May 15, 2024

Photographing My Jewelry

By Elizabeth Hasen
Photographing My Jewelry

For a long, long time -- years in fact -- I didn't add my jewelry to the website because I couldn't take decent photographs.  I have always been a Ph.D photographer (push here, dummy!), using a point-and-shoot camera.  

I had read that to look truly professional, your jewelry had to be shown against a pure white background.  But no matter what I tried, mine came out tinged with blue or yellow or gray.  It was truly limiting.  I couldn't post photos on social media, let alone the website, because my photos were all over the place and didn't reflect the pieces I was proud of having created.

Here's one of those older photos: 

Last fall I even bought a dslr camera to see if that could help me.  I soon realized that it would be hard for me to take consistent photographs because getting the settings right for each piece of jewelry was so complex.   And the real truth was that I didn't want to learn about photography itself.  I just wanted good pictures!

So in December I started looking online to see what jewelry photos truly appealed to me.  I  realized that what they had in common was they all had colored backgrounds that set a mood, a tone, that complemented the jewelry and drew me in. 

So I returned the camera to Amazon and started using my phone.  I explored using different backgrounds I found in my home -- pieces of wood, tile or fabric.  Finally I bought some colored papers, and suddenly it was a whole new experience!  Taking photos became do-able and enjoyable, and I could even start posting them to Facebook and Pinterest. 

Here are some of the background papers I use, and the lightbox which helps me have consistent light.   

All I need to do to the photographs is to crop and brighten a little if necessary.  The only editing I do is if the color of the jewelry in the photo, as often happens with the iPhone, is way off base from the actual piece.  It's no fun for anyone if people think they're buying a true green or blue and it's really aqua.

Of course, studies have been done that show that women can see more gradations of color than men.  As one comment online put it:  "Take any guy wedding dress shopping and watch his head implode when you try on 8 different “white” dresses and you have to explain the differences between; white, off white, Ecru, eggshell, ivory, diamond, natural, true white, champagne, frost white, pearl and cream."

So that's just one piece of the Gallery "business" that I've had to figure out -- but every successful photo I take is even sweeter because of the process I've gone through to be able to take it.

Now I just need to get busy photographing my necklaces and bracelets, and getting them up on the website....!




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