How to Photograph Jewelry on a Budget

Do you want your jewelry to stand out in the jewelry market? It is possible to do so and better still, do it on a budget. You can achieve this by making use of great quality jewelry photography.

how to photograph jewelry on a budget


Avoid bad jewelry photos which will make editors, buyers, and customers not to take you seriously.

In this article, we will show you how you to photograph jewelry on a budget. Even as an amateur photographer, the following simple techniques used by professional photographers will result in great and professional images.

You can make the use of the a shooting cone ( not a cheap one) or a more affordable solution table top studio to eliminate glare and soften shadows.

The following is a list of the equipment you will need to achieve good quality jewelry photos:

how to photograph jewelry on a budget

Fundamentals of good jewelry photograph include the following:

  • Lighting – Make use of soft lighting since it’s best suited for jewelry photography. The use of continuous lighting for jewelry photography will make it easier to visualize how the final image will look like.
  • Exposure – Proper exposure is also essential for good jewelry photography.
  • Sharpness – In order for jewelry photos to qualify as good, they have to be sharp. A cheap method of achieving this is by setting your camera in a spot focus mode.
  • Sparkle – Some jewelry like gemstones will need sparkle and good photography can help you achieve this.
  • Tripod – A tripod is one of the essential tools you should make sure to use when doing jewelry shooting. A sturdy tripod is preferable though in the event you may lack a sturdy tripod, even a weak one can be considered because you can never overrule the need for a tripod when doing jewelry shootings. – Best Tripods on Amazon

how to photograph jewelry on a budget

One of the major reasons why we recommend that you use a light diffusers is the fact that it will produce an easy and soft lighting. A light disffusers will also provide a backdrop support as well as a background which is clutter free.

How can you create a soft lighting?

Now that we have mentioned severally that you must make use of soft lighting in order to achieve professional looking jewelry photos, what comes to mind is, how can we create a soft lighting?

You can create a soft lighting by placing your source of light very close to the diffuser paper closer to object you are lighting. This makes the light larger than the subject softening the light. Smaller lighting footprints are better.

How can you add sparkle to faucets gemstones and diamonds?


how to photograph jewelry on a budget

Adding sparkle to diamonds and faucet gemstones will greatly improve your jewelry photos.

A light tent will provide a cheap and soft lighting way for your jewelry and provide pleasing images. However, for diamonds and faucet gemstones, a light tent may not be sufficient to add sparkle to your images.

Diamonds and gemstones may also need to be illuminated by a light source positioned close to the camera to shine directly into the gemstones’ face. Using an ordinary light will cause a hotspot and glare.

Daylight colored LED bulbs are specifically made to bring out the fire in diamonds and add brilliance to faceted gemstones. Here is a tip which will help you add more sparkle to gemstones and diamonds.

The sparkle which is the third light is the key to having well-lit faceted gemstones. Position this light till you achieve a sparkle in your gemstone and diamond.

How to control reflection in pearls


how to photograph jewelry on a budget

Placing a single source of light directly above your pearls will result in a very great photo. This will make your pearls to appear more 3D like.

Avoid a dull and dull finish caused by using too many lights. A single light will provide you with a single white highlight which is important in establishing eye contact with the object.

How to photograph reflective silver and gold jewelry

Taking reflective jewelry photos is quite challenging even for professional photographers. You will need to make a number of decisions in order to achieve a good job.

how to photograph jewelry on a budget

The trick is to learn to control reflections and not to eliminate them all together. In this way, you will be in a better position to decide which reflections enhance your jewelry’s reflective appearance.

We suggest that you do not eliminate reflections entirely from your jewelry. This is because doing this will make your jewelry look dull, lifeless and flat.

Fundamental jewelry photography equipment and tools TableTopStudio

This is a breakthrough for people who have been struggling to take excellent jewelry photos which you can use to increase sales. The use of TableTopStudio will help you eliminate the need for a professional photographer saving you money.

Having proper equipment such as a good camera and lighting will help you take good photos which you can use for your jewelry online business. Tripod

Always ensure that you have used a tripod to avoid blurry photos. Smaller tripods can be used if you are using a point and shoot light camera otherwise you must invest in a sturdy tripod if you are using an SLR camera. This will prevent your camera from falling which may damage it.


It’s important to note that for jewelry photography a more solid surface will be ideal. A thicker cardboard or Plexiglas will be ideal to be used as a surface .

One of the benefits of using a solid surface is that you are able to get a hold of wax and also position your earrings in a vertical position.

how to photograph jewelry on a budget

You can also approach the Plexiglas Company and have them bend for you a white sheet to an 85 degrees backdrop curve. This can be used as an endless curve where you can hang necklaces and chains. For earing posts, you can drill holes. ( Buy on amazon )


If you are not in a position to take your photos in broad daylight, invest in 2 Speed lights or continues monolights. (Buy on amazon)

how to photograph jewelry on a budget

More tips on lighting:

  • Always ensure that your lighting match. If you are using speed lights, ensure that all the lights are of the same color. Using different light colors can alter the look of photos. To avoid this, stick with same lights throughout your shooting.

A brilliant white background can ruin your photos by overexposing them. Make sure you get a good exposure which is balanced to achieve great photos.

The Camera and lenses

how to photograph jewelry on a budget

There are several cameras which you can use but we will focus on automatic digital cameras and semi-manual digital cameras. To achieve quality jewelry photos, buy a camera with the following properties:

  • Mega-pixels – A camera with more megapixels per inch will give you bigger and better image – I personally recomend for the Nikon d7200, it’s a great camera for a decent budget specially if most of your images are going to be web based. (Buy on amazon )
  • Macro lens – With jewelry photography, you definitely need finer details. To achieve this, use a camera with macro-lens which will get you very close jewelry photos bringing out all the finer details. you may want to go with sigma 105mm, they are well priced and the quality is amazing. (Buy on amazon)

10 Useful equipment needed for placing jewelry during shooting

  • Invest in a piece of Plexiglas or a small white tile to serve as the base of your jewelry. The shiny surface will offer you a nice reflection.
  • Use a small wax to place your jewelry carefully on the tile or Plexiglas. Remember to use very minimal wax so it won’t show on the image.
  • To achieve a floating appeal for your jewelry, use an open frame to suspend your jewelry.
  • Use a clear thread to tie your jewelry in place during shooting. A fishing line will be perfect for this task.
  • A clear earing holder will also come in handy in holding your earing in place during shooting.
  • A bracelet holder is another helpful equipment which you should make use.
  • A necklace form will also help you drape your necklace in an attractive manner during shooting.
  • A dust blower will be useful in removing dirt and hair from jewelry. You can also use it to remove dust particles from your camera lenses for a clear and perfect shot.
  • Use cotton gloves to handle jewelry. This will prevent fingerprints from appearing on your image.
  • Polish your product using a polish cloth to make your jewelry shine. Do not use a polish cloth on soft stones and pearls though.

how to photograph jewelry on a budget

Here is a link for a Jewelry kit that will give you a good start . (Buy on amazon)

Set up

How you set up your jewelry photography lighting will determine the quality of photos you will get. Investing in basic equipment which does not exceed $1500 is another affordable way of creating amazing jewelry photography on a budget.

Now that you have assembled all your equipment which ensures that your jewelry photos are of top-notch quality, you will need to set up your studio.

  1. Begin by choosing a strong table which should be 4 inches high. A folding table is well suited for this job and it can also be folded and easily stored when not in use.
  2. Cover the table using a white tablecloth to bounce the light and not eliminate it.
  3. Place your Plexiglas on the table in the center then position the lights on both sides, behind each diffuser.

You can now start taking shots of your jewelry since by doing the above you have come up with a perfect photography set up. Shooting the jewelry

Now that we have organized everything and even showed you how to set up your studio, let us a look at how we can take perfect jewelry shots.

Position your camera properly and look for an angle which will give you a perfect shot.

how to photograph jewelry on a budget

Editing your photos

This might take you a while to perfect. Once you have perfected this technique, it will become very easy to edit your photos before you upload them. Editing

your jewelry photos will enhance the metal and add more shine to your stones. You may find that you need to add reflections or shadows to your image. This is a tedious task and you may have to outsource this service.

how to photograph jewelry on a budget

Photo editing will also help you replace your jewelry’s color without the need to shoot your jewelry in different colors.

Now that you have taken perfect shots of your jewelry and have edited your photos, you are ready to increase your jewelry online sales.


As we have clearly seen, it’s possible to increase jewelry sales using professional and great jewelry photography done on a budget.

You can take the photographs yourself though at times you will find that you will need to hire a professional jewelry photography studio to get the highest quality for your photo.

Editing your photos is crucial in enhancing your jewelry’s metal, shine, and reflection. It will also come in handy when replacing your jewelry’s color without the need for different color shoots.

Editing can be tedious and you might have to outsource this service before you can clearly learn to do this yourself.

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