|With a simple digital camera
and a clean area, you can create a small home
photography studio that will be great for
photographing small objects like bracelets,
necklaces, earrings and other crafts.
are some helpful tips if you plan
and selling your jewelry online and
need to have high quality photographs.
Your photography needs to be the best
representation of your work and should
capture the unique details of your
jewelry and showcase your design talent.
If you often sell your handmade creations
at festivals and markets, create a
photo album for customers to peruse.
Documenting your work is important in may ways. First,
it is a way to record your ideas in case you ever need
to recreate a piece that you no longer have to copy.
If you resell your jewelry, photographs that positively
represent your work will go a long way in marketing
your products. In addition, having a simple photo album
of all your work will provide you with inspiration for
future pieces and be a great way to showcase your talent
Photographing your jewelry does not have to involve
a lot of work space and expensive equipment. Yes, better
tools and equipment will yield the higher quality results,
but we have some tips to help you create a basic home
studio that can suit most of your needs such as website
images, online auctions, small prints, email, and printed
Digital Camera - The method of how
you will be printing or sharing your photos will determine
the megapixel requirement. Most common uses are for
websites and emailing and small scale prints. You do
not have to have the latest camera, just learn how to
use your camera well and you may be surpised at the
pleasing results. Helpful features to master are the
macro mode, white balance and the timer. In our studio,
we use both a 5 megapixel point and shoot digital camera
and a 10 megapixel DSLR camera. All the images above
were all shot with a 5 megapixel digital camera.
Lighting - The best lighting for photographing
jewelry is even, diffused lighting. Insufficient lighting
will cause underexposure and loss of detail and poor
color interpretation. Diffuse natural light can work
very well, but avoid bright direct sunlight or artificial
light as it will cause glare, dark shadows and too much
contrast, all these can also contribute to loss of details
and poor color interpretation. You can purchase or build
a light tent what will help diffuse and distribute your
lighting. Visit your local photography hobby shop for
lights and a light tent set up. In our studio, we use
4 simple clamp lights with 60 watt incandescent bulbs
- simple and inexpensive!
Background - Set up a small table
studio by using a small, clean white table top that
has little reflection. You can photograph your pieces
directly on this surface or create more elaborate and
colorful backdrops by using fabrics, decorative paper,
flowers and other items. Fabrics provide a soft, non-reflective
surface on which your jewelry can be photographed. Choose
fabrics that have an even, smooth texture, and avoid
furry or heavily textured fabrics (such as felt, fleece
or terry cloth), unless for artistic purposes.
Small pieces like bracelets and earrings that can be
photographed flat can just be set on a flat background.
If you need a backdrop that continues vertically, hang
fabric on a vertical surface. Allow the fabric to curve
downward as it transitions from vertical to horizontal
to avoid a horizontal line (a horizontal line would
appear if the fabric has a sharp fold).
Don't be afraid to get creative with your backdrops.
Skim magazines and catalogs for ideas. Feel free to
experiment with different types of fabrics, paper backgrounds,
jewelry stands, flowers and other decorations based
on the style of each individual piece of jewelry. Reflective
backgrounds such as plexi glass or porcelain can be
used, just be aware of unwanted reflections (in this
situation, a light tent is very helpful). Be sure to
take test shots as the camera sees differently than
the naked eye.
Software - Photo editing software
is helpful for minor touch-ups, cropping and re-sizing
Educate Yourself - It would be helpful
to get a basic digital photography book or take a class
at your local community school to learn basic technical
information, image composition and other basic principles.
View Angles - depending on the size
and style of the jewelry piece and how you will be using
your pictures, you may shoot your jewelry at different
angles. Experiment with different angles to see how
different angles will portray your jewelry. Again, skim
magazines and catalogs for ideas.
A telescoping tripod is a great investment. A tripod
will keep your hands free and also help eliminate camera
shake and improve the clarity of your photos.
You may also want to get a light meter which will help
determine if you have enough lighting to produce good
images. If you want to manipulate the manual settings
on your camera, a light meter will help you determine
how to set your camera.
It is better to always shoot your pictures at the highest
resolution and reduce them as needed using photo editing
software. Lower resolution images may appear pixilated
or blurry if you decide to enlarge them afterwards.