Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Secret to My Amazing Jewelry Photos — Jewelry Making Journal

The Secret to My Amazing Jewelry Photos — Jewelry Making Journal

The Secret to My Amazing Jewelry Photos

by Shirin.
(Boston, VA)

Setup for Photographing Jewelry

Here is an example of a photo taken with this setup, so you have an idea what I mean by a professionally-looking photo.

I have been asked (on numerous occasions) to share the secret to my professionally-looking photos taken in the comfort of my own home.

Guess what? I am sharing it for the first time ever, and I am doing it here on JMJ to pay Rena back for all the great info she shares so graciously with all of us.

I have learned a lot of useful tips when I was just starting out, and I am forever grateful to all of you who shared them, and glad that I didn't have to learn them the hard way.

Ok, so today is my turn to share something, hopefully useful to some of you.

We all know how a picture is worth a hundred/thousand/million words, and how bad photography doesn't really help you promote your creations and sell your art.

I have tried many ways of photographing my jewelry trying to make it look good enough to tempt people to buy it.

I made my own light boxes, tried natural light through the window on a glorious sunny morning, took photos in almost all rooms of the house, as well as practiced taking them outdoors, etc.

As you see, I wasted a lot of time and not so much money (thankfully), but nothing worked until I finally developed my own method that I am happy with, and judging by the comments I am getting, others are happy with the results as well.

The secret is terribly simple:

Setup for Photographing Jewelry - Shirin

White poster board behind a glossy surface. That is all I use for my photo studio. Also, note the wire line attached to the sides of the board. I use it to hang necklaces or earrings.

  • White foldable poster board sold in most office supplies stores. I got mine at Target, and I think it cost me no more than $8.
  • Glossy surface. I was lucky enough to own a small black glossy coffee table I bought years ago at Walmart for $10.
Setup for Photographing Jewelry - Shirin

I use this box under the board for an extra elevation in some photographs. For example, when taking photos of earrings, I need the board to be at a certain angle to make sure the earrings are hanging closer to the front of my glossy surface, and farther from the board. This way I don't have that sharp line where black and white meets and spoils the photo. The farther my jewelry is from the board, the more naturally my background looks in the photos.

After experimenting with different angles and placements I take photos with a flash setting on my camera, mainly because I don't have any good windows around, and flash seems to work fine.

Setup for Photographing Jewelry - Shirin

I need to have the board lean towards the front when taking earrings shots. I can move it forward when I have smaller earrings and I want the reflection to get into the picture, and I can move it back when I have longer earrings.

I am sure a well-lit location would not require the use of flash, but that is up to you to experiment with.

Feel free to ask me questions and have fun taking your own professionally-looking photos.

Shirin
Shirin Designs
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~A.

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