10 Common Jewelry Product Photography Mistakes

Product photography mistakes are more than just a hassle. Apart from having to schedule a reshoot for your entire line of products (which costs you both time and money), it also costs you the trust of any potential buyers.

We’re saving you the hassle (and the heartache) by teaching you about the most common jewelry product photography mistakes and how you can avoid them.

1. Smudged products

While this may seem obvious, many people tend to overlook it. DSLR cameras and proper lighting pick up a lot of detail, no matter how minute and tiny. This includes any smudges, dust particles, and even scratches on your jewelry. While they may seem invisible to the naked eye, they appear quite clearly once photographed.

Make sure you wipe down and polish all of your jewelry before shooting. Wearing cotton gloves when handling your products saves you a lot of time (and spares you the headache!) of constant cleaning.

2. Inconsistent shooting

Nothing looks more unprofessional than inconsistent shots. Before you even begin with your photo shoot, create a set of guidelines for your jewelry photography and follow them during every shoot. Consistency is key and even the slightest difference will be noticed by your potential buyers. Make sure you take note of things like your camera settings, lighting, background, and equipment position so you can stage reshoots without any significant changes.

3. Distracting background

Some brands may find white backgrounds to be “boring” and will try to be creative by using “fun” and colorful backgrounds. Don’t do it!

Take a lot at websites such as Amazon, eBay, or even Target. What do you notice? All of their product photos are against a white or neutral background. This is to keep the focus on the product and to help highlight all its details.

4. Unnecessary props

In keeping with number 3, less is more. That goes with props as well. If it will distract your buyers or take the focus away from your jewelry, ditch it. While you may think your jewelry will look good on a model or with props, this type of photography works best for editorial work, not for product photography. Remember, you want all the focus to be on your product.

5. Visible reflections

One of the biggest selling points of jewelry also makes it difficult to shoot: how luminous and reflective it is. Photographers’ reflections are often caught in the shiny surface of gemstones or metal in jewelry.

To remedy this, place your jewelry on a flat and steady surface. Position a large studio light on either side of it and diffuse them with umbrellas. Then hang and sweep a long roll of seamless white paper behind and underneath your product all the way to the bottom of your camera lens. This helps block off reflections from the foreground and reflect more light back onto the jewelry. Remember to shoot down directly on your product.

6. Shaky images

No matter how good your lighting setup is, if you handhold your camera, we guarantee the images will come out shaky every time. For jewelry product photography, you’re always going to want to use a tripod for crisp, professional looking shots that allow you to use optimal aperture and ISO settings. Best of all, you can mark a spot on the floor and leave another mark for your product stand to make it easy to replicate shoots on different days.

7. Poor focus

Product photography is not the time to get artsy and artistic with your shots. You’ll want high aperture, full focus photography that will give your customers sharp images so they can see all the beautiful details of your jewelry.

We recommend using an aperture setting of f/11 or greater, and to set your ISO to as low as possible.

8. Inaccurate white balance

If your white balance is off, colors may not appear to be as they are in real life. Gold may appear blue, pink seem green, and so on. Make sure your white balance is set accurately so that your jewelry’s colors come out as they really are.

9. Not enough images

Potential buyers will quickly be disappointed if your site only has one or two images of your products. Remember that unlike a physical store, they’ll only have product photos to help them decide whether or not they should purchase your jewelry. Give them as many photos from as many angles possible. Take one from the top, the sides, and of any unique detail or feature it may have.

10. Bad editing

You obviously want attention but bad photo editing surely isn’t the reason to get it! Poorly retouched photos not only fake, they also make your brand look cheap and unprofessional, quickly losing your customer’s trust. Invest in professional jewelry photo retouching services that will consistently crop, edit, retouch, and align all of your products and make sure they all look their best.

Spare yourself the headache and the stress at your next jewelry product photo shoot and follow these simple steps!

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