What if you can spin your jewelry products? No, not that kind of “spin”. We mean, literally!
Shoppers have been clamoring for 360-degree product photography for a while now. In fact, 91% of surveyed shoppers agreed that having the ability to turn products around in full 360-view is extremely useful in making buying decisions while product videos can increase product purchases by a whopping 144%. It’s amazing what it can do if you treat it as a long-term strategy, isn’t it?
A 360 product photography and video is an interactive way of viewing product images normally encompassing a spherical view or a 360-degree circle. You’ve heard of it, seen it, and probably, have experienced it. But if you’re not capitalizing on its strengths, does it matter what you know of it, as a business owner? Did you know that your conversion rate can increase by 30% by simply showcasing your products utilizing a 360-degree view? Brands like Wiggle and Golfsmith among others have proven it. You can, too!
In this post, we’re going to write about how to take 360-degree jewelry images for your website, so read on!
A Beginner’s Guide to 360 Degree Product Photography: How to Take 360 Degree Jewelry Images for Websites
1. What equipment do I need?
(skip this part if you’re taking 360 jewelry photos using the GemLightbox as it comes with all these built-in equipment):
You don’t need to spend on pricey camera equipment to create an interactive jewelry product image. In fact, you can use whatever camera you have right now. You can even use your smartphone as we do. The most important thing to consider here is that the camera you will use enables you to capture photos in manual mode because the camera settings have to remain fixed and consistent throughout the photoshoot.
A lighting system
There are several lighting systems to choose from. It can be either continuous or strobe lights, single LED bulbs or multiple LEDs in one fixture. Choose according to the type of jewelry piece you’re photographing.
Since 360-degree product photography is considered to be a strategic move for business owners, it is recommended to shoot your jewelry on a white background for a more professional, neat, and sophisticated look. One effective way of achieving a pure white background is through the use of a roll of a pure white paper or white foam boards.
A tripod and remote shutter release
Steadiness is key to achieving perfectly stunning 360-degree product images. To make sure you avoid shaky product image results, find a good, sturdy tripod and a remote shutter release. These two will prevent any camera movement that can lead to blurry jewelry images.
Your 360-degree turntable
Any circular rotating turntable will get the job done for you. This is where you’ll place your jewelry for photographs. Once you’re done gathering all these, well done! You’re all set for the next step.
2. Setting up your workshop and your camera settings
Find a table to work on, so the lighting system and the jewelry product are leveled.
Set up your white background. You can also use white fabrics to diffuse light and as reflectors.
Ensure that your lighting system is positioned properly. Avoid using hard, direct lighting system as it can be too bright for your subject and may cause glare. Follow these lighting setup ideas to see which technique matches the result you’re aiming for.
Your auto-white balance can alter the color of your jewelry as it spins, so always remember to switch it off and use a fixed white balance setting. This way, the color environment remains fixed as the product rotates.
Turn your camera in manual mode. Similar to how auto-white balance setting responds to a rotating subject, all other settings must stay fixed to ensure that every frame carries consistent brightness, color accuracy, and contrast among others.
Setting your camera on manual mode can feel a bit intimidating at times but don’t panic. You’ll get comfortable along the way. Remember that there is no one correct answer when adjusting camera settings as it is dependent on your product and working environment. The key is to keep adjusting and moving until you get the perfect formula for your need.
Document your setup. This is basic but is commonly neglected by many jewelers. If you’re photographing your jewelry whether it’s a still photograph, a 360-degree product view, or a 360-degree product video, always write down every element setup you used and worked for you, so that you can duplicate the result on your next photo shoot.
Some of these elements include shutter speed, aperture, ISO, camera height, white balance setting, and platform height among many others. You can create a template for every type of jewelry and different workshop setups as one camera setup will not work the same way for all other products. Jewelry photography isn’t one-size-fits-all.
3. Taking your first 360-degree jewelry product image (or video)
Make sure your jewelry is clean
It’s a given that jewelers like yourself will clean your product before photographing to ensure that no blemishes are visible in the photo. Always use gloves when holding jewelry pieces, so that you won’t leave fingerprints on the surface.
Take note that while you can still take photos of your uncleaned jewelry, this will require an extremely time-consuming post-production process, depending on the number of frames you have.
Put your jewelry in the center of the turntable
Forget about the rule of thirds. In this case, you can break the rule since there are no other visual elements that can grab your shopper’s attention away from the subject. Additionally, an off-centered subject may move unsteadily the moment the turntable begins to spin.
Decide how many frames you need and begin shooting
Your camera doesn’t move around the jewelry when taking a 360-degree jewelry image. Instead, the camera is mounted on a tripod as it takes photos of your subject while it spins on the turntable. Before diving into this process, decide how many frames you want or need to take. There is no proven optimal frame count. You can take as many as you want; however, keep in mind that the more frames involved, the slower the loading speed will be. Hence, if you’re photographing jewelry, consider the price value and the design of the piece. For instance, a plain silver band doesn’t have to rotate like a diamond ring, or a milgrain engagement ring, or any other piece with intricate designs. Use your good business sense.
Face the product forward
Always capture the beginning frame with the jewelry facing forward, especially if it’s a solitaire diamond ring. This will serve as a good point of reference for viewers. It will also make the overall 360-view more presentable and professional.
Make sure each angle is spaced evenly
Once you started taking photographs, make sure that each angle is spaced evenly and that no frames are duplicated.
4. Post-production process
As soon as you’re done photographing, enter the post-production stage. Since nothing comes out naturally perfect after the photoshoot, allot time for the post-production processes as this is where you will polish all the frames you’ve captured. Some of the editing processes involved are cropping, adjusting the color and contrast, fixing the background to make it whiter, realigning, or removing any blemishes.
The key to effective post-production process for 360-degree jewelry product photography is learning batch editing in Photoshop. Here, you can edit multiple jewelry images simultaneously by recording and saving an action, for instance, cropping multiple photos, and then applying the same to multiple images. Remember that 360-degree product photography normally involves 10 to hundreds of frames. Batch editing will save you time, energy, and money.
5. Upload your 360-degree jewelry product images
This is the stage where your dream of having an interactive visual presentation is about to come to fruition. In this final stage, you’ll have to make use of a 360 product viewer. A 360 product viewer is a software that allows your shoppers to spin your breathtaking pieces of jewelry and other products on your website.
If you don’t know how to embed your 360-degree product images or videos on your website, don’t panic. It’s very simple and straightforward. Simply upload your polished 360-degree jewelry product images on the viewer page. It will give you an embed copy. Copy and paste it into your website, and you’re done. It’s as simple as embedding a YouTube video on your website. If you’re planning to do the same on an e-commerce platform, be aware that not all e-commerce platforms support the 360-degree product photography, but the industry is catching up.
360-degree product photography is a good solution to the lack of touch in digital shopping. It gives your shoppers an immersive and engaging experience of your brand and products by letting them view all its angles and sides. This capability enables them to visualize how the product will look when worn, give them an idea how the surface feels, and make them feel ‘something’ – whether it’s joy, love, or any other emotions. Every turn holds the possibility of making the shopper discover a positive emotional value or attachment that she or he could associate with the product. When this spark occurs, the shopper might contact you with an intent to purchase, or it might lead directly to sales. You never know. But always seize the chance to stimulate their interest.