Tips for Photographing your Jewelry

Creating jewelry is such an incredible journey, although capturing the finished piece in a photograph can sometimes be difficult. Most jewelry is hard to photograph because trying to capture details on small objects is difficult, and light tends to bounce off the metal to create glare. In the spirit of education, I asked everyone around Liloveve, as well as some professional photographers for tips about taking great photos of  your jewelry.

“Use natural light. You can also try smartphone apps like VSOcam or pho-to-lab.”

-Jillian, Director of Communication, Liloveve

“Take a ton of pictures. You’re bound to end up with one good one!”

-Caroline, Principal Designer & Instructor, Liloveve

“Always use a tripod. For taking product shots measure the distance of your camera to the piece so you can get the same distance every time.”

-Emilie, Program Director & Instructor, Liloveve

Some tips from the pros:

“Have a nice consistent source of natural light, and style the pieces with other neutral elements. I’m always a fan of using crystals or stones!”

-Diggy Lloyd, Photographer

“Lighting is everything. A good lens, bright lights, a model with good skin. I’d also say that the key, especially with gemstones or crystals, is to catch the shine with the light.”

-Laura Cartagena, Photographer, Founder of Create / Collect

“Three tips: 1. if your piece is shiny try not to get your reflection in the shot. 2. make sure your lights aren’t creating hot spots on the item. 3. using a light box helps get full light coverage over the entire object.”

-Frank Bowles, Photographer

“Lighting is key honestly. I’ve also found that photographing the pieces on people is helpful. If not possible, make a light box using a white matte board or poster board. Position two lights coming in the sides (45 degrees-ish) to completely light the piece. The right camera lens is also important as you want to be close enough to really show the details. 50 mm lenses work the best because of their depth of field.”

-Sarah MK Moody, Photographer, Co-Founder of  Create / Collect

If you’re looking to up your Instagram game or refresh the pictures on your Etsy page, check out these lenses that you can clip on your phone to increase your image quality. It’s a good investment if you don’t want to spend $1000 on a high quality camera right away.

-The Ollo Clip (iPhone 5/5s/5c and 4/4s only) will run you about $59.99-129.99. All of their lenses can take wide angle, fish eye, and macro shots, and their four in one lens allows you to take 10x as well as 15x macro shots. The Ollo Clip is designed to complement the iPhone 5s’s 8 megapixel camera, but the image quality works for the 4 as well – see example below.

This is the new Four in One Lense from Ollo Clip. It will run you $69.99

This is the new Four in One Lens from Ollo Clip. It will run you $69.99.

Customer photo shot on iPhone 4S using Ollo Clip

Actual Ollo Clip customer photo shot on iPhone 4S

-The Sony QX10 and QX100 lenses are compatible with iPhone and Android devices. These lenses will run you about $250 for the QX10 (18 megapixels) and $500 for the QX100 (20.2 megapixels and a Carl Zeiss lens, a leader in the optical industry). They snap onto your smartphone and can connect with your phone over wifi or you can use a memory chip. Customer reviews note that these lenses are best used for close up shots, not action shots.

Sony QX10 and QX100

From left to right: Sony QX10 and QX100

Actual customer photo shot using the QX10

Actual QX10 customer photo

There are less expensive options that work on pretty much any type of smartphone available on Amazon and Ebay that will run you about $18-39, but you may sacrifice quality.

We hope these tips were helpful, and wish you luck with your photography adventures moving forward!

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