How to Photograph Your Handmade Jewelry Using a Digital Camera

diamond jewelry photos

Would you like to get higher prices for your handmade jewelry online? Taking professional quality photos of your jewelry can mean the difference between selling an item for a good price and one that’s barely acceptable. That’s why it’s so important to master the art of taking professional appearing photos of your handmade jewelry.

Most likely, you already have a digital camera. If not, you’ll want to get a camera that has at least five mega-pixels. The one I use and have been completely satisfied with is the Canon Powershot A95. It’s an excellent camera for the price. It’s best to purchase a digital camera that allows you to make adjustments in shutter speed and aperture size both automatically and manually to give you the flexibility you need when photographing jewelry.

You’ll also want to purchase a tripod. A tripod is crucial for holding your camera steady so your images will be sharp and clear. You may think you can get by without one, but even taking a shallow breath during jewelry photography can cause the camera to shake, ruining your beautiful image. Tripods are generally reasonable in price. I got mine for less than $30.00.

I would designate a corner of a room to set up a small area for photographing your jewelry. Move a large table into the room and use this as your base for photographing your auction items. To avoid the appearance of shadows and glare when photographing your jewelry, you can purchase a light tent at your local camera store. This helps to diffuse the light, eliminating shadows and reflections during photography. It’s possible to make your own, but this is often more trouble than it’s worth.

Now to the all important topic of lighting. If you want to take the more expensive route, you can visit your camera store and purchase special photography lamps. The less expensive route is to buy three table lamps at your local discount department store for under $10.00 each. If you haven’t seen these, these are lamps with a metal base and a flexible metal stem that allow you to move the head ot the lamp in different directions. While you’re there, pick up some fluorescent daylight bulbs which should give you a pure white light to help eliminate shadows and other detractors from your photos.

The last thing you’ll need are some inexpensive jewelry displays to hold your earrings and necklaces for photography. You should be able to purchase these at any store that sells jewelry display items such as Rio Grande.

Now that you have your necessary items, how should you set it up? You’ll want to place your light tent on the table you’ve designated for photography. Place your lamps along each side of your light tent. You can then set up your tripod with your camera and place it in front of the opening of the tent.

You can may choose to place a background against the back wall of your light tent This can be done by pinning a dark fabric to the light tent wall and extending it into the floor or your tent to create a seamless background. You can then place your jewelry stand in the center of the light tent.

Place the head of your tripod a bit above your jewelry display with your jewelry, so you’re looking down slightly on your jewelry. This gives a more professional appearing photo.

This is your basic set up for jewelry photography. By using a camera that allows you to alter your aperture size and shutter speed such as the Canon Powershoot 95, you can make changes in these parameters to blur the background of your jewelry, allowing the eye to really focus in on your jewelry pieces. Your camera manual will explain to you how to alter these settings.

Don’t forget to use a good photoediting software to crop out any excess background and to make subtle changes in hue, contrast, intensity etc. You want your photos to be clean and sharply focused.

Spend some time experimenting with different aperture sizes and shutter speeds and see what kind of results you get. With a bit of practice, you’ll find your jewelry photographs getting better over time. For more tips on shooting diamond engagement rings, read this article here:

We’ll spend more time in the future discussing photography techniques and how to use your set up to get the best jewelry photographs possible.