Tips for Taking Great Pictures of Handmade Jewelry
To take better pictures of handmade jewelry, I personally think that taking good photos is more difficult than making our handmade jewelry! Everything has to be perfect to do justice to your handcrafted artisan jewelry. A picture is worth a thousand words if you’re a writer; a picture is priceless if you are trying to market your jewelry and unique gifts online!
Handmade jewelry photography is too important to leave to chance. Waiting for the sun to be exactly right is okay if you don’t have anything better to do but time is money and both are in short supply! You don’t have to wait for the cloud to pass or the direct sun to be on the left. Actually, most of our pictures have been taken in the wee hours of the morning, once you get everything right it’s like you just can’t stop! If you are serious about taking great pictures you need a studio set-up. It’s not difficult and not too expensive considering online marketing advantages.
For better handmade jewelry photography, we made our own light tent by making a cube and covering it with white rip-stop nylon fabric, which cost about $20 to make. Let me know if you need instructions. We use three 5200’K spotlights (daylight) about $35 each. We use studio stands (kinda costly) but swing arm lamps work too, just less adjustable. We bought a professional digital camera with a great macro lens, it hooks up directly to the computer and you just press enter so no shaky out of focus shots.
The photos come up on the monitor so you can adjust the coloring, etc. You just set up the first item getting it just right, then replace it with the next item so photoshoots go quickly. Touch-ups are at a minimum if the photos are taken well. There will always be those really shiny pieces that when zoomed in at 5000 times the actual size you will see yourself taking the picture. Smudging tools work well in those cases!
Take your time to learn about your camera and all the features, it will make your life much easier. Experiment with background colors but we have found that nothing shows our handmade jewelry as well as a white background. Make sure your designs stand out emphasizing the unique features of each piece. It is all about experimenting and finding the perfect settings for each photograph.
This maybe is extreme for someone just starting out but we have been making handcrafted jewelry for over 35 years and we have over 5,000 items! Photos are extremely important especially when marketing online and well worth the investment.
If you have any special tips or tricks that help to take great photos, I’d love to hear from you! We all need all the help we can get!
Best of Luck to everyone, Jen