Thursday, October 23, 2014

Simple Jewelry Photography - My 3 Secrets

Simple Jewelry Photography Secrets

I'm often asked about my secrets to taking good jewelry pictures. I've been selling on Etsy for 6 years, and as you can tell from my before and after pictures, I've learned a few things along the way.

I would never refer to myself as a photographer and I have constantly struggled with my photography over the years, but with a lot of research and practice, I now feel like I've gotten a good handle on it. Here are my 3 top 'secrets' that I've picked up over the years.

1. The Right Camera and Lens
Have a good camera with the proper lens! Sorry, but this really is essential. The iPhone just won't cut it, at least not with jewelry. Jewelry photography has its own set of challenges and to get the fine detail that is needed, a good camera with the proper lens is important. I happen to have the Canon EOS 40D which works very well. But, here is the real secret - the 100mm Macro lens. Unfortunately, it can cost between $300 to $500 just for the lens. But, if money is an issue, the 50mm lens also works very well and you can get it for around $100.  These lenses allow you to get really good detailed close-up shots. 
    2. Natural sunlight. 

    This isn't as hard as it sounds. I still shoot indoors but next to the window (see the video link below for my 'perfect' location). Shooting next to the window allows me to get the natural sunlight that gives the best effect. I add 2 lamps on either side and I get a beautiful, natural setting that works for any color jewelry I photograph. Even better, with this setup I have no need for a light box. I've tried light boxes in the past with inconsistent results.

    3. Wear White.
    I went years without knowing this great secret. When you are taking pictures, the color bounces off of your clothing and wearing white makes you a natural reflector - cool huh! Wearing a different color shirt can create an off-color cast on your images, making the background color look dull or unnatural. I had always wondered in the past why some photo sessions turned out all wrong. Once I learned this secret, I've always had consistent photography.

    Here is a video of my photography 'studio' setup:
    Theresa Rose Designs - Jewelry Photography

    I hope these 3 tips help you. Please leave a comment if you found this useful and/or you have additional tips to share.