Updated: Nov 25, 2020
These four tips are tried and tested and provided to help you get started creating simple jewellery images for use on your website, social media or for submissions.
Without expensive camera equipment and accessories, it is possible to take a simple image of a piece of jewellery on a white background with a smart phone, however a little patience and trial and error is required initially.
for the best result take your photograph using natural light. Using a lamp for lighting will create a yellow tinge to the image that is difficult to to edit out. Finding natural light is the most important consideration when searching for the best location to take the photograph.
You need to find a location inside to position a large piece of white card or paper, so that when you place the jewellery on it, the position is bright enough to see the detail. A deep window ledge or a table near a window can work but you need to make sure;
Any light is diffused - Not direct sunlight.
There are no distracting shadows - No blinds or other nearby object reflections.
The light cast onto your jewellery is not creating long dark shadows on the white paper next to your jewellery.
You may need to try out several locations until you find the perfect place, this is the trial and error part. Sometimes outside locations can work if conditions suit.
Once you have found your perfect location you need to make a note of the time of day. This is because the light in your location will differ if you take pictures there at a different time. Important to bear in mind for future photography sessions that a particular location will provide different results if the time of day, weather and/or season has changed.
3. PHOTO OPTIONS
Move your jewellery around so that you have photos showing lots of different angles. This will give you more choice when editing to get the best white background. You cannot always tell which angle will give you the best image until you start editing.
Once you have taken your photo and to obtain an image with a light white background you will need to edit it using Smart Phone editing or simple standard PC software such as Windows Photos Editor. Simply increase the brightness and contrast by the same amount until you are satisfied with the results. You may need to adjust the mid tones brightness also.
- If you cannot get a good enough image on a white background at one locations you will need to try a different photography location.
The image above was taken using the tips in this blog. Image credit Dawn Meaden-Johnson, The Abundance of Spring Brooch.
These guidelines are not in any way an alternative to professional photography however, they are provided as a means for Jewellery Makers to simply record their work on a white background which is commonly requested for submissions.
These guides work for many types of jewellery, however some pieces that are very highly polished will most likely require professional photography. This is because highly reflective surfaces are extremely difficult to photograph on a white surface.
If your photography or editing is not consistently successful you may find this course of one-to-one tuition helpful.
About the author | Dawn Meaden-Johnson
Dawn has over 30 years’ experience working in customer facing Creative and Commercial Industries and in Further Education, including at Birmingham City University School of Jewellery for 10 years, during which time she has worked extensively with national and international clients.
Dawn is a training consultant and the founder of The Bespoke Jewellery Training Company which provides national one-to-one practical tuition for Jewellers nationally and a member of the Association for Contemporary Jewellery.
A Silversmith graduate of Birmingham City University School of Jewellery, Dawn still creates Contemporary Art Jewellery under the brand Dawnstorm.