Behind The Scenes At A Jewelry Product Photographer

As an eCommerce retailer, you have probably figured out your photographs can make or break your online business venture. Nothing could be more true when it comes to selling jewelry online. 

Jewelry is one of those items where the smallest detail matters and photograph jewelry is certainly a challenge. You need to make sure that the environment is ultra-clean to avoid smudges and even dust on the pieces that you are photographing. Almost ANYTHING will show up when you photograph jewelry. 

Our easy to follow mini-guide will give you an insight what it is like to jewelry photography. 

jewelry photography tips

What Equipment Will I Need?

This all depends on your budget. If you have a good budget and are serious about product photography, it is a good idea to invest in quality items. That being said, there are basic items that don’t need to cost you a fortune.

Put this on your shopping list:

  • Tripod
  • Camera
  • Lighting
  • Table
  • White background
  • Foam boards
  • Means to fasten the jewelry

Your Choice Of Camera and Tripod

When you are starting out, you don’t need the most expensive camera. Many online retailers start out with a smartphone camera. As time progresses and you start making money, you should think about investing in a DSLR camera with a good quality camera lens.


No matter how hard you try, you are going to get some camera shake when you try to work with just a camera. When you want to show the finer details of your jewelry, it is important to have images that are perfect.

You can choose a floor based tripod or go for a table tripod. Both solutions are cost-effective and you can pick up great equipment online. Using a tripod will make sure that your work is of consistently high quality.

Working with a camera is easier when you have the support of a tripod.

Lighting Source

Don’t rush out and buy lighting equipment. Many jewelry photographers like to work with natural light.

You can work next to a window. Once you have more money in the bank, you can start checking out photography lighting kits. To start with, always keep your set-up simple until you gain experience.

Working On A Desk Or Table

Although you may think that moving your laptop off your desk and setting up a shoot is a good idea, it is best to have a dedicated area.

A small table that is level with the height of your window would work well. Make sure that you have enough space for your tripod if you are using a tabletop tripod. Any added extras such as mannequin busts also need to fit on the table.

What About The Background?

A white background is best for when it comes to jewelry photography. It will make the jewelry stand out and reflect the light in the right way. 

Professional photographers often what is known as paper sweeps. They are simply large rolls of paper. When a section becomes dirty, you can tear it off and discard it. 

Posterboard is another alternative and you can buy that online. 

What Are Foam Boards? 

Shadows are a problem in product photography. If it is too dark to capture a high-quality image, you can place a foam board to reflect the light. It is a very easy fix and will immediately enhance the look of your products. 

What About Pinning Down My Jewelry?

Of course, you will need something to hold the jewelry in place during the session. Some photographers like to use clamps, but you can also use tape and maybe even glue dots. Clamps are great for holding paper in place. Tape or glue dots will make sure the objects don’t move.

What you use is very much a personal choice. The simple solution is to use what works for you.

Planning and Setting Up Your Session

Once you have to find the perfect spot to put your table, it is time to set up the shoot.

Planning is very important. Position your table 90 degrees to the left or the right of the window. Direct light is often harsh and does not work well when it comes to jewelry photography.

Once you have established the best position, set up the white paper and foam board. If you are using a mannequin bust, go ahead and place that on top of the table. Place the jewelry on the mannequin and “get a feel” for what it looks like.

Are you happy? In that case, you can go ahead and position your tripod and any extra lighting. Take a few shots. If you are not happy you can always restyle the jewelry or add extra props.

In Conclusion

Photographing jewelry is fun but you need to have patience. Mind you, that goes for all product photography types. Thanks to modern technology, you can always edit and discard the images that you don’t want. One of the best editing programs for both professional and amateur photographers is Adobe Photoshop.

Above all, remember to enjoy your photography session and love what you do. If you are not sure working with photography is for you, you can always enlist the services of a professional product photographer.

if you’re looking to increase your online conversion but still feel you are not sure where to start – check out these resources below:

1 thought on “Behind The Scenes At A Jewelry Product Photographer”

  1. avatar of modesta campora

    “I really appreciate the way you break down complex concepts and make them easy to understand. Your posts are a valuable resource for photographers of all levels.

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