Monday, August 31, 2009

Photographing jewelry- A Lesson For Me

I spent my morning being completely frustrated. Not only because it is Monday but because I decided to take pictures of some jewelry that I have been dying to list on Etsy. I woke up and it was cloudy outside so thought it would be the perfect opportunity. Boy was I wrong. Everything is blurry, the color is washed out, or you can't even tell what color it is. So, I spent the day hunting for tips to take photos of jewelry and decided to share my findings.

  • Choose a background that will allow the item to pop but not distract from it. I tend to use a black t-shirt (my own little secret) but I have seen people use pieces of pottery or often they use drinking glasses. Today I added a chunky black candle stick to use as a platform of sorts. Just look around your house, I'm sure you will find something. Something bright or too busy may take away from your jewelry.
  • Use macro mode when taking pictures. I had no idea what macro mode was or where to find it on my camera. I googled macro mode and the model number of my camera and found out what it is and how to use it. Macro mode allows you to take pictures of items less than three feet away with very sharp focus.
  • Lighting is of course incredibly important. Especially because you should avoid using your flash which will washout your colors and leave bright spots. I prefer to go outside and use what mother nature gives us. The sun is awfully bright in south Texas during the day so I have to catch it first thing in the morning or in the evening. A cloudy day will work too.
  • Take more pictures than you need. This is my philosophy with taking all pictures. I constantly get compliments on the pictures I take of my baby. What people don't realize is that I have taken 1000 in her little five month life- they are only seeing the best 60. Give yourself plenty of options. In this digital age, it is free to snap away so do it!
  • Computer editing software. My camera came with Kodak software that I feel like allows me to do some extensive editing. There are also a number of programs that you can buy. Photoshop seems to be the biggie.

All of this made a total difference for my pictures. Check out the before and after shots below. There is a world of difference!

Teach me more! Teach me more! Leave your great tips in the comments for us!


  1. Yep, those after shots are much much better.
    I also fight with the photography part of my jewelry. I started out using props for my pictures, but after the forums many people said to use just white backgrounds.
    Yes, take way more than you need and then you can decide which pics are the best.
    Use your macro setting, you already learned that
    and also the white settings. I'm still struggling with that on my camera.

  2. Thanks for the great info. Your jewelry is beatiful and I love the black background.

  3. It is always a bummer when you want to take pictures of your work and it is cloudy! I find that indirect natural light with a little photo editing works best but I am always trying to improve my photos too! :)

  4. Yeah, I always use shade. And Picasa. With a white background, though I'm finding sometimes black is better!

  5. Great tutorials! Thanks so much!



Shameless Self Promotion