A picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to jewelry e-commerce, truer words were never spoken. High-quality photos and videos are the key to attracting potential customers to your product because they make up for the lack of tactile experiences offered by brick-and-mortar stores.
Unlike with physical stores, you only have 7 seconds to grab users’ attention online and make a positive first impression. Given such a short amount of time with a bevy of options on the internet, stopping them from scrolling to read long-winded product descriptions does not incentivize them; hence, it is the job of your jewelry photos to capture their attention and hold it long enough to take them to the checkout page.
Don’t stress if you’re not a professional photographer. Here are two different ways to take professional-quality photos and videos yourself without a need for a masterclass.
1. Do it Yourself (DIY)
Yes, you can DIY!
To take studio-quality jewelry images and videos, you must first learn about the trifecta to perfecting jewelry photography. These are lighting, camera, and skills.
Lighting is a crucial aspect in photography and is a key factor that makes up a successful image. Consider learning about the following.
- Light tents
- Soft lighting setups
- Using reflectors to minimize reflections
- Using white balance to correct the color temperature of your lighting environment
Don’t be afraid to experiment on controlling your photography lighting with different props. If the photo doesn’t look quite right, remember, it’s always the lighting, not the camera.
Camera (and lens)
Camera and lens go hand in hand, especially when photographing tiny objects. The former depicts the resolution while the latter has the biggest say on the outcome of your jewelry photos. Knowing this, you should be able to produce optimal image quality by investing in low-end camera bodies paired with a high-end lens
- Decide between DSLR or smartphone.
- Decide who will be taking photos and videos.
- You can use a range of Photography apps on the smartphone like the GemLightbox app. It’s free to download and has presets to maximize your smartphone camera for jewelry.
Skill is categorized by technical ability and artistic dimension. The first one pertains to your technological adeptness while the second one refers to your artistic style and taste, which covers the elements below.
- Study composition techniques.
- Stock up on props and backgrounds. You can purchase white background alternatives like a roll of white paper and a matte finish vinyl backdrop. If achieving a completely white background photo is really challenging for you, you’re better off trying neutral colored background paper.
- Be creative and artistic. Always look for photography inspiration.
If you decide to DIY, expect that capturing one perfect shot of a jewelry takes time, patience, and effort, especially if you’re not a professional photographer. In fact, our webinar poll showed that getting the right result was one of the major challenges jewelers encountered with jewelry photography.
2. Ready-made Lightboxes
It is highly recommended to invest in a proper photography solution if you’re in a business; hence, the next path to professional-quality jewelry photos and videos is through ready-made lightboxes.
Lightboxes are like scaled-down photography studio designed essentially for small products like jewelry. They vary in size and come with white background material and built-in lights. If getting the lighting right is problematic whenever you shoot jewelry photos, a ready-made lightbox is a device for you.
The concept is that the box will act as your background while its built-in lights will fully illuminate your jewelry. The light source should be built inside the box in a way that it provides full coverage of your product; thereby, allowing you to capture every single detail of your design no matter how intricate it may be.
Bear in mind that not all lightboxes in the market are made with jewelry in mind. Jewelry items have highly-reflective materials and some of them are especially tiny. When buying, consider the material, the design, and the lighting source inside the box, and whether it is capable of reducing unnecessary reflections and harsh shadows. If you plan to shoot 360 jewelry videos, try to purchase the turntable from the same brand or seller to ensure that your background and your turntable share the same shade and tone of white for color and appearance uniformity.
While you can construct your own lightbox, ready-made lightboxes are more time-efficient for jewelry businesses with large inventories. It assures you of a solid white background, as shown in the images below, every time you photograph. A white background photo is mostly an important requirement in various e-commerce platforms as it is more versatile, neat, and makes your products pop, which grabs buyers’ attention and lock it up. Above all, lightboxes help maintain consistency in photo quality.
Rolex captured with the GemLightbox and iPhone XS Max
An iced out Rolex photographed with iPhone XS Max and the GemLightbox.
The GemLightbox functions with any smartphone and lets you post your images and videos directly to your social media accounts without hassle. You can also send them directly to your buyer wherever in the world you may be. It’s like inventory in your pocket!
Jewelry photography doesn’t have to be complex. With technological advancement and innovative devices, it’s certainly no longer the realm of professionals. You, too, can do it! When you pick up your camera today, remember your goal. The key is to never start underprepared because a successful, high-quality image happens even before you click the shutter.