5 Diamond Photography Tips for Every Jeweler
Published on: January 22, 2021
Last updated: January 21, 2021
Are you in need of some diamond photography tips to take your online jewelry business to new heights? If yes, stick with us, and we’ll provide you with the basics.
“Someone told me my product photographs weren’t very clear. I’ve changed my product photographs 4x since. What am I doing wrong?”
Diamond photography frustration—does this sound familiar to you? A lot of jewelers have been struggling with jewelry photography. Understandably, not all jewelers are professional photographers; some are just trying to make a living out of their passion while juggling different tasks and roles. Unfortunately, jewelry photography is challenging and time-consuming, but some jewelers don’t have the luxury of time and the skills to get it right the first time.
It’s very frustrating, especially when your sales are tied to the visual quality of your products. Did you know that the importance of clear product images and descriptions in retail has skyrocketed by 12-23% since the pandemic started?
Calm your nerves and hold your horses. Don’t sign up for a photography class just yet. Here, we are going to teach you how to photograph studio-quality diamonds using the basics.
5 Basic Diamond Photography Tips
1. Clean your diamonds.
The most basic but probably, easily forgotten—cleaning your jewelry.
Jewelry cleaning is the primary step for capturing studio-quality images as your camera will capture whatever dust, dirt, and stains you have on the stone even if you can’t see it with your naked eye.
To clean your diamond jewelry or loose diamond stone, simply soak it in a gentle solution until fully degreased. Too often, water and some mild dish soap would do the work. Then, remove it from the solution and use a soft jewelry cleaning brush to remove excess dirt in hard-to-reach areas. You can also use a microfiber cloth or any other polishing cloths if you don’t have a brush.
Keeping your diamonds clean ensures that they maintain their sparkling appeal that every buyer covets.
2. Choose the right photography equipment.
Expensive DSLRs don’t always mean quality. In fact, it’s your skill, not your tools, that would matter more in photography. However, it still pays to know which equipment to use before you show up for work.
At a minimum, you would need the following equipment to get it done:
- A camera (of course!)
- A macro lens
- Lighting sources
- Other props and holders
Some jewelers don’t always have the basic photography knowledge; hence, they are easily overwhelmed by complex camera settings. In this case, you can choose to buy ready-made tools and equipment like lightboxes, which help diffuse the lighting for you if you don’t know how to control light.
Our clients use the GemLightbox as it is a one-click diamond photography solution that doesn’t require any technical know-how; just shoot and go using your smartphones.
3. Use a macro lens.
Diamonds are often small; thus, you would benefit from a macro lens. Macro lenses are like your camera’s magnifying glass. They were built to handle extremely close focusing distances and, as such, capable of capturing clear, crisp, and highly-detailed images of tiny subjects.
Macro lenses for SLRs are usually expensive, but more affordable clip-on macro lenses for smartphones can do the job just right.
If photographing diamonds is essentially part of your day-to-day business, you’d benefit more from investing in long-term photography solutions. These solutions save you a lot of time, energy, and money in the long run.
The GemLightbox Macro is one of our clients’ go-to solutions in diamond photography. Launched just recently, the Macro used market-leading technology that allows jewelers to capture diamond photos and 360 videos with up to 10x magnification using just their smartphones. In just a click, you’ll get diamond photos that are not only detailed but, more so, enticing. Watch the demo below.
4. Create a soft lighting environment.
Perhaps one of the most critical diamond photography tips to remember concerns the lighting.
Natural lighting is the obvious choice for jewelry photography. It’s soft, continuous, diffused, and makes subjects appear in their natural state—similar to how we recognize the things around us.
But while natural lighting is the best light source for photography, depending on natural light limits your work flexibility. However, you can avoid this by simulating natural light using items you can easily get from nearby stores.
If a jewelry lightbox is out of your budget, the following can help you create a soft lighting environment.
- Off-camera light sources like continuous lights, strobes, LED lights, and flashguns.
- Light modifiers like translucent umbrellas, reflectors, or softboxes train the light in a direction you want. You may choose to use cheap ones if you’re still learning how to use them. You can always upgrade later on.
5. Experiment with different setups.
By now, you should already know the rule of thumb—light subjects look better on dark backgrounds, and dark subjects look better on a light background. This also applies to jewelry photography as it creates contrast; thereby, leading to heightened visual interest, mood, and drama.
Experimenting with different setups doesn’t have to be costly and grand. In fact, you can accomplish this by alternating between different backgrounds—for example, white, black, and grey.
If you’re selling diamonds on platforms like Amazon and eBay, you might find that you have creative limitations. These platforms normally require product photos on a white background as white is more professional, clean, and non-distracting. Don’t let this guideline stop you from experimenting with other backgrounds, though, as you can use product photos with colored backgrounds on your social media pages or your web store if you have an independent jewelry website.
Are you ready to master diamond photography?
Now that you know the basic steps, it’s time to get back to work and stop poor product photography from derailing your sales.
Remember, successful diamond photography begins even before you click the shutter button. Plan and execute seamlessly.
What other diamond photography tips do you have up your sleeve? Let us know in the comment section below!