DIY Guide to Photographing Jewelry on a Budget

Who hasn’t succumbed to an impulse invest in based mostly on beautiful photographs of jewelry on the internet? As an up-and-coming jewelry designer, you know that photographing your jewellery is the crucial to booming gross sales. No matter whether you want to provide on your internet site, through social media or at craft fairs and vacation markets, you’ll will need digital-welcoming and print-worthy pictures that do justice to your rings, necklaces or bracelets.

But who has the price range for a skilled photographer, studio or pricy products? And who has the time to study the ins and outs of photographing little objects?

The good news is, taking wonderful photographs of jewellery doesn’t require types, a substantial price range or yrs of know-how. In fact, the rules for getting the greatest images of more compact works are different from those people that govern larger objects.  

Comply with Artweb’s expert advice for how to photograph your jewelry at property, with just a several domestic goods and a shoestring spending plan.

A pink rose provides a romantic background for photographing diamond rings
A macro lens will help give a shallow aim that blends qualifications

What you will require to phony a expert image shoot

It’s doable to build specialist-hunting visuals at residence in your have makeshift studio. A modest expense in equipment, blended with a few residence items, some shifting of household furniture and a minimal creative imagination creates your very personal in-property photo shoot.

Looking for even much more specialized detail on how to photograph your jewellery? Verify out our guidebook to photographing your artwork.

DSLR or Medium Format Digicam

Anytime you photograph one thing smaller, it is most effective to work with a so-called DSLR or medium structure digital camera. Contrary to your phone’s camera, they enable you to adjust lenses, which is greater for zooming in on detail.

A DSLR is a digital one lens reflex digicam that lets you to adjust lenses on the exact same digicam system. It brings together the electronic imaging sensor of a telephone digicam with the optics and mechanisms of a one-lens reflex digital camera (aka an analog or film digicam).

Alternatively, you could use a medium structure digital camera. Medium structure cameras have to have movie, which means you’ll need to have to incorporate the price of developing your photos. Whilst these cameras seize lovely detail and texture, the complex know-how essential and hassle of movie growth may perhaps not outweigh the added benefits.

Your instinct may well be to use the electronic digital camera on your cellular phone. And of training course, your digicam cellphone will work in a pinch. But never think you can make all your edits to your photographs when you add photos to your computer system.  It is often much easier to get the great shot from the outset.

If you really do not personal a substantial-excellent digital camera, borrow from a close friend or get creative and swap jewellery in trade for a day’s use of a professional digicam. Entry-degree DSLR cameras start out at $200-300, so you may possibly take into account investing in a single if you approach to photograph your jewellery routinely.


With more compact objects, capturing depth is essential. That can be more durable with an ordinary digicam or mobile phone camera versus a DSLR.

To portray every curve and shimmer of a ring, necklace or earrings, you have to have a slower shutter speed. If the light is decreased, or you need to have to capture additional detail, you could possibly want to shoot slower. On the other hand, beware of so-referred to as digital camera shake. When taking pictures at just about anything slower than 1/60th of a next, your palms develop unsteady and start off to shake. As a end result, you might make a blurred, somewhat out-of-target image.  

Fortuitously, a tripod is the jewellery photographer’s pal. Functioning with a tripod signifies you established a timer, move absent away from the digital camera and go away the shutter open up for lengthier with no motion.  

Basic tripods can charge everywhere from $30-100, while large-responsibility qualified tripods can go for quite a few hundred dollars.

Tripod and ISO

Employing a tripod also suggests you can also boost your photographs’ sensitivity to light. The end result is significantly less pixilation and a pin-sharp image.

To modify your camera sensor’s mild sensitivity, you will need to regulate for a measurement called ISO (limited for a French acronym that usually means Worldwide Corporation of Criteria). ISO is a measurement of your camera’s sensitivity to light. A lower ISO benefit signifies fewer sensitivity to gentle, even though a higher ISO suggests extra sensitivity.

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

To acquire gorgeous images of your jewelry, you will need to experiment with the two shutter speed and ISO. Try distinctive options till you achieve the optimal consequence.

Macro lens

A macro lens on a camera is like a microscope. It enlarges small objects and captures aspects that may possibly not be very easily visible to the naked eye.

If you frequently have to have to take photos of smaller sized products like jewellery, you may possibly want to commit in a macro lens.  It operates like other lenses but is specifically created for near-up operate, or modest detail.  Macro lenses are available in varying lengths for diverse purposes. The most frequent lengths are 50mm, 100mm and 180mm, though they vary by company.

If you are employing an normal 35mm lens, get as shut to the merchandise as feasible to prevent zooming in. Zooming in with a standard lens might not seize the element in your jewellery as sharply as you’d want for photographs on your web-site or a print campaign.  

A macro lens could established you back again quite a few hundred dollars. So do your investigation and make sure the lens you buy meets your desires. If it is any consolation “budget macro lens” yields dozens of outcomes on Google, so with a minor legwork, you can obtain a thrifty option.

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


When selecting the location for your makeshift studio, guarantee you have great natural light with small natural shadow.

If you are employing a tripod you can sluggish the shutter pace and maximize/decrease ISO to capture depth at the ideal lighting level. 

When lights jewellery, take into account the texture of the product. Do you want to mirror the aspects of a diamond?  Or a delicate glow on valuable metals? Or show the grain element in wooden?  Your lighting requirements will count on the two the type and medium of jewellery you want to photograph, as well as the atmosphere you hope to create.

Prevent pointing a flash immediately at your jewelry. That only makes sharp shadows. Ironically, even inanimate objects can obtain that “rabbit caught in headlights” come to feel. 

You can angle a flash at a reflector to soften the light-weight, or only use a desk lamp or cellular phone gentle defused as a result of fabric or paper.  This strategy will produce shadow.  Of study course, there are professional reflectors that offer you distinct choices. But for small objects you can only issue the flash at a piece of paper right up until the lights on the item is proper.

Curate the location

The beauty of performing modest is that you can make the influence of a expert pictures studio by repurposing frequent household products.

Obvious a modest corner of your residence wherever you can use a eating place table, gather table lamps and intriguing surfaces you imagine would complement your item.

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

Create a bespoke qualifications (on a price range)

It’s amazingly uncomplicated to make a custom made and skilled history for just a couple of dollars. Just stick to these easy actions:

#1: Choose a backdrop

Start with a roll of paper. Wallpaper functions brilliantly.  You can use shelf lining paper for a plain background. Or, if it’s drama you seek out, opt for a more baroque print with sample or color. 

Prevent gift wrap as it creases quickly. Alternatively, you can use material (make confident it is crease-absolutely free).  Eventually, you can produce the result of marble, wooden or tile utilizing printed wallpaper. Glance for designers like Lucie Annabel, who specializes in English-impressed wallcoverings. Darker colours get the job done brilliantly in opposition to cherished metals.

If you are photographing jewelry, one more excellent – and incredibly low-priced – selection is aluminum foil.  Lay it flat or scrunch it up and distribute it. The light will reflect in it to give a smooth mirror graphic of the item.  It appears odd, but try out it and you will quickly turn into a transform.  

#2: Placement your backdrop

To start off, acquire the conclude of the roll and pin it on a wall about three feet over a desk.  Permit the paper roll down on to the desk and off the edge.  This approach eliminates the horizontal line amongst wall and table and retains the target on your jewellery.   Sit the item in the middle of the desk so the watch has the coloured background all about it.

aluminum foil used as a backdrop for photography
Home aluminum foil sheets make a great backdrop for jewelry.

#3: Use a lightbox

When photographing modest arts and crafts, you can attain a basic, minimalist glimpse with a lightbox. It’s just a tiny plastic box that emits a diffused gentle. Positioning tiny goods on leading and photographing it will give a extremely thoroughly clean image that is great for online shops. It is have to-have products if you discover yourself photographing jewellery frequently.

Extensively accessible, a essential A5 sized lightbox need to price tag around $20.

A lightbox is perfect for taking pictures of small items
A lightbox is a low cost and critical piece of gear for capturing element in compact goods.

#4: Add props

Collect some objects that you would like to include things like. If jewellery is your issue, you might want to incorporate some uncooked supplies this sort of as stones or pebbles. For silverware or products created for day-to-day use, you may possibly want to include props similar to the product’s use, these types of as food or a plate.  

Also consider grouping products alongside one another. You could pair earrings with a matching necklace and bracelet. Or, you can set up things that complement just about every other, these types of as a broach and scarf.

photographing jewelry on a dramatic background
Dramatic backgrounds will demonstrate off the detail of your jewellery

Your checklist for photographing jewelry

Producing stunning photographs of your jewelry doesn’t have to be really hard. And it does not have to cost a fortune. But to attain the greatest consequence, make sure you generate a number of compositions for every single piece. That way, you’ll have multiple variations you can use for various advertising and marketing applications, like your internet site, social media and print strategies.

Just take these 6 sorts of photos:

  1. Photograph the product with a simple qualifications. That would make it a lot easier to remove the track record completely to build a “cut-out.” Shockingly, eradicating the track record utilizing Photoshop or Canva generates a substantially cleaner impression than photographing with a white history.
  2. Photograph towards a coloured or patterned backgrounds.
  3. Capture details of the products in shut-up.  Use a macro lens to get the finest outcomes.
  4. Photograph with props. Use raw elements, comparable or contrasting merchandise.
  5. Choose a model who can exhibit off your creations.  You will in all probability need to stick to the exact regulations as any vogue images (modelling businesses have hand models, for example).  But performing with products adds much more complexity to the shots, so if the pictures are not quite superior, really do not use them.
  6. Give a visual help to explain the proportions or dimensions of the item.  Your buyers will grasp the dimension of your jewellery intuitively if you location it along with an every day object. Of class, you need to also involve composed measurements in the item’s description on your web-site, but all those won’t pack the very same wallop.

Making Eye-Catching Photos of Your Jewelry Doesn’t Have to be Really hard (or Costly)

If you adhere to these easy measures, you can Diy your way to expert-searching shots that will guarantee your jewellery sells by itself.

And, if you are pondering wherever to showcase these fabulous photos, contemplate making a free of charge web site with Artweb.