Monday, August 21, 2006

Jewelry Photography: Part 1 Photography Originally uploaded by Angel's Lens.

Jewelry Photography: Part 1

Originally uploaded by Angel's Lens.

Originally uploaded by Angel's Lens.
I've been getting lots of Google hits from people searching for tips on jewelry photography, so it's time I pulled together a post about how I do it. You can click on any of the photos to see a larger version.

Every artist you talk to will have a different method of taking pictures of their work. Other people use scanners, light boxes, and other methods. This is what works for me, so keep in mind that one way won't work for everyone. My way also happens to be very inexpensive.

I use a digital camera to take my photos. Mine is a several-year-old Olympus Camedia. It's a mid-range point-and-shoot digital, but cheaper cameras will work too.

I sometimes use a tripod as well - a cheap one from Wal-mart that stands about two feet high. My current setup doesn't have room for it, so it's tucked into a corner until I need it again. Tripods are handy for jewelry photography because they keep the vibration of your hands from making the shot blurry.

As far as physical setup, I use two bendy-neck lamps (also cheap and from Wal-mart) and a piece of white fur or fabric. Other than that I use what I have on hand. The whole thing stays on the top of a filing cabinet.

Today's Shoot

I generally use white necklace and earring stands to support the jewelry, but they all currently happen to be over at the coffeehouse with my consignments. So on this particular shoot, I just laid the necklaces out flat. I still had a bracelet cone around (you can see it at left above) and I used a flat piece of glass (from a picture frame) to hang the earrings on (also above).

I use my camera's "Auto" setting and flood the area with as much light as possible. Keeping the camera still and steady is extremely important: unlike artistic shooting, you want every detail to show up clearly. I tend to let pieces build up and do them all at once rather than do a shoot every day.

So there's my setup. It's pretty simple, but it works well, and I can use anything I like as a prop. I've used everything from glass to pottery to sand to seashells to feathers to support the jewelry and help create an atmosphere.

I'll be covering how I work with the digital images I've produced in the next post. Stay tuned!