sometimes, the clients instruct the photographer regarding the type of backgrounds they want for the images.

Natural backgrounds often go well with jewelry photography if you want to bring a natural and rustic vibe to the photos. On the other hand, you can just choose to use artificial backgrounds. But what can you use as artificial backgrounds?

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You can use any plain colored background for that. You can either use something you have at home or in your studio or purchase photography backgrounds available in the market.

Clamps/Tapes/Stand

The thing about product photography is they are mostly done without using any mannequin or live model. And jewelry product photography is only done using models when the sellers want to create advertising banners or catalogs.

Things have changed now. People now use various objects to set up jewelry pieces and other items. You can use clamps, a vertical stand, and tapes for that. These things also come in handy if you are hanging artificial backgrounds for photography.

Mannequin 

Talking about setting up the jewelry, if you don’t plan to keep things minimum or don’t have a fixed budget, you can invest in some mannequin or mannequin pieces.

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Let’s say you want to photograph rings or bracelets. Then you can certainly use some extra hands here. Using mannequins is less of a hassle than using this and that to keep the jewelry pieces upright or in a fixed position.

Foam Boards

For photographers with a minimum budget or limited resources, foam boards are very helpful. These boards are effective in eliminating shadows by reflecting the light where the shadow is.

In this way, you can ensure the jewelry piece has a sufficient light source. And it also helps minimize post-production editing hassle.

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How To Do Jewelry Product Photography?

So, do you have all the necessary equipment that I mentioned above? If you have, now it’s time to set everything up for the photography part. Here is a detailed step-by-step guide to help you learn how to do jewelry photography like a pro, even if you are only getting started.

Step 1: Set Up The Work Surface/Table

For jewelry photography, you just need a suitable work surface or table. This is where you will set up everything. However, you must also think about how you position the table.

For example, if you are setting things up next to the window for better light, you cannot just place the table directly in front of the window. It will only give you unnecessary lights and shadows. 

For best results, try positioning it at a 90° angle at the left or right side of the window. If you keep the table closer to the window in this position, you will get enough soft light.

If you are using sweeps for jewelry photography, you must position it correctly after setting up the table position. The purpose of the sweep is to offer a suitable background, especially when it comes to smaller products. So secure it next to a wall, if there is any, or use a wooden block or anything that will help it stand upright.

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Step 2: Set Up Your Tripod

Depending on your table and sweep position, you can now work on setting up the tripod. It should be easy because you may already know the angle from which you want to take photos. So place the title at that angle and adjust its height.

Then set your smartphone or digital camera on the tripod. If you are using a smaller tripod, you can place it on the table if there is enough space for the sweep, jewelry, props, etc. And don’t worry about the tripod’s height setup just yet. You can readjust it all later after preparing the jewelry.

Step 3: Position The Lights/Get The Light Settings

If you are satisfied with the natural lighting setup mentioned in step 1, you already have the perfect light setup. So you can skip this step. But if you don’t have such a source, you cannot miss this one.

Artificial light settings are different. But a big part of it depends on how you want the light on the jewelry pieces. Yet, here is how you do it.

Start by placing the light and umbrella (softbox) at a 45° angle facing the product. This will help you get soft light like the window setup. 

But does it create a big shadow on the sweep behind the product? If so, and you don’t want such a shadow, you can move the product slightly forward, away from the sweep. It will help you get a bright and white (assuming the sweep is white) background. And the camera should be in front of the product.

Step 4: Prepare The Photography Background And Props

If you are taking shots from a wider angle, you will need more than just a small sweep. So I suggest going with a photography background. You can choose various background colors to experiment a little to get the perfect view behind the jewelry piece, even though it will be out of focus.

Other than plain colored backgrounds, you will also find 3D backgrounds, marble backgrounds, or various textured backgrounds. Moreover, you will need some items or props to style the jewelry and make the image stand out even more.

For example, if you are photographing a ring, you can use a ring holder. It will help you get the right position to capture the beauty of the jewelry. You can also style the photo with small props, such as pearls, silk fabric, or anything that gives the theme more meaning but nothing too distracting.

Step 5: Prepare And Position Your Jewelry

You may think, “Why do I need to prepare already prepared jewelry?” Well, Sherlock, the product might seem ready, but you need to do a thing or two to make sure it is ready for photography.

After the photography surface, lighting, background, and camera settings, the jewelry is ready to come to focus and reveal its details. That is why you need to glam them up a little so that they appear flawless. 

Make sure you have wiped the jewelry pieces properly before placing them in front of the camera. You may need to wipe them every time you touch them just to be safe. And if cleaning them repeatedly seems like a hassle, you can wear a pair of cotton gloves and save your time.

Step 6: Set The Camera And Adjust Settings

You may already have set up your camera on the tripod. But did you adjust the camera settings and the shot angle? 

Set up everything in a way so that customers can get a detailed view of the product. Do not take photos by focusing on a single point and blurring out the rest. You can keep the aperture f-11 or higher. And keep your ISO lower, such as 100.

And the white balance should not be too high or low so that it can capture the natural color or be as close as possible. Some cameras adjust the white balance automatically. But if your camera does not do that, you need to adjust the setting manually.

Step 7: Take The Best Shots

Are you sure that the camera is facing the jewelry accurately and that the lights are illuminating the product from both sides without creating unnecessary shadows?

If yes, then you are ready to click some jaw-dropping jewelry photos. Take several shots from the same angle so that you can select the one that seems to capture everything accurately.

Step 8: Edit To Add A Finishing Touch

Sometimes, just photographing the product is not enough. You may get unnecessary things in the background, such as a shadow, maybe the camera did not capture the original color, or there is a spot or smudge on the jewelry piece. Whatever it is, editing the images to add a finishing touch is not a bad idea.


For editing the images, you can either use Photoshop application or various other paid or even free tools. But if you cannot do that or don’t have the time, you can just hire a professional photo editing service. And, of course, here at Clipping Arts India, we offer the best jewelry photo editing and retouching service.

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Jewelry Photography Tips

Everything you have read and learned so far is only the basics of doing jewelry product photography. Now, it’s time to learn some secrets behind taking absolutely flawless jewelry photographs like professionals. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind no matter what.

Camera Stability

You can’t expect to take a flawless shot if the camera is moving a lot or shaky. That happens a lot when you are not using a tripod or failing to keep your arms in a fixed position. That is why maintaining camera stability is important. And if you are having trouble taking close-up shots with the regular lens, I suggest you try using a macro lens.

Keep It Simple

Using only a white background may make some inexperienced photographers crook their noses. Some even think it is old school and you should try different things. While different is okay, you must also ensure you are not overdoing it. Adding too much color can be too much for many viewers, but sometimes simplicity offers the best version.

Less Is More

Many photographers choose to use various props to add variety to the image. It can be something entirely random or something that creates a theme or gives the overall image meaning. But while props are always welcome in jewelry, make sure they do not overpower the jewelry and keep it minimum.

Avoid Distractions

Using the wrong colored background or too much color can be a distraction. At the same time, using too many props can also be a distraction. And when you add too many distracting things to an image, it prevents viewers from focusing on the jewelry. So whether these are the ones I have mentioned or something else, try your best not to add anything that does not let the jewelry stand out more.

Maintain Consistency

When you are photographing e-commerce jewelry products, it is best not to lose consistency. You can note down the camera settings, camera and light angles you have used, and other important details so that the images appear more professionally captured. If you are using natural light as your lighting source, you can continue the shoot another day at the same time so that you can maintain similar lighting for all images.

Eliminate Glare And Reflection

One of the most challenging parts of jewelry photography is capturing photos without getting any reflection or glare on them. Sometimes, no matter how much you try, they are still there. So the best way to eliminate them is post-production edits.

Experiment With Angles

Don’t make the photos boring by capturing them from the same angle. Try experimenting by using top shots and horizontal shots. Keep exploring until you get the best angle.

Get Creative

Photography always helps photographers get more and more creative with their ideas and the things they use. So look around and see what you have, and get creative with various objects as long as it helps you get the best shots.

Frequently Asked Questions

For photographing jewelry at home, try the following.

  • Clean up a table
  • Set up your lighting or place the table somewhere with a natural light source
  • Position your jewelry
  • Set up the props (if there are any)
  • Set up your camera position and capture mode
  • Photograph the jewelry
  • Retouch the image if necessary.

Natural light sources are most definitely the best way to take jewelry images as it does not require extra lighting equipment. However, setting up the jewelry pieces in natural light can be challenging if the piece is reflective and has mirror work or stones in it.

So the best way to take a jewelry photo in natural light is to place it at a 90° angle at the left or right side of the window so that it does not get direct sunlight.

Photographing rings is more challenging as the product appears more attractive to the viewers’ eyes if you keep it in an upright position. And that is where the challenge comes in.

If you are not using a mannequin, I suggest you use good-quality double-sided tape. You can secure one side to a surface while using the other side to make the rings stand.

You won’t need a macro lens unless you plan to take a detailed or close-up shot of the product. Nowadays, many smartphones come with multiple camera lenses, including macro. If you don’t have a separate macro lens, you can surely try using that.

Conclusion

Jewelry photography has a huge success in online and e-commerce businesses. That is why manufacturers, brands, and sellers invest in the job to make sure they gain more customers, making it essential to know how to do jewelry photography.

So make sure to remember the tips and apply them to make a more professional approach and increase your audience.

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