How to Take Good Close-Up Photos of Jewelry to Sell

by Nancy Lovering; Updated September 26, 2017
Pink beads and hair slides

Unless a potential buyer is able to see your jewelry in the store, photographs are an integral part of successful marketing. The right image may increase interest in a particular gem and influence buying decisions.

Lighting

The right lighting for jewelry photography is critical. Use a light table -- a flat white surface lit from below -- or a soft box, which is a box lit from the outside through its top and sides, to eliminate shadows. Indirect and soft lighting reduces reflection from the jewelry while providing enough light.

Background and Props

An image background can either distract from or showcase the subject. The white background provided by a light table is optimal for photo isolation, which is the removal of the background for the purposes of inserting the picture into a graphics layout. Another effective tool to obtain a plain background is a seamless, or a sheet of paper or smooth fabric that extends both behind and under the subject. Also try a dark reflective surface such as black acrylic for a striking result. If you prefer to create a still life, try using single-color fabric, an elegant jewelry holder or a hand, ear or neck model.

Focus

Image focus is critical for high quality and image cropping so ensure you use the right lens -- for example, a macro lens for extreme close-ups. Use a tripod or a flat surface to stabilize the camera. View images at full resolution to inspect the focus; some images that initially appear sharp actually have blur from camera movement that is visible when viewed at full size.

About the Author

Nancy Lovering is a writer, photographer and teaching assistant. She took novel writing at Langara College and photography at British Columbia Institute of Technology. She obtained her teaching assistant certificate through Delta School District Continuing Education. She previously worked as an assistant controller while in the Certified General Accountants program, and has training in dog psychology through Custom Canine Teaching Ltd. in Vancouver, BC.

Photo Credits

  • Dave King/Dorling Kindersley RF/Getty Images