Jewelry Photography Tips and Tricks for Designers on a Budget

Excellent photography of your jewelry is vital to your brand’s success.

If your photography is subpar and you aren’t getting the sales you want for your business, online or off, the first thing you should turn to are your photos. Crappy photos can arguably be the ONE thing holding you back from editors, buyers and customers taking you seriously. If your photography sucks, you’ll look like a hobbyist.

So today, I am going to walk you through a few shortcuts that you can use even if you can’t afford that expensive PRO photog at the moment.

Make sure you pay special attention to around minute 1:18 when I totally embarrass myself with something I am totally ashamed to admit… But I’m happy to embarrass myself if it helps you all get better with your photography… Plus, around 7:53, I tell you a sneaky way to get “models” for your lifestyle shots, and some workarounds to get great shots of all types of jewelry).

Alrighty, let’s get started! Here are your Jewelry Photography Tips for Designers on a Budget

Click to Tweet:: Jewelry Photography Tips for Designers on a Budget Taking quality photos is time consuming, yes. However, if you’re trying to stick to a budget and still come out with professional images, a DIY-approach is your best bet!

Around 8:33, I talk about one of my favorite resources for photography shortcuts. Create & Thrive’s Photography Guide. A definite must (and totes affordable).

So I’m curious and would love to know:

Do you shoot your own jewelry images and why? What is your biggest challenge when photographing jewelry? Bonus: Do you have any tips for those doing their own jewelry photography?

Tell us in the comments below…

OK, now go shoot some awesome photos! xo, Tracy (& Robin)

22 Comments

  1. Judy on October 1, 2015 at 11:03 am

    I do shoot my own jewelry because it’s more cost effective. my biggest challenge is I always get shadows, blurry, or the piece looks distorted. This video was extremely helpful!! I never knew how to block a shadow…it never occurred to me to get a mini tripod…I’m definitely going to invest in these things as well as a shadow box. Thank you!!

  2. Leanne Steiner on October 1, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I shoot my own photos because I’m not at the point where I can hire a photographer. And I love shooting and editing and learning new tricks. My friend taught me a trick to use with an iPhone: turn it upside down for a nice angle and to get up close and low. It also nicely blurs the foreground and background.

  3. Carole Weaks on October 2, 2015 at 1:55 am

    I know you critiqued my jewelry the other day unfavorably because I use nature props like wood. You use the white background. My jewelry is art jewelry, not commercial jewelry that can be duplicated or mass produced. It is very organic and a bit tribal and very earthy as well….. therefore the nature props such as wood, stones or shells. I sell quite well on etsy, better than most. I have had many people compliment my photos and ask me if I would teach them how I shoot. My question to you is….why is it that you guys like only a white background. That makes pieces look cold and like it comes from a department store to me. My mentee is a fashion photographer and she loves the way I shoot my work, and copies it for her own site. I was very puzzled that you criticized it, and would like to know if you believe there is a difference in art jewelry and commercial jewelry.

    Thanks,
    Carole

    • Sarah on July 22, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      I agree with Carole and I am also more likely to buy the jewelry when it’s being shown in a natural setting. Love the nature and shells idea!

  4. Chandreyee on October 2, 2015 at 3:38 am

    I have been using this strategy plus a few others for years now; getting white background photos is difficult. I have a couple standard shots I really like, but it doesn’t always work for every piece. I’ve started contracting with a photographer for some of the photos because I am not great with lifestyle shots. Hopefully this will help. In the mean time, thanks for the video!

  5. Lisa Mahri on October 2, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Thank you for these wonderful tips.. Originally I had my jewelry photographed by a professional photographer , he definitely did a great job considering that he never shot Jewelry before. In learning more about photographing jewelry I know that I can showcase the true beauty of my pieces with better photos . I get lots of compliments and sales in person but not to much through my website. I bought a light box now and am going to invest in a camera . These tips were very helpful and I thank you very much!!;)

    ❤️Lisa

  6. Cindi Flores on October 3, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    I’m just getting started, so I’m doing my own photos. It’s definitely a challenge! But I am using photoshop which can help. My biggest challenge is lighting. So I am planning on taking a digital photography online class to get a better understanding of my camera settings and lighting. Thanks for the tips!

  7. Marina zavory on October 6, 2015 at 10:59 am

    These are great. I do not always have consistent back groups for my social media sites, Instagram or Facebook, wondering if you meant only for line sheets? I love the fishing line tip for earrings. I am going to try this ASAP for my new website! Would you suggest how you make your necklaces look like are floating; same idea? Thank you.

  8. Christine on October 19, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    I have struggled with photography for the six years I’ve been in business. I used to take photos in my homemade light box, then I bought one from the camera store. What has helped me most with those white background shots is Adobe Lightroom. There are many photo apps that help as well, but sometimes they don’t always maintain the color of my jewelry pieces (colors come out too bright, too strong). Lightroom is my go-to program when I need that crisp, white background and to make sure the color of my pieces is accurately represented.

  9. Janice on November 11, 2015 at 10:15 am

    I’ve always loved photography and do all of my own photos with a digital SLR, macro and telephoto. When I purchased my new camera it came with free classes. I use a light box but still find it difficult to get the nice white background. Take advantage of shooting outdoors in the natural light using your aperture setting to focus on the jewelry only. Makes for great color on your stones also. One caveat – all computers, phones etc are not created equal. If you pull up the same photo on different devices the coloring will look slightly different on every one. Good tips in the video!

    • Julie DeMuro on January 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      I just recently took a picture if some of my pieces and put it on Facebook just to introduce myself for the BootCamp. I used my cell phone camera and used a black velvet piece of material tonokace the pieces in. I got some replies about how nice my jewelry looked. Although I liked the way the pictures came out I thought the colors were not shown well. I am going to try the white background. I like that idea. Thank you

  10. Cheryl on January 11, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    I shoot my own photos. When our collections consisted of colorful gemstone beads the photos turned out beautifully, but now that we are working with more metals — gold and silver — it is extremely challenging to photograph these highly reflective surfaces successfully. I purchased a jewelry photo booth which helps but still working on getting the right balance of light and reflection without an over processed result.

    • Tracy Matthews on February 6, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Hey Cheryl! Yes, more metal = harder to photograph, usually. Good luck getting the results you want! I know with some trial and error you’ll get there. xo, Tracy

  11. Champa on February 9, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Thanks Tracy but I have a question.
    Some of my items look good in white but others in black or red.
    In such case which background to chose to maintain consistency through out?

    • Tracy Matthews on February 28, 2017 at 11:27 am

      Hi Champa! White is the industry standard for product shots and line sheet templates. If you want to shoot lifestyle and styled photos on different backgrounds, that would be awesome for some extra promos 🙂

  12. Anila Jain on June 28, 2017 at 3:40 am

    Its really great to see such easy to follow tips on jewellery photography. And thank you for including the video here, it will definitely help all.

    • Tracy Matthews on July 17, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      You’re welcome m’dear!

  13. Angelina julie on November 10, 2017 at 6:49 am

    When i see your video and read this content then really It’s definitely a challenge! But I am using photoshop which can help me this tutorial.

  14. Nicolus Martin on December 25, 2017 at 9:50 am

    I read your post. I like it and thanks to post it here.

  15. Aisha on January 8, 2018 at 9:35 am

    These are awesome tips! I have made my own photo light box before and ut truly makes a difference. I will be shopping for a tripod as I get blurry photis due to shaky hands. Thanks for the great pointers!!

  16. Judith on January 13, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    If you are hanging earrings on fishing line, how do you get them to stay still enough to be photographed? I stopped using hanging pix for that reason although I do shoot them on a mannequin where the trembling is less.

  17. Solaiman Sumon on January 25, 2018 at 5:34 am

    Very good and educative photography tips here you have shared . Thank you for this nice post .

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