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How to Photograph Necklaces: A Jewelry Photography Guide

Jewelry photography tips - how to photograph a necklace
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Welcome to the first installment of our jewelry-specific photography how-to. It is designed to provide you with easy-to-execute technical know-how when photographing different pieces of jewelry – one that captures the quality image that your consumers want to see and images that will increase your browser-to-buyer conversion rate. In this post, we will teach you how to photograph a necklace with style.

In the past, a necklace was known to speak for wealth, social status, prestige, and affiliations among many others. The technology they used, the design, and the materials communicated different cultural practices For instance, between the 14th and late 17th centuries, necklaces with gemstones and pendants were worn as a symbol of wealth and prestige. However, jewelry, like the cultures it represents, evolves. The trends changed and at times, have become cyclical although, generally, necklaces have transcended beyond traditional representations. Today, people, especially women, wear jewelry as a form of adornment; a fashionable piece that complements an elegant dress while also reinforcing identity and individualism.

Jewelry is one of the top gifts most often given on Valentine’s Day and other special occasions. Necklaces have taken precedence over other pieces of jewelry when it comes to gift applicability. Consumers attach an emotional value to every piece of the necklace they wear. As a jewelry retailer yourself, you must present your necklaces in a way that would appeal to the emotions of your target consumers. One of the factors that contribute to emotional appeal is the quality of your jewelry photography.

“A great photo conveys emotions. It is these emotions that connect your consumers to your jewelry. They make your piece shine and elevate the quality of your work.”

Jewelry Photography Tips: How To Photograph a Necklace

1. Consider your lighting techniques: The power of soft, diffused photography lighting

how to photograph a necklace using natural lighting
how to photograph a necklace using natural lighting

Lightboxes are typically used in jewelry photography because it helps diffuse lights evenly while creating dramatic shadows. The final result is also stunning as it exudes a romantic and dreamy vibe, making it popular among jewelers. Avoid using on-camera flash and front lighting as it often results in uninspiring and dull jewelry images. It appears flat and often results in glares due to the jewelry’s reflective surface.

You can use other lighting techniques to accentuate the beauty of your necklace. For example, you can illuminate your necklace from the side. This technique helps add depth to the jewelry image and can very well be used to highlight the texture of the subject. Ensure that your side lighting is positioned properly to avoid harsh reflections.

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2. Use white or black background depending on the qualities of your necklace.

white backdrop for jewelry
A white backdrop for jewelry

White and black backgrounds are two of the most popular backdrops used in jewelry photography, although white is more prominent, especially for e-commerce product photography. Black works for light-toned pieces as it establishes a dramatic appeal; however, stones that aren’t perfectly cut would do best on a white background.

Choosing the right background is as impactful as the subject. The key is to choose backdrops that don’t overpower the subject. As a jeweler, you want consumers to be drawn to the piece automatically and not get distracted by a patterned or messy surrounding. While you’re free to experiment with this matter, especially if you want social media-ready images, always aim for primary photos that are captured in white.

A white background has several advantages. It is commonly preferred by known online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay because of its professional look that helps improve the consumer shopping experience. It makes the jewelry looks sophisticated and blends well with colored stones.

Be mindful when you choose to use black or other colored backgrounds as these can interfere with the reflection of the gemstones. It can have an optical effect that may cause consumers to perceive the color or quality of the stones differently. The last thing you would want is a negative review from a buyer complaining that the delivered product did not match the jewelry photographs. See the image below for an example. Although it shows a pair of earrings, the effect could be the same when photographing necklaces with colored stones.

How to photograph a necklace - choose a white background
How to photograph a necklace – choose a white background
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3. Display your necklace using appropriate props

how to photograph a necklace with stand
how to photograph a necklace with a stand

Use necklace stands when photographing the necklace so your consumers can visualize how it falls and how it would look on them when worn. The stands may vary depending on the length of the necklace, but you may choose to get multipurpose necklace stands that contain a few slots. For instance, this 14-slot necklace stand from Amazon will enable you to capture a wider V-shape or a narrow necklace image.

If you’re shooting on a white background, don’t forget to choose a necklace stand that complements your light background. Always aim for a consistent look by choosing complementary props. It’s a way of providing your consumers with a fun and seamless shopping experience.

4. Show the details of the necklace from different angles

capture as many angles as possible jewelry photography
Capture as many angles as possible when photographing necklaces

Capture various angles as much as possible, so the consumers can easily understand what you’re selling them. Show them every angle, how the necklace looks when worn, the size and scale, other variations, and even when in different settings. In the age of online marketplaces, the lack of touch when online shopping can be bridged through visual communication. Don’t miss this opportunity to appeal to your consumers through images. Some jewelers neglect this critical aspect of their business, not minding the fact that 67% of consumers rely on images when making a buying decision while 63% give more weight to high-quality product images than good product descriptions.

5. Photograph as if you’re your consumer

If you’re your consumer, what kind of necklace images would you like to see? A few of your questions on how to photograph a necklace could be answered by putting yourself in their shoes and understanding it from their perspective.

When setting up for a necklace photo shoot, make sure to arrange or style the jewelry the way you’d like to wear it. Capture every facet you’d like to see. If the necklace has a unique quality to it, capture that element, so your consumers will see the same stunning piece you see when you photographed it.

6. Always work with a positive vibe

jewelry photography with emotion
jewelry photography with emotion

Lastly, don’t forget to add emotions when you work on those photographs. In this case, your emotions when photographing the necklace also matter as the result images express your visual experience. So, before you hit that snap button, ask yourself, “what do I want my consumers to feel when they look at this necklace?”

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you take pictures of necklaces?

First, use soft lighting. Next, opt for a white or neutral background. Then, get a necklace holder or stand to display your necklace properly and finally, ensure that you capture photos from all angles to show the details of your necklace.

How do you photograph necklaces at home?

Photographing necklaces at home is easy. All you have to do is gather all the photography equipment you need including props and alternatives. For example, a roll of white paper if you don’t have a lightbox.

How do you take high-quality pictures of jewelry?

This all boils down to lighting and camera settings. As such, invest in proper lighting and take time to explore your camera to know which camera settings work best for different types of jewelry.

What are the best camera settings for photographing jewelry?

Go to manual mode and adjust the aperture to the fastest value possible and the ISO to the lowest value possible. Complement this with soft, diffused lighting.

Get more tips by watching how we photographed a Tiffany necklace using the GemLightbox and a smartphone.

What challenges do you usually face when photographing a necklace? Feel free to share in the comment section below!

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