When it comes to product photography, natural lighting, exposure, ISO, and sharpness carry a lot of weight to capture the best quality pictures. However, these factors become even more significant for photographers who are into jewelry photography.
Now, you might be wondering why. Let me help you clear your confusion with a simple question. What do you think clients would look for before purchasing pieces of jewelry online? Product images, right?
So, if you want to convince the customers to buy the jewelry from your website, it’s important to display even the little details of your products.
Considering it as a first step, both the success and failure of your jewelry business depend highly on jewelry images. That’s why it’s often considered to be quite more complex than other branches of photography.
This article is a complete guideline to help you with the topic of how to take jewelry photos with a DSLR. So, keep reading!
The requirements of various gadgets for jewelry photography using a DSLR can vary depending on one’s budget. Yet, whether you are willing to keep your expenses low or high, you will need some basic equipment to nail your jewelry photography.
Let’s have a glimpse at the Jewelry photography vital gadgets-
An ideal surface is needed for taking jewelry pictures. You can use a standard portable table measuring a width of 24 to 27 inches. The table can have an ordinary white, reflective, or wooden surface according to your choice of background.
Instead of handholding, use a tripod to avoid your camera from jiggling. Tripods are both effective and budget-friendly at the same time. It helps to maintain the picture’s quality & consistency by giving your camera a proper balance.
In order to capture jewelry images, lighting is important. Now, the source of light can be either natural or artificial. For natural lighting, you can use rooms with windows allowing enough lights to enter.
On the other hand, if you lack natural lighting to take pictures, you can choose the option to get artificial lights that are available on the market.
Foam boards are another important piece of equipment required for jewelry photography. While shooting these sorts of product photos, every time a shadow would pop up on the side.
To solve this problem, you can use a white color foam board which will help to reflect the light back. Hence, you can capture a decently bright jewelry image by avoiding the darkness of any kind of shadow.
While taking the jewelry pictures on your table, you will need clamps/tapes to hold the foam boards right in place and keep it stable.
After you have gathered all the basic equipment mentioned above along with your DSLR, you are all set for your jewelry photo shoot. You can carry on with the step-by-step process.
Since you are using a DSLR, before everything, setting up the camera would be your first task. To begin with, make sure to choose your lens that has a wide-ranging aperture. This is because a narrow aperture is likely to darken your jewelry photography.
Hence, to get the best outcomes, get a lens within the f/1.8 – f/4 range for your DSLR camera and make adjustments as per your requirement.
Suggested Article: Best Lens for Product Photography.
Now, the second thing to do is to set up the table that you have decided to use as a surface for your jewelry. Find the area in your place that you want to use for photo shooting. If there’s a window nearby, set your table straight with the left or right side of it.
After you are done setting up your table, you need to form a vertical sweep/white background. If there’s a wall next to you, simply tape the sweep on it.
If not, use blocks/bricks to give support to the back of your sweep. Then, you can put your tripod fronting your setup.
For lighting, if there’s enough natural light coming through the window where you are shooting, artificial light sources may not be that crucial. However, in case your shooting space lacks a sufficient amount of light, you might need to opt for artificial ones.
Using artificial lighting will make your setup look a bit different. You will need to set a light source and an umbrella/softbox at an angle of 45-degree to your jewelry. Then, place your DSLR right before the piece of jewelry.
Again, you might notice some shadows if your product is kept in the backward direction of the sweep. To get rid of such nuisance, you can simply change the product’s position and bring it nearer to you.
It’s obvious that the item that is supposed to be photographed should be spotless and polished. Sometimes, things that are not visible in bare eyes get revealed after being photographed.
Because of taking photographs with a DSLR camera and the lighting arrangement, even small details of the jewelry become significant for the photo shoot. So it’s important to keep your jewelry clean before you take their pictures.
Make sure to wipe your jewelry always after touching it. You can also use cotton gloves for reshoots to save time. Once they are polished, you are ready to organize your jewelry accordingly.
For someone who has just begun jewelry photography, it’s better to start naturally with simple white background. However, you can always proceed with testing different styles over time.
There are many techniques to make photos more attractive and interesting. Styling pieces of jewelry actually depends on your creativity and choice of presenting them.
You can choose an eye-catching marble base, classic texture, or contrasting bright backgrounds for shooting your jewelry pictures.
Besides, you can also use various props, for example- pendant/earring stands or ring holders to put your jewelry in several positions.
As soon as you are ready to shoot, stabilize your camera by placing it on the tripod. Position it in such a length and distance so that you are taking photographs of the product at a slightly down spot.
For the lights, point them along with softbox/diffusing umbrellas over the jewelry on whichever side you need. Angle them in the direction of the product with the same level of power.
Make sure that this arrangement of light is able to fill the entire frame consistently without letting any noticeable ugly spots be shaped on your jewelry.
In addition, shoot several pictures from different angles to showcase all features of your product. Consequently, you will be able to build trust with the customer just in case some of them wanted to see a close-up shot of the product.
While taking photographs of the jewelry, one of the core aspects is to focus on the spot of charm. For instance, the central diamond, pearl, or gems on a pendant, bracelet, or ring. In such cases, you can simply use Auto Focus.
Nevertheless, you might still find the focus off sometimes from close-ups as well. If so, you have to verify the picture afterward by reviewing it. Then, refocus again, verify and capture the image. Repeat until you get accurate results.
If you are taking photos for a catalog or something similar, you might need to have the full piece of your jewelry in focus. Therefore, make sure to capture some winning shots as well where the whole thing is also under focus.
One of the most important things while shooting photos of your jewelry is maintaining the white balance. This will help you to capture the exact colors of the product in the images.
In order to adjust the white balance of your camera, you can manually keep altering the settings until you get your preferred results. Moreover, you may also use the gray card regarding the adjustments of the white balance.
Thus, you can prevent getting your jewelry snapped in different colors because of your existing lighting condition rather than the original one.
Another crucial step while taking images of jewelry is the elimination of reflections. Because of the reflective nature of metals and gemstones, you may often find yourself or your camera mirrored in the pieces of jewelry.
To avoid this sort of reflection during the photo shoot, you don’t need any expensive setups. Just place a paper encircling and at the end part of your camera’s lens. Then, use a soft/dim light above to provide sufficient lighting but also be aware not to create excessively reflective spots. Next, uplift your camera together with the tripod to some extent so that you can shoot the images of your jewelry slightly down.
Bad Photoshop can ruin the end result of your product photography along with your entire effort. Because poorly retouched images can make customers feel the product might be fake & bogus.
This will not only dent your confidence but also hinder you from moving forward. So it’s crucial to gain Photoshop expertise before you touch up your product photography or seek help from a professional before you warp up.
Furthermore, you can also build templates that are able to set borders, align, and crop your product photos constantly as needed.
When dealing with jewelry photography with a DSLR camera, we can’t but override recommending the best DSLR cameras. Honestly speaking, there are umpteen DSLR cameras that you can try out to nail your jewelry photography.
It’s not that the number of top-notch DSLRs for jewelry photography is limited. If you explore online, you will find DSLRs of multiple brands for jewelry photo shoots. These brands offer tons of camera models, each one coming with new addition of features than the previous one.
Needless to say, the prices of these DSLRs vary depending on the brand, model, and package. To make your job easier to find the best DSLR camera for your jewelry photography, we will recommend 3 cameras from 3 world-class brands.
Let’s check them out-
A cracking DSLR for both novices and seasoned photographers, Nikon CoolPix P900 is at your disposal to pick up. What makes the DSLR a great option for jewelry photography is its optimum quality at a budget-friendly price.
When it comes to the core features of this mind-blowing camera, the list goes long. To name a few, it boasts a robust electronic viewfinder, multiple modes, GPS, Wi-Fi, flip-out pivoting high-resolution LCD, and so on.
Nikon CoolPix P900, however, stands out by offering a dazzling 24-2000mm lens with 83x optical zoom. On top of that, you will get166x dynamic zoom and 332x digital zoom in this peachy DSLR camera.
When we recommend a DSLR, it’s salient to mention about the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO features. You will get an aperture range of f/2.8-6.5 to set your aperture. And based on the aperture setting, you can set the shutter speed.
The camera is able to provide minute details of your jewelry photography provided that you keep a low ISO setting. In addition, you will get magnificent image stabilization, a 16MP CMOS sensor, and a built-in lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 24-2000mm.
Key Features at a Glance:
Canon EOS 70D comes with scintillating features that will satisfy both rookie and pro jewelry photographers. The camera features 20-megapixel crop sensor and live processing filters that make it a perfect choice for jewelry photography.
The highlight of the camera is a 3-inch retractable touch screen that will let you focus on the subject with the touch of your finger. In addition, you will get built-in flash on the camera that can illuminate the shooting area if it lacks light.
That’s all? Definitely, not! The camera processor provides super fast speed in the camera system. Canon EOS 70D has the ability to record up to 7 fps in full-resolution. What will blow your mind is its continuous autofocus for non-stop shooting in live view.
On top of that, the ISO range is phenomenal with 100-12800 (Extendable to 25600) which produces mesmerizing jewelry images coupling with white balance. The camera has a maximum aperture of f/3.5, making it a great option for macro shots.
Key Features at a Glance:
If you are in search of a DSLR camera for jewelry photography from Sony brand, Sony Alpha SLT A-777 can be a strong contender of the previous two. This camera has all the qualities and features that you would normally seek in a DSLR camera.
The SLT A-777 comes with a Magnesium alloy body, built for the real world. For pro photographers, it’s an ideal choice as it provides plenty of ease in photo shooting. The camera has dual control dials that provide photographers first-hand access to 2 settings at a time.
When it comes to lens, Sony 100mm f/2.8 full scale is the best one you can have for this DSLR camera. The SLT-A77 has a 24.3-megapixel sensor APS-C. It is able to shoot up to 12 frames per second at full-resolution with continuous autofocus.
Key Features at a Glance:
Jewelry photography isn’t a snap! It’s an uphill task for product photographers as pieces of jewelry contain minute details. Photographers need to be super circumspect to ace the job. That’s why we have put this effort to craft this write-up.
Right from the gadgets to the DSLR cameras, we have covered all the essentials of jewelry photography. So, this write-up, no doubt, can be an excellent guide to nailing your jewelry photography.
Hopefully, the above 10 tips will work fantastically for your jewelry photography. If you have any questions or any points to add regarding jewelry photography, don’t be hesitant to do that. Leave your point or question in the comment section and we will promptly respond.