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How to Photograph Earrings in Five Simple Steps

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Are you struggling with jewelry photography? Do you feel that your creative vision isn’t manifested in your jewelry images; that your unique and sophisticated designs are not properly captured because you lack the expertise, or the products are just too difficult to work with? In this post, we will teach you how to photograph earrings in five simple steps!

Product photography is one of the powerful online shopping trends this 2020.  The latest publicized survey on shopping habits, preferences, and behaviors revealed that 78% of online shoppers relied upon product images when making buying decisions. The need to bring tactile experiences to online shopping has translated into growing demands for more quality images to breathe life into the products. For some jewelry retailers, this is a tall order that’s a bit difficult to accomplish because of the complexity of the products. Nonetheless, it was a call for you to step up your game.

In this post, we’re going to share with you a few valuable tips on how to respond to that demand successfully. Just like how no two diamonds are alike, each type of jewelry should be photographed differently using different photography techniques. 

Here, you will learn how to photograph earrings without spending on unnecessarily expensive photography equipment. Click here if you need ring photography tips or here for necklace photography techniques.

Jewelry Photography: A Comprehensive Guide for Jewelers

Jewelry photography is a notoriously difficult process. The gems are highly-reflective, the pieces are commonly small, and colored stones don’t appear as vibrant in photos as it is in reality....

How to Photograph Earrings in Five Simple Steps

1. Ensure you have all the equipment you need such as the following:

Jewelry photography equipment
Prepare your jewelry photography equipment

  • Your camera or smartphone and lens
  • Lighting source if you don’t have access to natural lighting
  • A tripod
  • Light reflectors and diffuser, alternatively, you can use white fabrics, a roll of pure white paper, a foam core board, or a lightbox. You can DIY a lightbox or purchase a commercialized one but make sure that it’s designed to meet your needs.
  • Earrings stand and other props depending on the type of earrings
  • Other backdrops if you’re going for a more creative look
  • A table you can work on to level the lighting source and your product

2. Know and understand the functions of your camera.

DSLR Camera Settings
Understand your camera settings

As we have established in the previous post, understanding the fundamentals of light is the key to mastering jewelry photography. These fundamentals include functions like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. When you know how to make appropriate adjustments using these components, it would be easier for you to control reflections and eliminate common flaws jewelry images like harsh shadows, glare, and shaky and grainy outcomes.

There are many different jewelry photography lighting setups you can apply to your next photo shoot, but for all of these setups, you must always consider the type of jewelry you’re photographing. This is because different metals and gems require different lighting and/or lighting positions to ensure that you capture the most accurate color of your item.

Remember to turn off the on-camera flash when photographing your earrings or other pieces of jewelry as direct lighting would be too bright for the product; thereby, resulting in glares. Additionally, always set your camera on manual settings; while it’s tempting to leave it on auto-mode, it’s not the friendliest route for DIY photographers who are aiming for studio-quality jewelry images. You’re free to work with auto-focus on, but this is as far as you can get when it comes to the automatic setting. You must take control.

3. Know what looks good for the type of earrings you’re photographing.

Long/Dangling Pair of Earrings

A pair of dangling earrings, especially long dangling ones, is the most difficult type to photograph because it doesn’t stand on its own. This means that if you have intricate earring designs, you have to think of creative ways to capture the back and front side of the pair without cheapening your product.

Common Don’ts:

Earring photography distracting props
Don’t add too many distracting props to your jewelry

  • Don’t group different pairs in one photo

Group photographs are a way to turn your online shoppers away. This isn’t easy on the eyes and defeats the purpose of product images. When the jewelry image appears too cluttered, the shopper would have a hard time focusing on the details. Think of your product image as your salesperson that can answer the shoppers’ questions. If the latter isn’t satisfied, they won’t linger. They’ll just likely leave your shop and turn to your competitors. Keep in mind that you only have 7 to 8 seconds to draw them in. Don’t push them away in a second.

  • Avoid using distracting props

Don’t hang your dangling earrings on teacups or other similar unappealing props as it could easily distract your potential shoppers. We’ve seen a lot of earrings hanging on teacups. It appears to be a common sight on various online marketplaces. While this will do the job of letting the earrings stand, you’re compromising the aesthetics area of your work. Whether it’s plain or printed cups, the overall result is visually unattractive and doesn’t attain the professional-quality you’re aiming for.

  • Don’t let it lay flat on the table or if you must, be sure to show the great composition

A flat arrangement, without consideration for composition, communicates a lack of style and creativity. Poor display of jewelry like this misrepresents the true quality of your product and the sophistication of your brand. Aside from this, flat composition makes it harder to get some tiny details in focus. It may often appear blurred if you’re not cautious about your camera settings.


Earring photography
Think of creative ways to photograph your earrings

  • Use display boards that will allow you to suspend your earrings for photographs

These display boards may be reflective or non-reflective depending on the look you’re going for. Amazon has an enormous collection of display boards for jewelry product photography like this one. Always consider the color when purchasing. Online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and other e-commerce platforms and retail websites prefer a white background for a more studio-finish quality.

Alternatively, you can DIY an earrings holder by using a roll of white paper, fishing string, a white acrylic thread or any clear thread you may have at home to suspend the piece, and just retouch and polish the background afterward.

  • Clean your props

If you’re using a glossy display board, ensure that you clean the board before photographing to remove blemishes on the surface that may ruin the outcome. Lower your piece until it reaches the glossy platform if you want to capture good reflections but don’t overdo it.

  • Always photograph each pair individually instead of grouping different pairs together.

It will keep your product in focus and will help the shoppers examine the details more closely and free from distractions.

Stud Earrings

Stud earrings
Position your stud earrings nicely.

Unlike long and/or dangling earrings, stud earrings are pretty straightforward with a few considerations to avoid a dull finish.

  • Place the earrings on the platform

As mentioned, if you’re going for a clean, white background, use display boards as linked above or a roll of a full frontal view and will provide you with the correct height to shoot.

  • Mind the placing

Position the studs next to each other, but not too close to the point of covering the side details.

  • Create interesting compositions by capturing different angles

For instance, aside from capturing the frontal angle of the pair, you can also show side angles to highlight the back details of the earrings and the texture of the material. Does your pair have push backs, screw-on, clip-on, level or latch backs? Use your jewelry images to communicate details to your shoppers. It will eliminate the time you’ve to spend in answering customer questions.

4. Photograph to show scale.

Showing the scale is critical in product photography as it gives your shoppers a size of reference. Showing scale is a technique often neglected by retailers, but it can improve the quality of your jewelry images by helping shoppers visualize how big or small the stones you’ve used. Don’t keep them guessing. The inability to touch and try on the products is challenging enough for them, so exert effort to ensure that they enjoy their online shopping experience.

There are three ways to show scale. Use your good judgment and taste as each method has its downside.

  • Indicate size by photographing your earrings next to a coin

Other jewelers use pennies for size reference; however, coins may not be an ideal prop for scale if you’re selling internationally since different countries have different currencies. Nevertheless, always clean your coins before photographing so it won’t ruin the overall look of the image.

Earrings scale
You can show the size of your earrings by adding a prop such as a coin or sunglasses

  • Other jewelers communicate size to their shoppers by using a mannequin

It seems to be an easy and modern solution as it eliminates distractions present in live models like makeup and hair. It’s also preferred by others who are concerned that shoppers may be put off by live models for sanitary reasons. It may work if you’ll mention in your product description that the model is wearing another pair exclusive for photoshoots. Live models may not work for one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry.

For a better visual presentation, a mannequin can show only one earring at a time.

Live model earrings
Using a live model or mannequin can be incredibly useful for showing sacle

  • Don’t forget the product information

Include the exact dimensions (length, width, depth, height, etc.) in your product description.

5. Retouch your photos.

Image retouching
Achieve professional and presentable jewelry images with image retouching

Retouching your photos is easy if you have advanced photo editing skills. You can simply eliminate blemishes and adjust colors, lighting, and contrasts through Photoshop. If this is a process you haven’t done before, you can scour the internet for free photo retouching tutorials. You can also outsource this to expert photo retouchers online for a quicker finish at reasonable prices.

How to Photograph Earrings with the GemLightbox

In this section, we’re going to show you how to photograph stud, drop, and push back earrings with just your smartphone.

Tools used:

  1. The GemLightbox
  2. GemLightbox turntable
  3. GemLightbox Aerial
  4. The GemLightbox app
  5. Earrings
  6. Smartphone

How to Photograph Dangle and Drop Earrings

These two types of earrings are normally challenging to photograph because of its designs. As mentioned above, drop and dangle earrings are not just difficult to style in the frame; sometimes, they’re also too long to capture in frame. However, with the right tools for the job, consider the task half-done.

The GemLightbox Aerial fits the bill. It’s an add-on plug-and-play solution designed for capturing photos and 360 videos of necklaces and dangling jewelry pieces in style.

Aerial comes with four accessories, as shown below.

To begin photographing dangling earrings or drop earrings, simply follow the steps below.

  • Suspend the earrings nicely using the dangle earring holder inside the GemLightbox.

How to photograph dangle earrings
Placing the drop earrings inside the GemLightbox.

How to photograph drop earrings
Positioning a pair of dangle earrings inside the GemLightbox using the Aerial earring holder.

  • Next, put back the front reflector, position your phone, and open the GemLightbox app for an optimal result. Don’t forget to adjust the brightness as needed and zoom in or out to make sure the jewelry looks perfect in the frame.

Photographing earrings using the GemLightbox
Open the GemLightbox app for studio-quality result before photographing.

Position the dangle earrings using the Aerial earrings holder
Similar to the drop earrings above, repeat the process for the dangle earrings.

  • Finally, click to capture a still photo or go into the video mode to capture a 360 video.

Click to capture a photo of the drop earrings
Once you’re ready, click to capture a still image.

Capturing a 360 video of dangle earrings
Go into the video mode to capture 360 videos of jewelry

The GemLightbox device is flexible. It allows you to capture 360, 90, or 45-degree videos in either fast or slow motion.

Shooting 360 videos of earrings
Go to ‘settings’ by clicking the cog symbol to change from 360, 90, or 45-degree video.

Further, if you want to capture the jewelry at a particular angle, there is no need to put your hand back inside the GemLightbox to adjust the angle. You just simply click the arrow keys on the side to automatically rotate the earrings inside the lightbox until you find the angle that works for you.

Photographing earrings from different angles
Click the arrow keys to rotate the earrings to the angle you’d like to capture.

The arrow keys feature is extremely helpful for photographing earrings from different angles, especially if you’re selling jewelry on e-commerce platforms. Using these keys, you can effortlessly capture jewelry photos from front, side, or back angle.

Lastly, do not forget to click ‘save’ every time you take photos or videos. This will also allow you to transfer your visual assets to different platforms easily, including posting them directly to your social media pages.

Isn’t that convenient?

Watch the video below to see the GemLightbox Aerial in action.

Check out the 360 video and photo we captured from the video above.

360 videos of drop earrings
Capturing a 360 video of drop earrings with GemLightbox and a smartphone.

How to photograph earrings
Capturing the side angle of the dangle earrings using the GemLightbox.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you take good pictures of earrings?

Taking good pictures of earrings can be summed up with the following.
1. Make sure that you have all the necessary equipment including the right props.
2. Identify the purpose of your jewelry images to match the requirement of the platform. For instance, if you’re planning to use it for social media, creative and aesthetically-pleasing images are more attention-grabbing while white background images are fit for e-commerce platforms and other sales purposes.
3. Learn to control light to avoid harsh reflections and to capture the truest colors of your earrings.
4. Capture as many photos as you can showing different angles.
5. Practice and always be consistent.

How do you photograph earrings for Etsy?

Listing high-quality photos of earrings and other jewelry on Etsy is essential. Etsy is an over-saturated market and its algorithm is dependent on your overall performance including your listing quality score, which encompasses buyer clicks.

To make buyer clicks, you have to list professional-quality photos which you can take using the following techniques:
1. Capture photos of your earrings on a white background.
2. Use all 10 photo slots to showcase your earrings.
3. Focus on details when photographing for the remaining frames.
4. Use those additional slots to be creative. For instance, use a textured but neutral background to make your jewelry pop. You can also post lifestyle photos to help buyers visualize how your earrings would look on them when worn.
5. Don’t hesitate to polish and retouch your photos. Remove all the harsh reflections and other visible blemishes.

How to clean earrings?

Always choose the safest cleaning methods when cleaning your earrings. It’s also the easiest. A mild soap ⁠— not detergents, warm water, and a soft brush work for most of your colored gems. When cleaning your earrings and other jewelry pieces, always rinse them in a glass of water instead of directly rinsing them in the sink. This way, you won’t have to worry about losing loose stones.

And there you have it!

Product images are one of the predicted drivers of sales growth this 2018. Display earrings images and other pieces of jewelry with assured confidence that your shoppers can envision their styles with your product. Think of this, if your shoppers can retain 80% of what they see than what they heard or read, how do you want your brand to be remembered?

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