Monday, March 7, 2011

Photographing Jewelry - for my Etsy shop

Ask any Etsy seller what they struggle with the most? PICTURES! And not just lovely, clear, representative, focused, accurate pictures, but that small thumbnail that appears in the results list of shoppers that has to make you click!

Taking good pictures of jewelry presents its own challenges. Tinkering with camera settings, lighting options, composition... it's this last category that I'm working on lately - how to display jewelry in a way that is both accurate and enticing, and competitive against all the other listings in any category.

One thing I've noticed lately in some other shops, is the use of layers or contrast in the background, so I tried that with a few recent shots. I'm also experimenting with interior light - daylight bulbs - to allow myself more control of the light source - the sun here is very hit and miss and only "perfect" for a very short window on my patio.

Here are some new samples:

I've had trouble capturing these Iolite earrings for some time - I'm not convinced this is a good shot, but I like it for now while I experiment more.

For these garnet earrings, I like the layout, but I can't get the lighting right - gonna have to play around with this one some more.

Ah now bracelets and necklaces are made for draping - this one I'm quite happy with (for now!)

Of course, these and all my others are currently in my Etsy shop:


  1. There are so many articles on photographing jewelry, its such a issue, that everyone tries to help!
    In reducing my glare, I have covered the lamp of mine with white tissue paper. It doesnt always fix the problem, it just reduces it.
    I also have a small table that I always use. It helps me to be able to move around. And yes, there are only certain times during the day I can take photos because of the lighting, I always need a bright day!
    And I always use the macro setting, it helps in detail.
    Lastly, I have tried numerous photo editing programs. I like Picnik the best!

    Happy shooting :)

  2. I understand! I am not sure how we could work something out, but I would be willing to help you if you ever get in a pinch and really need some shots worked out :) You're doing a great job and the beauty of your craftsmanship is quite evident XOXO, Kelly

  3. Photographing jewelry is a pain. I do OK with most other products but jewelry has always challenged me. I use the macro setting but lighting is difficult.

  4. I think you did a really great job with these pics - jewelry can be tricky to photograph, and your pics are beautiful! :)

  5. looks like your preaching to the choir, lol. when I finally think I got the picture right, it looks blurry after I list the item in my shop. ugh!!
    - ourhometoyours/xv,

  6. Lighting is a pain when photographing jewelry. I use natural daylight sometimes, and my OTT light when I have to. I use the macro setting, and I love GIMP for editing. It's easy and it's free!

  7. I actually like the shots. But its always a good idea to experiment with lighting and diff surroundings. I try and re-do the shots all the time! Nice blog. :) Found you on EBT.


  8. I have always thought the Jewelry makers had it tough, not just taking good pics, but showing all the detail that is within the pieces. you have done a great job with both. another preference (from a guy) if it is something like a necklace or bracelet, I like to see at least 1 pic where it is modeled. that way i know how it will fit whoever I am buying it for. I dont speak jewelry size. Great photos!!

  9. ha ha are we blogging twins? I posted about the very same thing - trials and tribulations of shop photos :P

  10. Wow I seem to have hit a shared nerve for a lot of us - thank you all for the feedback. Taking pics for my shop really gives me more appreciation for the Fine Art Photography artisans - it's not remotely as easy as it looks!

    My goal is to get composition and lighting better, then reward myself with a really good camera.

  11. New Follower from Etsy Blog Team :)

    I LOVE the first and third photos ... that lighting is going to be tricky for those garnets...good luck!