Producing good photographs of your jewellery is an important factor if you want to sell your work online or exhibit at fairs. Even if you make jewellery as a hobby it is nice to keep a record of the things you've made and show them off to their best if you like using social media.
At Kernowcraft you might be surprised to hear that we don't have expensive studio equipment as we want to photograph new products quickly - we are always so keen to share them with you! The majority of our photographs are taken using a compact camera in our DIY studio.
Here are our top tips on photographing your jewellery at home and how to make your own portable, micro DIY photography studio.
CHOOSE YOUR TIME OF DAY
Choose your time of day last thing at night when you've just completed that pendant and next stop is bed is not a good time! You really need some good natural light to show your work off at its best. While lamps and artificial light can be useful, when used as the primary light source at home they can make big reflections on gemstones and metal often in a yellow tone. Artificial light will also give silver a yellow hue. Choose a time of day with good natural light, also avoiding very bright sunlight that will produce harsh shadows.
IT IS ALL ABOUT THE ANGLE
When photographing your jewellery, remember that people will want to see it from different angles so they can understand what shape it is, what sort of clasp it has or what size the gemstone is among other things. It can also be useful to have close ups of details such as charms or particular texture you have used. Angle is also important when photographing gemstones as the slightest movement can mean that you pick up the colour of the flash better or that the facets show up much better. It is best to take several photographs with slight changes in the angle so you can pick the best. Through practise you will also get an understanding of which angle works best.
MAKE YOUR OWN DIY STUDIO
Make a light reflector
No expensive equipment needed here! All you need is a couple of pieces of card covered in tin foil. Add some tape at the back (like hinges) and your light reflector will stand up!
Find a piece of shiny white card
This is what you will photograph the pieces on. A sheet of white card or paper will pick up the light nicely helping to show your jewellery off at its best. Use a coloured textured surface-photographing your work on a piece of wood or slate can provide a really nice background with the added benefit of not having to make sure your set up is absolutely perfect. It can also mean that you don't need to edit them.
A smart phone or compact camera is all you need
Again, you don't need to invest in expensive equipment. Smart phones have excellent quality cameras these days. If you have a compact camera, make sure you have it set to good quality (larger, higher resolution) and experiment with adjusting the exposure when photographing on a white background - you may need to increase the exposure when photographing on a white background to make sure you get a good finish.