DIY Guide to Photographing Jewelry on a Budget

DIY Guide to Photographing Jewelry on a Budget

Who hasn’t succumbed to an impulse acquire based mostly on spectacular photographs of jewelry online? As an up-and-coming jewellery designer, you know that photographing your jewellery is the essential to booming profits. No matter if you want to offer on your web-site, via social media or at craft fairs and holiday break markets, you’ll will need digital-welcoming and print-worthy images that do justice to your rings, necklaces or bracelets.

But who has the spending plan for a expert photographer, studio or pricy devices? And who has the time to master the ins and outs of photographing tiny objects?

The good news is, having stunning photos of jewellery does not need models, a significant spending plan or many years of know-how. In simple fact, the principles for acquiring the very best photos of lesser works are distinct from all those that govern more substantial objects.  

Abide by Artweb’s skilled advice for how to photograph your jewellery at household, with just a number of residence merchandise and a shoestring budget.

A pink rose provides a romantic background for photographing diamond rings
A macro lens allows give a shallow emphasis that blends history

What you will need to fake a specialist photo shoot

It is achievable to produce specialist-wanting pictures at residence in your very own makeshift studio. A modest investment in gear, put together with a few domestic objects, some shifting of household furniture and a small creativity generates your pretty individual in-home photo shoot.

Wanting for even far more technological element on how to photograph your jewellery? Look at out our guideline to photographing your artwork.

DSLR or Medium Format Camera

Anytime you photograph one thing small, it is best to perform with a so-referred to as DSLR or medium structure digital camera. Unlike your phone’s digicam, they let you to modify lenses, which is far better for zooming in on depth.

A DSLR is a digital single lens reflex camera that enables you to change lenses on the exact same digicam overall body. It combines the electronic imaging sensor of a phone camera with the optics and mechanisms of a one-lens reflex camera (aka an analog or film digicam).

Alternatively, you could use a medium structure camera. Medium format cameras need movie, which suggests you are going to will need to add the expenditure of producing your pictures. When these cameras seize wonderful element and texture, the technical know-how necessary and inconvenience of movie development may perhaps not outweigh the rewards.

Your instinct could possibly be to use the electronic camera on your mobile phone. And of training course, your digicam telephone will get the job done in a pinch. But do not presume you can make all your edits to your shots when you add illustrations or photos to your laptop.  It is usually simpler to get the ideal shot from the outset.

If you don’t own a higher-excellent digicam, borrow from a friend or get imaginative and swap jewelry in trade for a day’s use of a skilled camera. Entry-stage DSLR cameras start off at $200-300, so you may look at investing in just one if you prepare to photograph your jewelry consistently.


With scaled-down objects, capturing element is vital. That can be more difficult with an everyday digicam or mobile phone digicam compared to a DSLR.

To portray each curve and shimmer of a ring, necklace or earrings, you need a slower shutter speed. If the mild is lessen, or you want to seize extra depth, you may want to shoot slower. Nevertheless, beware of so-called digital camera shake. When shooting at everything slower than 1/60th of a 2nd, your palms develop unsteady and begin to shake. As a consequence, you might make a blurred, slightly out-of-focus impression.  

Fortuitously, a tripod is the jewellery photographer’s friend. Doing the job with a tripod signifies you established a timer, move absent absent from the digicam and go away the shutter open for longer with no motion.  

Primary tripods can price tag any place from $30-100, even though large-responsibility professional tripods can go for a number of hundred pounds.

Tripod and ISO

Applying a tripod also signifies you can also improve your photographs’ sensitivity to light-weight. The end result is less pixilation and a pin-sharp picture.

To modify your digicam sensor’s mild sensitivity, you are going to will need to alter for a measurement referred to as ISO (brief for a French acronym that usually means Global Firm of Standards). ISO is a measurement of your camera’s sensitivity to gentle. A lessen ISO worth usually means less sensitivity to light-weight, though a better ISO signifies far more sensitivity.

You can shoot in any lighting you want on a tripod with a timer.  A camera’s least expensive ISO is 100.

To choose stunning shots of your jewellery, you’ll require to experiment with each shutter pace and ISO. Attempt different options until eventually you reach the optimum end result.

Macro lens

A macro lens on a digital camera is like a microscope. It enlarges small objects and captures particulars that could possibly not be quickly obvious to the bare eye.

If you on a regular basis have to have to choose photos of scaled-down things like jewelry, you may possibly want to spend in a macro lens.  It operates like other lenses but is specifically created for shut-up function, or compact detail.  Macro lenses are out there in different lengths for distinctive uses. The most common lengths are 50mm, 100mm and 180mm, although they fluctuate by maker.

If you are using an everyday 35mm lens, get as close to the product as achievable to steer clear of zooming in. Zooming in with a typical lens might not seize the depth in your jewelry as sharply as you’d want for photos on your web-site or a print campaign.  

A macro lens could set you back many hundred pounds. So do your analysis and make positive the lens you obtain meets your wants. If it is any consolation “budget macro lens” yields dozens of success on Google, so with a minor legwork, you can uncover a thrifty alternative.

photographing jewelry on a foil background
Aluminum foil has been utilized as a area and backdrop on this image


When picking out the location for your makeshift studio, guarantee you have very good natural light-weight with negligible natural shadow.

If you are employing a tripod you can sluggish the shutter velocity and improve/minimize ISO to seize detail at the suitable lights level. 

When lighting jewellery, think about the texture of the item. Do you want to reflect the sides of a diamond?  Or a soft glow on precious metals? Or display the grain depth in wooden?  Your lighting needs will depend on each the form and medium of jewelry you want to photograph, as nicely as the atmosphere you hope to make.

Stay clear of pointing a flash instantly at your jewellery. That only results in sharp shadows. Ironically, even inanimate objects can achieve that “rabbit caught in headlights” come to feel. 

You can angle a flash at a reflector to soften the mild, or simply use a table lamp or mobile phone light defused as a result of cloth or paper.  This method will build shadow.  Of class, there are professional reflectors that give distinctive alternatives. But for compact things you can just position the flash at a piece of paper until finally the lighting on the item is suitable.

Curate the location

The natural beauty of functioning small is that you can develop the impact of a professional images studio by repurposing prevalent household things.

Obvious a smaller corner of your household where you can use a eating home desk, obtain desk lamps and interesting surfaces you consider would enhance your object.

vintage baroque victorian wallpapers are great for photographing jewelry
Vintage Baroque Victorian wallpapers can make placing backdrops to your pictures

Generate a bespoke track record (on a funds)

It is remarkably very simple to produce a customized and professional history for just a number of dollars. Just stick to these simple measures:

#1: Pick a backdrop

Commence with a roll of paper. Wallpaper will work brilliantly.  You can use shelf lining paper for a simple qualifications. Or, if it is drama you find, choose for a more baroque print with pattern or colour. 

Steer clear of reward wrap as it creases conveniently. Alternatively, you can use fabric (make guaranteed it is crease-free of charge).  Last but not least, you can make the effect of marble, wood or tile utilizing printed wallpaper. Search for designers like Lucie Annabel, who specializes in English-impressed wallcoverings. Darker colours do the job brilliantly versus treasured metals.

If you are photographing jewellery, a different good – and particularly low cost – choice is aluminum foil.  Lay it flat or scrunch it up and spread it. The gentle will replicate in it to give a smooth mirror image of the merchandise.  It seems strange, but check out it and you will quickly come to be a change.  

#2: Place your backdrop

To start, choose the close of the roll and pin it on a wall about a few toes earlier mentioned a desk.  Allow the paper roll down on to the desk and off the edge.  This solution removes the horizontal line among wall and desk and keeps the concentration on your jewelry.   Sit the item in the center of the desk so the check out has the coloured history all all around it.

aluminum foil used as a backdrop for photography
Home aluminum foil sheets make a good backdrop for jewellery.

#3: Use a lightbox

When photographing compact arts and crafts, you can attain a typical, minimalist glance with a lightbox. It’s merely a small plastic box that emits a subtle light. Putting modest goods on top and photographing it will give a very thoroughly clean picture that is excellent for on-line outlets. It’s should-have machines if you uncover oneself photographing jewellery frequently.

Widely offered, a primary A5 sized lightbox ought to value all-around $20.

A lightbox is perfect for taking pictures of small items
A lightbox is a low cost and essential piece of equipment for capturing depth in little items.

#4: Insert props

Collect some objects that you would like to involve. If jewellery is your subject, you may possibly want to incorporate some uncooked resources this sort of as stones or pebbles. For silverware or goods built for each day use, you might want to insert props linked to the product’s use, these kinds of as foods or a plate.  

Also consider grouping items together. You could pair earrings with a matching necklace and bracelet. Or, you can set up objects that enhance every single other, such as a broach and scarf.

photographing jewelry on a dramatic background
Remarkable backgrounds will exhibit off the detail of your jewelry

Your checklist for photographing jewelry

Building breathtaking pictures of your jewelry does not have to be difficult. And it doesn’t have to price a fortune. But to realize the greatest end result, make sure you make many compositions for every single piece. That way, you are going to have several versions you can use for a variety of promoting needs, such as your internet site, social media and print campaigns.

Consider these six types of photos:

  1. Photograph the item with a basic background. That will make it easier to remove the history wholly to develop a “cut-out.” Incredibly, getting rid of the qualifications applying Photoshop or Canva produces a significantly cleaner graphic than photographing with a white qualifications.
  2. Photograph towards a coloured or patterned backgrounds.
  3. Seize specifics of the item in shut-up.  Use a macro lens to get the very best results.
  4. Photograph with props. Use raw resources, equivalent or contrasting objects.
  5. Decide on a model who can exhibit off your creations.  You will in all probability want to follow the identical procedures as any fashion pictures (modelling businesses have hand styles, for case in point).  But functioning with designs adds more complexity to the photographs, so if the pics aren’t pretty excellent, really don’t use them.
  6. Offer a visual help to clarify the dimensions or sizing of the object.  Your potential buyers will grasp the dimensions of your jewellery intuitively if you position it together with an every day object. Of program, you should really also include things like created measurements in the item’s description on your site, but those people won’t pack the exact same wallop.

Making Eye-Catching Pictures of Your Jewellery Doesn’t Have to be Tricky (or Expensive)

If you abide by these uncomplicated ways, you can Do it yourself your way to expert-looking shots that will make certain your jewelry sells itself.

And, if you’re questioning where to showcase these fabulous images, take into consideration building a absolutely free web page with Artweb.

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