How to take pictures of jewelry as a photography amateur?

Jewelry photography is an unsolved mystery to amateur photographers. But I have some tricks to share with you so you can achieve dramatic results with minimal effort. 

Focus gives highlight

For jewelry, many digital cameras cannot focus precisely on small shiny objects. So for close-up photos, you need a better camera with good manual focus. 

Lighting is everything

Soft light works better for jewelry. Do not use camera flash, because it will create harsh and distracting shadows. Especially, do not shoot jewelry under strong sunlight, nor against a reflective and bright white background material. They will all lead to overexposure which will ruin your product photo. 

Adjust your aperture on camera to F/5.6 or F/8 normally will do the job. Also, there are different lights on the market, try not to mix different lights sources such as using tungsten and fluorescent lights at the same time or mixing candle and strobe at the same time. 

The first light should be a soft, gradient lighting and it can be achieved by using a single strong light source together with a white acrylic. The white acrylic can act in-between to diffuse the strong light. Or you can simply buy a soft box. 

Then you may need the second light to give gemstone a sparkle. Just like ladies using primer for their make-up, gemstones also need the final highlight touch. Especially when you are shooting faceted shiny jewelry like ruby or sapphire necklaces. The uniqueness and rareness of it can be fully revealed and that is what attracts most to people. 

But the second light has to be projected from a different angle. 

Angle makes a difference

Sometimes, getting the best jewelry photo is all about angle. You need some time to properly position jewelry to find the perfect shine or sparkle. Try several different angles to see what looks the most pleasing.

Make it stand or float. 

Bring more liveliness and personality to your jewelry products by making it stand or float in the air. You may need tools such like glue guns, open frame, a clear thread, clear plastic stud holder, cardboard sheets, photography props, etc. 

Plastic stud holder is suitable for earrings.

Clear thread is less visible to eyes and ideal for editing.

Use tree branches. That’s awesome and one of a kind.

Combine background tools to make it stand.

Mind the structure and geometry in this photo.

Background sets the right vibe.

You can use high gloss black acrylic to serve as photo background, because first, it makes jewelry stand out more, and second, it can create many desirable effects such as dramatic reflection.

You do not necessarily need to use photoshop to create a reflection or remove a background, which is so time-consuming and not so friendly for photography amateurs. You can simply find some background removal tools online to change its real-life background into an ideal one in seconds.

Remove backdrops using AI algorithms by one single click.

Change background into different colors.

Or you can brainstorm some fun ideas to create more unique and engaging background using different tools, colors, curve, or texture such as the following examples. 

Look at the following photo, you will see it is not entirely black color, but black lotus patterns, the same shape as the jewelry design.That is another level of detail focus.

Using marble and white window patterns is another genius idea because it avoids being too dull. Plus marble patterns are always popular among customers.


Mirror can generate unlimited inspirations.

Use photos displayed by laptop screen as the background.

When you combine the “floating” strategy as I mentioned before together with shadow and geometry, your product will give people the most simple yet luxury brand impression.

Use a tripod 

A tripod is essential to take steady photos. So make sure you have one, no matter big or small. 

Keep it simple

Just follow basic rules for photography. You will not lose much scores unless you break the most important rules such as stuffing your photo with too many objects. In that case, customers will be confused to know which one is the main product.

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