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October 25, 2011

Jewelry photography in 5 Easy Steps

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Written by: Lawrence
I am not sure you know but my mother has recently got into semi-precious stones Jewelry design as a hobby. You can check out her Jewelry by going to .

Of course, I offered to take pictures of her jewelry. I must say that I am not a big fan of product photography. You not only have to worry about lighting but it is also necessary to make sure the product looks as good as it can be. You’ll see what I mean below. I’ve detailed my process along with each step so you can follow along with my progress next to the web address

Step 1: Identify the Type of Jewelry you are photographing.
a. Are you taking pictures that look old, look new or classy or fun?
a. is not geared for teenie boppers and not for oldies, so somewhere in between.

Step 2: Purchase props to help stage your Jewelry.
a. If you want your Jewelry to stand out, then you need to create a visually stimulating stage without taking the attention away from the Jewelry.
a. I decided to visit my local Ross and purchased some modern inexpensive white serving trays. (It is important that you don’t purchase anything that can take the attention away from the Jewelry.)

Step 3: Stage the image to make the Jewelry pop.
a. Arrange the props in a way that it brings attention to your Jewelry.
b. Try to use the lines of your props to guide the viewers eyes to the Jewelry.

Step 4: Light the Jewelry
a. Lighting the product is very important. If you make the product look too flat, then there is no life in the image.
a. I’ll go over my lighting setup for this shot.

i. Main Light
1. AlienBee 1600 (View image below for settings)
2. Light Modifier: Octobox with two layers of diffusion
3. Location: 45 degrees camera right
4. Height: 4 feet above product


ii. Bottom Edge Light (View image below for settings)
1. Nikon SB900
2. Light Modifier: GaryFong Power Snoot
3. Location: Below product pointing straight up at Jewelry
4. Height: 2 feet below product


iii. Background Light Left (View image below for settings)
1. Nikon SB900
2. Light Modifier: Bare flash
3. Location: 5 inches to the left of the product
4. Height: Equal to product


iv. Background Light Right (View image below for settings)
1. Alien Bee 800
2. Light Modifier: Included reflector
3. Location: 30 degrees camera right
4. Height: 2 feet above product

Step 5: Take the image using a remote shutter release.
a. For my shoot I used an iphone app by onone Software called DSLR Remote pro.
a. You will need a computer, the app on your iphone and the server software on your computer tethered to your DSLR via a device USB cable.
b. I recommend using a tripod and a remote release to prevent lens shake. If you are using a vibration reduction type lens, make sure the vibration reduction is turned off.

That’s it. Happy product photography shooting!

Good luck.

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About the Author

Lawrence Atienza is a Jack of all Trades and Master of ALL. Whether it be in the realm of Advertising/Advertising operations with over 10+ years of experience to dabbling in the creative realm of photography and founding/writing for, Lawrence Atienza gives his all. You can find him on Google+,Twitter and the major social media outlets.




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