Options for Photographing Jewelry
(Nova Scotia, Canada)
When I started making jewellery 18 years ago photographing my pieces was a difficult task. Cameras were not as sophisticated as they are now unless you wanted to spend a fortune. Home computers had just become the norm, but online shopping was still in its infancy. Unfortunately due to this, many of my earlier creations went unrecorded, which I regret.
When I first started selling online, I created a very basic website and recorded most of my images by laying them on my scanner. Worked well for the purpose at the time, but looking at those images now you can see the quality is not great! (see pic) It is, however still a reasonable technique to use if you do not have a decent camera or the ability to download your photographs.
As the years progressed I started to take my photographs outside on sunny days, placing my items on natural backgrounds (see pic). The lighting is great as long as you do it in the summer when the sun is at its peak or you get lots of shadows. I still use this technique when I make items in the summer months!
More recently my husband bought me a light box as a birthday gift. It is a square nylon collapsible box in which to place your subject. You then shine light through the sides which act as a diffuser to enhance the features of your piece. Any light will do as long as it is strong enough to light the subject adequately. I use desk lamps with white bright light which acts almost like daylight as proper studio lighting is frightfully expensive.
You can also place your creation on any background inside this light box such as a display stand (see pic) You can also lay it flat on the white surface. (see pic) I prefer to take my photographs at angles to the work, my favourite being the one pictured on the white background.
You don’t need an expensive camera to take your photographs, most cell phones will do the job nicely. (Pic on stand in light box taken by camera phone) If you can afford the light box, expensive camera, studio lights, reflectors and more, your photos will look simply amazing.
Tip: check your local library – ours has a media lab which has all the items listed which you can use for free (even a camera) and they sometimes have classes on photography. Or ask at a local photography club, someone may like to ‘practice’ on some still life subjects and give you the photographs free or for a small price. Or join them and learn to do it yourself!
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