Whether you are new to jewelry photography or you are a seasoned professional, you should know that lighting is the most essential aspect of obtaining high-quality photos. A small bright light, like a camera flash, will only result in harsh shadows, bright white spots and unwanted reflections. Instead, try to diffuse the light to avoid flash reflections. The best way to ensure clear, detailed, high-quality photos is to create a good tabletop photo studio with a larger light source that will soften the lighting on your jewelry.
While many phone cameras today are able to take high-quality images, there are still times where using a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera is preferred. There are certain features that are adjustable on a DSLR camera (like manual focus, aperture speeds, focal length, and lighting) that are not accessible on a phone camera. Because jewelry photography involves close attention to detail of small objects, it is recommended to use a macro lens of at least 50 mm effective focal length. This will allow you to position your camera close to the subject while giving the jewelry a magnifying effect. In order to capture the best depth of field, set the aperture settings to at least F11 or higher.
We have already mentioned how lighting plays a significant role in capturing the detail of jewelry, but it is also important to note that it can affect the color of the jewelry as well. The reflective property of jewelry can be used to your advantage with the right background. It is almost always better to use a white background with jewelry to avoid the jewelry seemingly changing color based on the color of the background. A white background also allows subtle reflections in the jewelry which can add really nice depth to the picture.
If you’re looking to add depth or have small items such as rings or earrings, use props! Many craft stores sell mannequin busts for necklaces or ring stands. This is a great way to add elegance or shape to your jewelry! For those small items, look for positioning wax or something similar that will hold up the jewelry without distracting from it.