Easy Product Photography Tips For Your Jewelry Business

Picture-Jasper-Hand-DetailA couple of weeks ago, I decided to take my jewelry business in a whole new direction, and opened my new Etsy shop, Laughing Lotus Jewelry. While a lot of things about Etsy have changed since I opened my first shop 8 years ago, one thing remains the same: you’ve got to take great pictures of your handmade beaded jewelry if you want your shop to look professional.

ABOVE: Azur Mele on set .

So on a sunny afternoon, I took my first handful of gemstone bracelets for listing in my Etsy shop out to my…er…outdoor photo studio, and tried to get some good photographs. I know that natural lighting is always the best option for getting good photographs of gemstone beads, but I was having a really hard time that afternoon. It took me lots of trial and error before I finally managed to get a couple of decent pictures of each bracelet for my Etsy listings.

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Product photography is important for your jewelry business, not just if you sell online, and if you can’t afford to hire someone to take great pictures of your finished handmade beaded jewelry, keep some of these tips in mind when setting out to take your first pictures:

1. You don’t necessarily need a lightbox. A lightbox is a fun toy to have if you want to take photos for high-end juried craft shows, but for almost everything else, all you really need is some natural light that comes in through a window or in a slightly shaded area outdoors.

2. Natural light is always best. Photo lights are great, but they can require a lot of setup for your camera and in “post production” when you’re editing your final images. The easiest way I’ve found to take great pictures with natural light is to just place my jewelry on a piece of plain white paper, and place it in a well-lit window. As long as the sun isn’t shining straight through the window, my photos need minimal editing at the end.

3. If you have a macro setting on your camera, use it. These days, even cameras found on smartphones have a macro setting. Check your owner’s manual to find out how to use that setting (usually with a symbol of a flower) to get the best detail on your images.

4. Get creative with your backgrounds and displays. You don’t have to just photograph your pictures on a white background like I do. You can use things like colorful glass or ceramic dishes, wood benches, or colored fabric as backgrounds for you photographs. Remember that you don’t want to distract too much from your beautiful beaded jewelry, but don’t be afraid to try new ideas, especially if an interesting background plays in nicely with your overall brand identity.

A couple of years ago, I also invested a few dollars and a Saturday at my local arts council to learn how to use the settings on my camera to improve my photographs. Even if you can’t hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your jewelry, you can still learn how to use your camera like the pros do. If you’re ready to learn how to take great product photos of your finished beaded jewelry for your jewelry business, take a look at two of our great new videos: How to Shoot Gemstones and Jewelry in Natural Light and How to Photograph Jewelry and Gemstones in Natural Light with professional photographer Azur Mele.

Watch and learn as Azur takes you through photography equipment and basic camera information, setting up your shots, and how to style and pose your models for the best photographs you can take. Best of all, both of these videos are available as instant downloads, so you can be watching and learning in just minutes!

Do you have a tip, suggestion, or question about taking great photographs of your beaded jewelry? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share them with us!

Bead Happy,

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Jennifer


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