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About Jewelry Photography For Your Business

Not all jewelry photographs are created equal. There is more than one way to photograph jewelry, and as with everything else some methods produce better results than others.

Batch Shooting

This type of jewelry photography is the favorite of manufacturers, the goal being speed and economy. This method results in a reasonably decent photograph of each piece just to see what it is, creating a photographic copy of the real thing for manufacturers to show to experienced retailers.

With “batch shooting” only one lighting setup is used no matter the size shape or color of the piece of jewelry, The setup consists of a “hot box” and 2 or 3 lights and a point-and-shoot camera on a tripod. A “hot box” is literally a six-sided box made from white silk with an opening on one end for the camera lens. The actual lights used are anything from photographic strobes to desk lamps which are pointed at two the sides of the box, sometimes at the top of the box as well. The jewelry is placed in the center of the box. If necessary the piece is held in place with bee’s wax or hot glue.

Then click – the photo is taken. The piece is removed from the box and quickly replaced by the next piece. Click. Then the next piece, click, and so on. Using this method a hundred or more photographs can easily be taken in a day. THERE IS NO RETOUCHING OR COLOR-CORRECTING. The raw image from the camera is the final photograph. You can see photographs of this type on eBay and other auction websites.

Shooting for Retail Websites and Catalogs

To create this type of jewelry photograph more time and care are taken. There is a general lighting setup which can be anything the photographer decides to use with the type of jewelry and background being photographed. This basic lighting might be adjusted for each jewelry piece. A professional camera with interchangeable lenses is used. The photographer will turn and angle the piece in the light until the “sweet spot” is found – the angle that presents the jewelry at its best – the stones look alive, the color vibrant, and all its attributes are clearly displayed. The photographer might then enhance the beauty of the piece by adding additional lights or by simply placing white or black show cards at just the right angle. This kind of care is taken with each piece, there is no assembly line shooting. Different backgrounds are used, different colors, different textures, with or without shadows and sometimes reflections are also used.

After the jewelry is photographed each photograph is then color-corrected and retouched to allow the piece to be seen at it’s best, as if the prospective customer were holding it in hand. The background is also replaced, usually with pure white but often with a colors.