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Jewelry Photography Setup: Step-by-Step to Stunning Shots

Jewelry Photography Setup Step-by-Step to Stunning Shots
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Jewelry photography, as they say, is a trial and error. And that doesn’t come as a surprise. With all the lights and the materials, jewelry pieces are made of, expect unwanted reflections that make photographing extremely difficult. However, recent technological innovations in the field have been a relief for many jewelers, and in this post, we’re going to delve deeper into that. Read on and learn how to capture breathtaking jewelry photos and videos with the perfect jewelry photography setup.

What do you need for the perfect jewelry photography setup?

A perfect and functional jewelry photography setup doesn’t have to be grand. Over-the-top setup is usually one of the causes of unnecessary stress. Just focus on what you need and work with that. Try to make it as simple as possible and later on, as you become more and more familiar with the process, you can break the rules, experiment, and explore.

So what are considered basics?

You’d be surprised to know that a camera, lighting sources, and a few props make up an efficient jewelry photography setup. The quality of your photos depends on a few factors, though. For instance, what’s the best jewelry lighting setup for the piece you’re wanting to photograph? Are smartphones enough to capture stunning photos or do you need a high-end DSLR? Which camera is the best for jewelry photography? And lastly, how would you eliminate unwanted shadows and reduce noise in your photos?

You might think that even with the basics, as a jeweler, you’re still not cut for it because at first glance, lighting, shadows, and noise reduction are all parts of techniques and expertise that you don’t have, but there are tools these days that incorporate these techniques into their designs so that all you gotta do is to click that capture button. Let’s expand on this in the setup guide below.

Jewelry Photography Setup: A Step-by-Step Guide to Stunning Shots

1. Location

When thinking of a perfect jewelry photography setup, consider the location

Depending on the goal you want to achieve, your chosen location can add an appeal to your images. Location helps you tell a story, unlock your artistic abilities, depict the mood you want, and influence the style and feel of your brand.

When choosing a location, opt for the one with natural lighting, as much as possible, especially if you’re photographing a lifestyle shot. However, if the photo shoot session is aimed at capturing product photos for listings, don’t stress too much about it. All you need is a white, uncluttered background to highlight the object and bring your prospective buyer’s attention to the product.

2. Lightbox/tent

All the GemLightbox products

If you’ve read our previous post on lightboxes for jewelry photography, you’d know the benefits they offer—from proper illumination to even light distribution and a default e-commerce-ready background. However, not all lightboxes are created the same. A lightbox made for common commercial products won’t work for fine jewelry and vice versa; hence, choosing the right equipment is integral to a perfect jewelry photography setup.

Luckily, the GemLightbox product range, as pictured above, ticked all the right boxes. The world’s first smartphone jewelry photography lightbox has come a long way since its inception, thanks to the unyielding support of the global jewelry community.

The GemLightbox Pro is an evolution of the simple GemLightbox. The Pro is an all-in-one jewelry photography lightbox that’s fitted with a professional, adjustable lighting system designed to show off even greater color accuracy when photographing colored gemstones.

The box also comes with a Sparkle light to bring out natural sparkles when photographing diamonds with your smartphone.

3. Choose the background

Jewelry photography setup - spinel on a white background
Spinel, captured with the GemLightbox
Jewelry photography setup - earrings on a black background
A pair of diamond and ruby earrings, photographed with the GemLightbox Eclipse

A background is fundamental to creating a perfect jewelry photography setup. Before you start your photo shoot, you must first choose the kind of background you would want to use for your jewelry products. Be careful when choosing which background to use. While a background can boost the appearance of your object, the wrong one can divert the attention away from it.

Neutral backgrounds are a hot topic in jewelry photography but you can’t go wrong with black or white. A white background is commonly preferred for online product listings because it gives your jewelry photos a professional, clean-looking finish while a black background is ideal for luxury items as this color conveys premium and luxury. Whether you go for neutrals (beige, cream, gray, etc.), black, or white, avoid excessive clutter because they’re too distracting for online shoppers.

4. Props

Jewelry photography setup – props like necklace and pendant holder
The GemLightbox necklace holder

Your jewelry photography setup doesn’t end with main equipment, you must also prepare the props required for capturing a professional-looking jewelry photo.

Your props may include but are not limited to, jewelry holders like a necklace holder, a watch holder, an earring t-bar, or glue to hold your ring upright when photographing it from a three-fourth or standing-up position.

5. Stabilizing camera/smartphone

Jewelry photography setup - smartphone holder for stabilization
The GemLightbox Pro with smartphone holder

To make sure that your photos are sharp and crisp, you need to have a camera stabilizer like a tripod or a smartphone holder, if you are using a smartphone to photograph jewelry. If you’re using a DLSR, you can choose the one with the image stabilization feature. This will reduce camera shake in your photos, especially if you have unsteady hands.

6. Take the shot

when the photography setup is ready, click to capture

Once you’ve gathered all the tools you need for photography, go ahead and click to capture. There’s no other way around knowing whether your setup works for a particular piece other than just taking the plunge and finding out.

Don’t forget to record or document your setup so that you can easily replicate it on your next photo shoot.

7. Post-processing retouching

Jewelry retouching

The last thing on your list when preparing for an ideal jewelry photography setup is post-processing retouching.

Retouching photos is not new. Even professionals do it. In the jewelry industry, jewelry photo retouching is sometimes necessary to achieve that professional-quality finish.

Retouching involves removing the background, clipping it onto a white background, straightening, aligning, and cropping, and removing dust and other unwanted blemishes like fingerprints.

Final word

The ideal jewelry photography setup is far simpler than imagined, especially when you have the right tools right at your fingertips. At Picup Media, we stand by our belief that jewelry photography must be straightforward with no setup required to make it accessible to anyone, especially the non-professional photographers in the industry, hence, the birth of the GemLightbox.

The GemLightbox provides you with several benefits:

  • It speeds up your jewelry photography process. With our plug-and-play solution coupled with a feature that allows you to capture four (4) jewelry photos and one (1) 360-degree video with just one click, you’re guaranteed to finish photographing the bulk of your inventory in no time.
  • Do you want your diamond to sparkle in photos? The additional Sparkle light that comes with your purchase brings out all the natural sparkles of your diamond. Everyone likes diamonds for their sparkles!
  • No training is required. You just simply plug it in and shoot.
  • No need to buy expensive cameras. The GemLightbox is created to capture stunning photos with just your smartphone.
  • Achieve a perfectly white and/or black background with either a black or a white turntable.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I set up jewelry photography?

To set up jewelry photography, prepare all the equipment you will need. Choose the right location, get the proper lightbox for your product, and gather all the props required to hold your jewelry in place when photographing. Once ready, take the shot and post-process, as necessary.

What are the best camera settings for photographing jewelry?

First, choose the right lighting. Soft, diffused lighting is preferred for jewelry. Then, set the ISO value as low as possible to reduce the noise. Stay at 100 or 200, if possible. Set the aperture value between 16 and 22 depending on the jewelry piece you’re photographing.

How do you take professional jewelry pictures at home?

Taking professional jewelry photos at home is easy if you have all the necessary tools. First, choose your background. Then, find a spot with natural lighting. You can also use artificial lighting if natural lighting is not possible. Next, think about your composition and position your jewelry piece at an angle that you want to capture. Finally, retouch the photos to remove unwanted blemishes for an even more professional finish.

How do you plan a jewelry photoshoot?

To plan a jewelry photoshoot, first, you must develop a concept. Then, choose the location and pick up the right equipment for your concept. Next, select whether you want a photo shoot with a model or purely a product highlight. Finally, explore with different angles to see what works and document the one that does so you can replicate it on your next photo shoot.

What is the best lighting for taking pictures of jewelry?

Soft, diffused lighting is the best lighting for jewelry photography.

Picup Media Family

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