Don't let digital jewelry photography scare you!
In the past few years, technology has progressed so fast that smart phones can now take better pictures than digital cameras that used to cost hundreds of dollars five years ago.
This means that the prices of digital cameras have gone down as well, which puts you in a really great position to acquire the necessary equipment for your jewelry business at a modest price.
Chances are you or someone you know owns a digital camera, or a smart phone that is able to take good quality pictures.
Here then, are some easy tips for improving your digital jewelry photography skills:
Digital Photography Tips
- Read the manual, cover to cover. Learn what all those buttons do, and how to setup your camera to make the best use of your lighting conditions. It still amazes me to this day how much time and frustration you save by reading manuals!
- You will hear lots about Macro Mode and how it helps you get really close up to your necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. BUT if you are using Macro-Mode for photographing your pieces make sure you understand the side effects of using Macro-Mode. Read up on depth of field and how it affects taking photographs.
- Get a Tripod. Sometimes your pictures turn out blurry because your hand is not steady, so having a tripod that fits your camera or smartphone can really help you take better quality pictures. If you are using a smartphone camera, there are special brackets you can purchase to attach to a regular tripod, or you can buy a tripod made for smartphones.
- Make use of your camera's timed delay function. Your camera should have a way for you to delay taking pictures by a few seconds. I usually choose 10 seconds, which allows me to set up the shot, push the shutter button, let go, and allow the camera to steady itself on the tripod before the picture is taken. This pretty much eliminates the problem of camera shake.
- Choose your photography lighting sources carefully. Check that your light setting is the same as the light source you are using: natural light photography, or artificial such as incandescent light, or fluorescent lighting. Different lights produce different colored pictures, and your camera should be able to make these compensations for you.
- Make sure all of your pieces are clean, and all metal parts are polished. Canned compressed air, available at office supply stores, is useful for removing dust from your background and jewelry, as well as dusting off your camera lense.
- Set aside a block of 2 or 3 consecutive hours to do your digital jewelry photography. You’ll find it easier to get into a groove with setting up props and styling photographs you need to take.
- Make a list of all the bracelets, earrings, and necklaces that you need to photograph, including the types of shots you need to take, such as full shot on plain background, detail shots, propped shots, model shots, etc. To save time when you start shooting your digital photographs, do all the full and detail shots first, then move on to all the propped shots, and finish with model shots.
And the #1 Digital Jewelry Photography Tip is...
Practice! Practice! Practice!
Chances are when they first got started, their photographs weren’t as good as what they are currently showing now. In Etsy you can actually see the progression of digital photography improvement over the course of time by browsing the seller’s “Sold” button.
“Don’t stress too much if your pictures aren’t coming out as perfect as you would like them to. Just keep practicing, observing, taking notes, and over time, your pictures will start looking really great!" ~Oran