How to Photograph a Brooch

Jewelry type - Brooch
Equipment - GemLightbox Turntable
Retouching style - Not retouched
Camera - Smartphone
Photo or video - Video

Did you know that brooches didn’t start as jewels? Brooches began as an ornamental clasp used to hold garments together.  Over time as man and jewelry-making technologies evolved, so did the brooches. Read about its brief history right here and learn how to photograph a brooch with the GemLightbox and a smartphone.

The History of Brooches

Known in history as a utilitarian fastener, brooches came in different sizes, shapes, and designs. The first brooches were made from woods, stones, shells,  thorns, and bones in circular and asymmetrical shapes and designs. Delicate filigree works were also prominent. Crosses had also become visible upon the arrival of Christianity. Soon, with major improvements in jewelry-making technologies and techniques, designs had become complex and varied.

Aside from their practical use, brooches were worn for their sentimental value and symbolism.

  • Penannular brooches symbolized the rank and wealth of the wearer.
  • Mourning brooches were worn after a bereavement as a tangible reminder of death.
  • Cameo brooches represented many things for different periods. It could be a religious statement in the Greek and Roman eras or a status symbol. Queen Victoria contributed tremendously to the cameo popularity in the Victorian era.
  • Sweetheart brooches symbolized love as they were commonly romantic mementos given by soldiers to their loved ones as they marched into the battlefield.

To date, brooches have become an elaborate ornament commonly worn to accessorize more than to fasten garments. They underwent a contemporary revival that made them a timeless piece that could glam up any style.

How to Photograph a Brooch with GemLightbox and a Smartphone

In this photography tutorial, we will photograph a Cartier Panther Brooch. Since it’s introduction in the collection in 1914, a panther has been Cartier’s symbolic animal. It is fierce, wild, playful, but at the same time, elegant and powerful; thereby, making it an unparalleled representation of a liberated personality. Truly, an eye-catching statement.

Devices used for photographing:

Let’s start!


Step 1. Remove the GemLightbox front reflector cover.

Remove the GemLightbox front reflector cover

First off, power up the GemLightbox and remove the front reflector cover.


Step 2. Connect the GemLightbox turntable

Connect the GemLightbox Turntable

Next, connect the GemLightbox turntable.

To connect the turntable, get the white cord and plug it in on the right-hand side of the turntable.

Connect the other end of the cord into the power socket inside the GemLightbox

Then, connect the other of the cord into the power socket inside the GemLightbox.

Click the GemLightbox turntable button

Once connected, click the GemLightbox turntable button and place it inside the GemLightbox.

Place the turntable inside the GemLightbox


Step 3. Place the brooch on the turntable.

Place the brooch on the turntable

Place the brooch on the turntable inside the GemLightbox.


Step 4. Position your camera and open the GemLightbox app.

How to photograph a brooch with the GemLightbox

Then, position your camera and open the GemLightbox app.

The app optimizes your smartphone camera settings for jewelry photography, ensuring that you capture only the best result. The app is available to download on the App Store for iPhone users and Google Play Store for all Android users.

After opening the GemLightbox app, connect it directly via Bluetooth. Make sure that your Bluetooth setting is on. Then, go to camera mode to capture still images or video mode to capture 360 videos.

Zoom in and tap to focus when photographing a brooch

Don’t forget to tap to focus and adjust the brightness level as necessary.


Step 5. Finally, click to capture!

Click to capture

Once you’re happy with the overall brightness and look, you’re good to go. Click to capture!

Don’t forget to hit ‘Save’ after photographing to ensure that you get to keep a copy and store it in the app gallery. From here, you can easily post it to all your social media business accounts or send it directly to your prospective buyer via e-mail.

Watch the video below to see a quick step-by-step guide to photographing studio-quality images of your brooches.

Happy photographing!

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