Jewelry Photography Lighting

One of the most important aspects of creating a fantastic portfolio for your jewelry is great photography. The better your jewelry looks, the more in demand they will be. However, getting the right photo is not always as simple as it may sounds. For many individuals, jewelry photography can become a challenge and at times even overwhelming. Where do you begin? What camera should you use? What lighting should you use? The questions are endless. One of the most important aspects of jewelry photography is getting the lighting right. Once you can do this, taking photos of your items will come both more naturally and with significantly less hassle and you will understand how to sell jewelry online easy!

The Importance Of Lighting

It really doesn’t matter what type of jewelry you’re taking a photo of, or the quality of the camera that you’re using. If the lighting isn’t absolutely perfect, you won’t be able to get that perfect picture. 

Lighting itself is often overlooked when it comes to taking amazing photos of jewelry, however it is one of the most important aspects, especially when it comes to bringing out all of the bespoke details of your work. Nearly all cameras on the market will struggle when it comes to taking pictures in low lighting, especially cameras on phones. Make sure that when you’re taking a photo of your products that you overwhelm the scene with brightness as this will help to prevent your images from becoming blurry, grainy and dull. 

Whilst the natural light or lightbulb within the room may appear enough for your eyes to detect, they will often have little impact on camera which will result in low-quality images. The natural light within your room is often not enough to get a great image, which is why you find that many photographers prefer to take images outside when the sun is bright. Now, we’re not saying you should take all of your jewelry out and create a photoshoot in the sun. This would not only be risky but would also not create the best results either. The sun will leave a shadow on your photos which will make them look unprofessional. So, what is the best solution?

The Best Lighting Options

The best lighting for jewelry photography is known as diffused lighting. Diffused lighting is a softer light that doesn’t have the intensity or glare of a direct light. It is scattered and comes from all directions, which means that it does not leave any shadows and ‘wraps’ around the object you are taking a photo of. For example, if you’re taking a photo outside on a sunny day, you will get the best photos in the shade. Or if you’re creating an indoor photoshoot using natural light from a window, then cover it with a thin sheet. This will provide you with a lovely looking natural studio light to take your photos from.

However, relying on the sun can be troublesome as it’s unreliable and it could always become hidden behind a cloud- a photographer’s worst nightmare. As a result, the best way to create high-quality jewelry photography is with artificial studio lighting.

Artificial Studio Lighting 

The best way to create fantastic studio lighting is by using a softbox. Softboxes are big lights that are attached to a stand in a pyramid-shaped enclosure, and usually covered in a thin material to spread the light. You can find a wide number of softboxes online, many of which will not cost you a fortune which makes them available to everyone, even if you are restricted by your budget. They are perfect for jewelry photography as you can pick them up and move them with ease, allowing you to create a range of different environments for your photos. They help to diffuse the light so that it is not too harsh to take the photo, making the shadows softer whilst also producing high-quality photos with every shoot. 

If a softbox is completely out of your budget, there are a number of ways that you can still create fantastic photos. One of the best ways is to use a desk lamp. Use your desk lamp and shine it through a small cloth. As you practice, you will begin to learn about what works best for your photos, allowing you to improve the overall quality with each shoot that you complete. 

Where To Position Your Lighting 

Where you choose to position your light will depend on the number of objects that you are taking photos of, as well as the size of these objects. In general, taking a photo of a single object will be the easiest solution as you must only position the light for that single object. The best images often come from lighting that is above the jewelry, as this will help to light the jewelry on both sides without any shadows. If you have the budget for two softboxes you can even place one opposite the other for fantastic results. You can also do this using a torch on your phone by shining it on the other side of the gemstone for added effect. 

When To Use Flash

Although using the flash is a great way to improve the lighting of your photos, it does not always provide you with the best results. Make sure that you never use the small flash on your camera whilst pointing directly at your jewelry. This will look extremely unnatural as the light will be coming directly from the lens. When looking at an object in person, the light is rarely going to come from behind your head and this is the same case when using the flash mode. Now, we’re not saying you shouldn’t use flash, in fact, it can have many benefits. However, if you are using the flash, make sure that you do not point it directly at your jewelry. Instead, point it at a wall or ceiling within the area of your photo. This will bounce off, helping you to create a soft professional looking light. 

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