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How to Photograph Jewelry

One of the first few things you want to do when you get new jewelry is take a picture of it and share it with your friends and family. Taking a picture on auto mode just won't do, and you could end up with a distorted image of your beautiful new piece of fashion jewelry that doesn't capture its color or shine. By taking the time to set up a quick space in your home, you'll be able to get the shot you want to show off your new rock.

What you'll need:

  • Camera - Make sure your camera has zoom, flash, manual mode and a macro option.
  • Tissue - If you need to use flash, diffuse the light by covering it in a piece of tissue.
  • Reflector - Strong light should be diffused with a reflector. If you don't have one, you can make one by covering a piece of cardboard in foil.
  • Tripod - You want your image to be as clear and stable as possible. The best way to do ensure you have a still image is with a tripod.

Step 1: Set Up the Background

Choose a plain white wall, a piece of paper or any other type of simple background that won't take away from the features of your jewelry. Opting for a plain background, especially white, will allow you to easily correct and tweak the image in photo editing software.

Step 2: Take Your Pictures Somewhere Near Natural Light

The two best times of day for natural sunlight are in the morning and afternoon. Shooting at those times isn’t always convenient, which is why photographers set up lighting tents to create the effect of natural light. If you need to use flash, place a piece of tissue over it to help diffuse the light for a softer and more natural look.

Step 3: Use a Reflector

When you can't shoot in a setting with natural light, use a reflector so the lighting isn't as harsh on your subject. If you don't have a reflector readily available, wrap a piece of cardboard in foil and use that instead.

Step 4: Stand as Far as You Can and Zoom in on the Subject

The farther you can stand from your jewelry, the less chance you have of being reflected on its surface. Zoom in as much as you can on the subject to capture the intricate details.

Step 5: Change up Your Point of View

You can try some creative ideas as you go. For instance, put the piece on a model so your viewers can see how it's worn. When you shoot, get close, back up or take pictures from a bird's eye view. By switching up the viewpoint, you can capture different aspects of the jewelry that you didn't realize were so beautiful.