DIY Guide to Photographing Jewelry on a Budget

DIY Guide to Photographing Jewelry on a Budget

Who has not succumbed to an impulse get based mostly on stunning shots of jewelry on-line? As an up-and-coming jewelry designer, you know that photographing your jewelry is the essential to booming revenue. Regardless of whether you want to promote on your web site, by means of social media or at craft fairs and vacation marketplaces, you’ll want digital-friendly and print-worthy photos that do justice to your rings, necklaces or bracelets.

But who has the price range for a professional photographer, studio or pricy products? And who has the time to find out the ins and outs of photographing smaller objects?

Luckily, using gorgeous photos of jewelry doesn’t need designs, a significant spending plan or a long time of skills. In fact, the regulations for finding the greatest images of scaled-down operates are distinct from those that govern greater objects.  

Stick to Artweb’s professional guidance for how to photograph your jewellery at household, with just a few family things and a shoestring funds.

A pink rose provides a romantic background for photographing diamond rings
A macro lens helps give a shallow focus that blends qualifications

What you will have to have to bogus a expert picture shoot

It’s feasible to build qualified-on the lookout images at dwelling in your possess makeshift studio. A modest expense in products, combined with a handful of home merchandise, some shifting of furnishings and a minor creative imagination provides your very own in-residence photo shoot.

On the lookout for even a lot more specialized depth on how to photograph your jewellery? Verify out our tutorial to photographing your artwork.

DSLR or Medium Structure Digicam

Whenever you photograph a thing modest, it is finest to function with a so-named DSLR or medium structure digital camera. Contrary to your phone’s digicam, they make it possible for you to transform lenses, which is superior for zooming in on element.

A DSLR is a electronic one lens reflex camera that enables you to change lenses on the same digital camera body. It brings together the electronic imaging sensor of a cell phone digicam with the optics and mechanisms of a solitary-lens reflex digicam (aka an analog or movie digicam).

Alternatively, you could use a medium structure digital camera. Medium structure cameras have to have film, which signifies you are going to need to have to include the expenditure of creating your images. Even though these cameras capture wonderful depth and texture, the technological know-how essential and stress of film growth may perhaps not outweigh the benefits.

Your instinct may well be to use the electronic digicam on your telephone. And of class, your camera cellular phone will work in a pinch. But do not suppose you can make all your edits to your photographs when you add visuals to your pc.  It is often simpler to get the perfect shot from the outset.

If you don’t own a significant-quality digicam, borrow from a buddy or get inventive and swap jewellery in trade for a day’s use of a professional digicam. Entry-level DSLR cameras commence at $200-300, so you may perhaps take into consideration investing in one particular if you strategy to photograph your jewelry on a regular basis.


With smaller sized objects, capturing element is necessary. That can be tougher with an everyday digicam or telephone digicam as opposed to a DSLR.

To portray every curve and shimmer of a ring, necklace or earrings, you need to have a slower shutter velocity. If the mild is decrease, or you have to have to capture additional element, you may possibly want to shoot slower. Nevertheless, beware of so-called digital camera shake. When taking pictures at everything slower than 1/60th of a 2nd, your hands expand unsteady and get started to shake. As a end result, you may possibly deliver a blurred, a little bit out-of-focus picture.  

The good news is, a tripod is the jewellery photographer’s mate. Performing with a tripod signifies you set a timer, step absent away from the digital camera and depart the shutter open up for longer with no movement.  

Essential tripods can charge wherever from $30-100, though large-duty specialist tripods can go for numerous hundred pounds.

Tripod and ISO

Working with a tripod also means you can also boost your photographs’ sensitivity to light. The consequence is a lot less pixilation and a pin-sharp photograph.

To modify your digicam sensor’s light sensitivity, you’ll need to have to adjust for a measurement referred to as ISO (quick for a French acronym that usually means Intercontinental Group of Specifications). ISO is a measurement of your camera’s sensitivity to mild. A decrease ISO price suggests fewer sensitivity to mild, though a better ISO usually means far more sensitivity.

You can shoot in any lights you want on a tripod with a timer.  A camera’s most affordable ISO is 100.

To take beautiful pictures of your jewellery, you’ll need to experiment with both shutter pace and ISO. Test various settings until you obtain the exceptional end result.

Macro lens

A macro lens on a camera is like a microscope. It enlarges little objects and captures particulars that may well not be conveniently visible to the bare eye.

If you consistently require to acquire illustrations or photos of smaller sized merchandise like jewelry, you may possibly want to make investments in a macro lens.  It operates like other lenses but is specially built for near-up work, or compact detail.  Macro lenses are offered in different lengths for different needs. The most common lengths are 50mm, 100mm and 180mm, while they vary by manufacturer.

If you are making use of an ordinary 35mm lens, get as close to the item as probable to prevent zooming in. Zooming in with a regular lens might not capture the depth in your jewellery as sharply as you’d want for pictures on your web-site or a print marketing campaign.  

A macro lens could set you back a number of hundred dollars. So do your investigation and make positive the lens you acquire satisfies your requirements. If it is any consolation “budget macro lens” yields dozens of success on Google, so with a very little legwork, you can obtain a thrifty option.

photographing jewelry on a foil background
Aluminum foil has been employed as a surface area and backdrop on this image


When choosing the location for your makeshift studio, be certain you have excellent purely natural gentle with nominal purely natural shadow.

If you are using a tripod you can slow the shutter pace and raise/lower ISO to seize detail at the correct lighting level. 

When lighting jewellery, contemplate the texture of the item. Do you want to reflect the sides of a diamond?  Or a smooth glow on treasured metals? Or display the grain depth in wood?  Your lighting needs will depend on equally the kind and medium of jewelry you want to photograph, as very well as the ambiance you hope to create.

Prevent pointing a flash directly at your jewellery. That only results in sharp shadows. Ironically, even inanimate objects can realize that “rabbit caught in headlights” truly feel. 

You can angle a flash at a reflector to soften the light-weight, or just use a table lamp or mobile phone light defused by way of material or paper.  This technique will build shadow.  Of study course, there are professional reflectors that present unique possibilities. But for modest items you can just place the flash at a piece of paper until finally the lights on the item is suitable.

Curate the environment

The elegance of performing small is that you can make the outcome of a qualified photography studio by repurposing popular domestic things.

Obvious a modest corner of your home wherever you can use a dining area desk, accumulate desk lamps and interesting surfaces you imagine would enhance your item.

vintage baroque victorian wallpapers are great for photographing jewelry
Vintage Baroque Victorian wallpapers can make striking backdrops to your photography

Create a bespoke background (on a price range)

It is astonishingly uncomplicated to build a customized and experienced background for just a several dollars. Just abide by these simple ways:

#1: Decide on a backdrop

Get started with a roll of paper. Wallpaper will work brilliantly.  You can use shelf lining paper for a simple history. Or, if it’s drama you seek, opt for a far more baroque print with pattern or coloration. 

Keep away from gift wrap as it creases very easily. Alternatively, you can use material (make certain it is crease-cost-free).  Eventually, you can create the influence of marble, wooden or tile working with printed wallpaper. Seem for designers like Lucie Annabel, who specializes in English-influenced wallcoverings. Darker colors perform brilliantly against valuable metals.

If you are photographing jewellery, a further great – and very low-cost – possibility is aluminum foil.  Lay it flat or scrunch it up and unfold it. The light-weight will replicate in it to give a delicate mirror graphic of the merchandise.  It seems odd, but attempt it and you will swiftly become a transform.  

#2: Situation your backdrop

To start, consider the conclude of the roll and pin it on a wall about three feet above a desk.  Let the paper roll down on to the table and off the edge.  This solution removes the horizontal line concerning wall and desk and keeps the concentration on your jewellery.   Sit the item in the center of the desk so the look at has the colored background all around it.

aluminum foil used as a backdrop for photography
Household aluminum foil sheets make a wonderful backdrop for jewelry.

#3: Use a lightbox

When photographing compact arts and crafts, you can accomplish a traditional, minimalist glance with a lightbox. It’s just a smaller plastic box that emits a subtle light-weight. Inserting small items on major and photographing it will give a quite clean up image that is best for on-line retailers. It’s will have to-have devices if you find your self photographing jewelry generally.

Extensively available, a standard A5 sized lightbox ought to value all over $20.

A lightbox is perfect for taking pictures of small items
A lightbox is a low cost and essential piece of products for capturing detail in tiny merchandise.

#4: Increase props

Acquire some objects that you would like to involve. If jewelry is your matter, you could want to consist of some raw materials such as stones or pebbles. For silverware or items designed for everyday use, you may perhaps want to incorporate props connected to the product’s use, this kind of as food or a plate.  

Also think about grouping items with each other. You could pair earrings with a matching necklace and bracelet. Or, you can set up things that complement each other, such as a broach and scarf.

photographing jewelry on a dramatic background
Spectacular backgrounds will demonstrate off the detail of your jewelry

Your checklist for photographing jewelry

Producing gorgeous pictures of your jewelry does not have to be hard. And it doesn’t have to charge a fortune. But to realize the most effective consequence, make confident you develop numerous compositions for each piece. That way, you will have many variations you can use for several advertising uses, together with your web page, social media and print strategies.

Just take these six sorts of photos:

  1. Photograph the product with a simple history. That will make it easier to take out the history totally to generate a “cut-out.” Astonishingly, removing the qualifications using Photoshop or Canva makes a a lot cleaner picture than photographing with a white history.
  2. Photograph towards a colored or patterned backgrounds.
  3. Capture details of the products in close-up.  Use a macro lens to get the finest success.
  4. Photograph with props. Use raw materials, similar or contrasting items.
  5. Pick out a product who can display off your creations.  You will most likely will need to observe the very same regulations as any style images (modelling companies have hand versions, for example).  But working with versions provides much more complexity to the shots, so if the shots are not quite great, do not use them.
  6. Supply a visual support to make clear the proportions or dimensions of the item.  Your potential buyers will grasp the dimension of your jewelry intuitively if you location it alongside an daily item. Of course, you need to also include composed measurements in the item’s description on your internet site, but individuals won’t pack the exact same wallop.

Making Eye-Catching Pics of Your Jewelry Doesn’t Have to be Tricky (or Expensive)

If you stick to these simple ways, you can Do it yourself your way to professional-searching images that will assure your jewelry sells by itself.

And, if you’re thinking exactly where to showcase these wonderful photos, consider creating a no cost web site with Artweb.