How do you photograph jewelry?


Quick Answer

To photograph jewelry, set up a dark background, and diffuse and reflect the light. Use a macro lens with a DSLR camera or the macro setting on a compact digital camera.

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Full Answer

  1. Gather the equipment

    A macro lens allows you to capture the detail in small pieces of jewelry. If you do not have a DSLR and a macro lens, use a compact camera with a macro function. Because the quality of light is so important, you also need diffusers, reflectors and external flashes to get the best quality. Buy this equipment, or fashion diffusers and reflectors from white foam board, paper, fabric or small mirrors. A tripod is also helpful to keep the object in focus and in the same frame.

  2. Set up the background

    A black or dark background creates contrast and naturally reflects the light and color of silver, platinum and white-gold jewelry. Use clamps to set up a background underneath and behind the piece of jewelry. If you do not want to create a backdrop, hang the jewelry in the window, or set it on a prop with interesting texture, such as a piece of driftwood.

  3. Adjust the light

    If using the natural light of a window, use a piece of white paper or foam board to reflect the light. If the jewelry is on a table, prop the board up and opposite to the light. If shooting into the window, cut a hole into a sheet of paper, and slide it over the lens. When using a flash, cover it with a diffuser to soften the light. Once the lighting is arranged, make any necessary adjustments to the shutter speed, exposure and white balance.

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