Photographing jewelry is a little different from shooting other products. First of all, you have to deal with something very small and you also have to make the beauty of the piece and the fine detail stand out. That sounds easier than it is in practice, but you don't have to worry about anything because we have quick guide to help you take some awesome jewelry photography. We broke it down into steps, so it should be fairly easy to understand by anyone, regardless of previous experience.
Step 1 - Camera Gear
Basically any DSLR or compact camera with manual controls and a macro feature should do the trick. Image quality depends a lot on how you shoot the camera, and with this kind of photography you're going to take it slow to make sure everything is well lit and sharp.
In terms of lens choice, a macro lens would be the obvious choice, but if you don't own one, there are a couple of hacks available to help you get closer to the subject. One of them are macro filters . They basically look like any filter, but they work by reducing the minimum focusing distance between lens and subject.
The other option are extension tubes . They are basically tubs without any lenses inside that increase the distance between the lens and the sensor, thus allowing you to get closer.
Step 2 - Background
Obviously, there are a lot of choices when it comes to backgrounds. You can choose a lot of different colors to make the jewelry stand out and experimenting with backgrounds can be fun and productive. However our favorite method remains the fail proof white background. You just can't go wrong with it and you can shoot any type of jewelry. Setting up a white background can be done in multiple ways, but our favorite background comes together with all you need in the MS20 Table Top Studio Kit from MyStudio.
Step 3 - Light
Lighting jewelry creatively is a big part of getting those awesome photos you see in big brands catalogues. If you're going to use strobes for the job, make sure you diffuse them. You don't want any strong shadows on your products if you want to make them sell.
Continuous light sources are easier to use. You get to see how everything looks before pressing the shutter release and experimenting is a whole lot easier and less time consuming. The MS20 Kit comes with a 5000k "daylight" fluorescent light source and an overhead reflector.
Steps 4- Settings
The settings for jewelry photography should be made not only to get a correct exposure, but also to ensure maximum detail. An aperture setting of f8-f11 should to the trick, while pairing it with a minimum ISO value and a longer shutter speed. The use of a tripod is absolutely necessary.
Step 5 - Use a model
One of the best ways you can draw attention to jewelry is to place it on a model. This will obviously not be a full body shot and not even a portrait. Take a few close-up shots of a model's hand or neck wearing the jewelry and see the results.
Step 6 - Dealing with reflections
Jewelry is often shiny for obvious purposes and that can be a real problem for a photographer. The key to dealing with reflections is to diffuse the light as much as possible. You want it to wrap around the object, not to be harsh and bounce right back from it. Continuous lighting can make photographing bright, shiny objects easier than using strobe lights. You could also try using a polarizing filter for reducing reflections, but if you do, make sure you use a tripod because this filter will reduce exposure by a few stops.
Step 7 -Retouching
The final part of the process is retouching the images. Depending on how you shoot in the first place, your work will be harder or easier. If you shoot with colorful backgrounds, make sure you don't make too many changes to the color balance because you don't want to change any of the jewelry's colors. Shooting on white will make your work easier, although you still have to be careful not to overexpose anything. The MS20 is designed to give you a flattering light without the risk of blown highlights. Clean up any dust particles from the scene or your sensor, adjust the contrast and brightness and you should end up with professional looking results. Good luck!
Learn more about the MyStudo MS20 Table Top Studio Kit here .