What are some tricks that produce great photographs of jewelry?

When it comes to selling jewelry, it is often said that a picture is one of the best-selling tools that you have.  What are some of the tricks that can you use to produce a fantastic photograph?

There will be times when you produce nothing but blurred, out-of-focus pics, or photos that show the item off-center.  A simple tripod will help you eliminate these problems.

I often use a mannequin arm to highlight the beauty of a bracelet or ring, and a bust or a necklace display.  Another option is to use a real-life model for the jewelry.  This could be your sister, brother, or even one of your children.  This type of display helps the buyer know what the jewelry could look like when they have it on before they purchase it.

Don’t be afraid to play with the settings on a camera.  We all know that digital cameras come with a macro setting.  Make sure to try the settings for night shots, fireworks, or even snow pictures as well.  You never know which setting will show off a piece’s best attributes!

Take a ton of pictures along the way.  Play with the angles of the photograph, and even use the flash of the camera.  You can even put a table lamp near the jewelry near the jewelry to help give the stones in the piece more of a sparkle affect.  What works for me is to use natural daylight.

I even play with the background as well.  If you have something that has a silver tone to it, a dark backdrop behind or underneath it really plays up the shine.  A piece of construction paper can be all the backdrop you need.

Another way that you can make those pictures “pop” is to take a piece of glass (this can be from a picture frame that you are not using anymore) and lay it on top of a piece of colored construction paper—the reflection of the jewelry can be picked up in the glass. There is a product called a light box, which can produce a “halo” effect around something like a pendant.  Instead of investing tons of money on this equipment, a flashlight can come very close to doing the same effect.

So what kinds of tricks do you use to take photos of jewelry?

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How do you take a photograph of an item that’s round?

When you get to selling items online, you will run across a wide variety of items that are different sizes and shapes.

Round items were always a problem when I needed to take photos of them.  I was afraid that they would start rolling around (and eventually fall and break) before I could take the photo.

Because of this, I would have to hold the item and have to take terrible photos.  That is, until I came up with a simple (and very cheap) way to help take the photo.

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The trick is to put a rubber washer under round item.  I know it sounds silly, but it works.  The washer helps prop up the item to keep it from rolling around, and the center of the washer is open to accommodate for the round surface.

The washer that I have set aside for photographs didn’t cost me much at all—it was a couple of bucks (the good thing about it is that I have used some of the other washers around the house).

shade

The trick works on a wide variety of items, just like the lamp shade in the picture above (you can barely see the washer at the bottom of the photo).

What kinds of tricks like this do you use to help you take photos?

Hey, that’s a cool Eastman Kodak Photography Studio Scale!

Photography is an area that has a huge amount of collectible items.  It could be cameras or even the photographs themselves.  Companies even produced glass containers that held the chemicals to develop the photographs, and even these containers are sought after to decorate with.

But what about collecting and decorating with something like a studio scale?

scale

One of the companies that produced a scale like this was EASTMAN KODAK.  EASTMAN KODAK made this terrific photography studio scale from 1912 to 1948.  It was made to help you weigh exactly how much chemicals you needed when you were developing your photos.

The reason you needed to weigh the chemicals because they were stored separately from each other.  This was to help keep everything as fresh as possible (and to help you you use only what you needed).

This scale would look terrific on any desk, or even with other photographic equipment!  You can see this terrific scale in my Etsy shop here.

What other types of photographic collectibles have you run across?