7 Ways to Make Sure Your Jewelry Pops in Photos
Whether you’re selling jewelry online or just trying to show off your favorite piece on Instagram, there are a few tricks of the trade you want to keep in mind. While some of these are based around the jewelry pieces themselves, most of them are actually photography tricks. Luckily, even amateur iPhone photographers can implement these without any sort of professional-level knowledge. If you want to make sure your jewelry stands out in your photos, read on for some helpful tips.
1. Clean Your Jewelry
Before you go messing with your camera settings or buying some wildly expensive DSLR camera, just clean your jewelry. Seriously — that’s a big part of keeping your everyday jewelry standing out in photos, and it’s easy to overlook.
You can get a professional-level cleaning or go DIY. The professional route saves time and is a good choice if you need your jewelry in peak form right before a photo shoot. Whether you’re getting a professional cleaning or not, having a simple DIY routine that you can do every so often is great for routine maintenance and making sure your ring looks great, even months after a professional cleaning.
2. Use Natural Light
Yep, most of the ways to make your jewelry pop are behind the camera. You want to know when the light is best where you are and adjust accordingly. Of course, if you really want to get into it, you can buy lightboxes and all sorts of other photography gadgets that allow you to dial in the light to the nth degree. For most of us mere mortals, that’s a bit much, though. Consider instead just trying different times of day and figuring out when the light is best where you like to shoot.
3. Skip the Flash
This seems counterintuitive, we know. You want your jewelry to pop, so you add some extra light and figure it’ll bounce off nicely. While that sounds reasonable enough, it’s not actually how that works.
Flash is pragmatic in a lot of ways, but it can remove some of the dimension in your photos. Especially if you aren’t a pro, you can wash out your photo and miss out on a ton of character. Your jewelry will lose some of its depth with the flash instead of getting a cool shine on it like you’d hoped. You’re really at the mercy of natural light on this one unless you really invest in lightboxes.
4. Don’t Overpower Your Pieces
You also don’t want your jewelry competing for center stage. If the focus of the photo is supposed to be the jewelry, don’t let your outfit or the background get in the way. Go with a simple outfit that the jewelry pieces will stand out against easily. The same goes for your background. You don’t have to stand in front of a white wall (though you’re more than welcome to), but you don’t want the background to be too busy. Both can be distracting.
5. Buy a Tripod
This is one of those things that you can get away without doing, but it really does help. Once you start taking your photos with a tripod, you’ll never go back. Your engagement ring will look even better when the photo is steady.
Yes, modern phones and cameras have tech in them that minimizes shakes and makes it easier to take good photos. However, taking that last little bit of shake out of your photos means taking out little bits of blur that can make their way into your pictures and dull your jewelry’s shine.
6. It’s Mostly in the Editing
That’s the whole of photography, really. Yeah, you want to get an awesome shot, but once you do that, straight to Adobe Lightroom you go. If you’re a decent photographer and an editing wizard, your photos will likely come out better than the other way around. While that might be a slight hyperbole, the importance of editing your photos cannot be overstated.
7. Trial and Error
Yeah, this sounds like a copout, and we get that. Seriously though, trial and error is an integral part of making sure your jewelry pops when you take photos. The more you understand angles, natural light and the camera you’re using, the better your jewelry is going to look in photos. You may have to take hundreds of photos to really see a change in how good your jewelry looks. That’s part of the process, so embrace it.
If you feel like you’re doing everything right, but your jewelry still looks dull (assuming you’ve properly cleaned it), it may be worth trying a photography class. That may seem like a lot for Instagram, but it’s a good skill. If nothing else, there are plenty of photography classes that are specifically aimed at people using their smartphones. You’ll be surprised just how much better your photos look after just a little bit of professional guidance.