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Jewelry Photography Lighting Setup Ideas that work in 2020

Jewelry photography unlike other kinds of photography can be quite challenging and complicated. You agree with me, right? This is because of the small nature of jewelry pieces.

Jewelry is normally small, reflective and can be hard to stage during a photoshoot. This, therefore, requires you to possess the best techniques and skills to get the best and most appealing shots.

 

It would feel bad if a highly valued jewelry is devalued simply because the images taken do not highlight all the details. 

 

Where jewelry is concerned, potential customers can be turned off by a poorly photographed piece of jewelry. This gives a bad impression on the jewelry you want to sell and often leads to a misinterpretation of what you have photographed. This guide gives you clear instructions on how to sell jewelry, so pay close attention.

 

When it comes to jewelry photography, lighting setup is very important in capturing the most realistic impression of jewelry pieces. Good lighting allows you to capture your subject in elegance.

 

Poor jewelry photos on the other hand captured under poor lighting conditions is a turnoff to potential customers. It makes the end product look flawed and unattractive. The jewelry may appear either blurry or too bright with harsh shadows and reflections.

 

To help you get the best jewelry pictures, I have put together lighting setup ideas that will give you that perfect visual representation of the jewelry you want to capture.

 

Natural Lighting

Natural lighting is the easiest and most accessible kind of lighting set up for photography. When it comes to jewelry photography you must carefully plan the timing so that you can get the perfect timing and lighting for different kinds of jewelry.

 

Each kind of jewelry will require a different kind of lighting, therefore you have to keep trying until you find the perfect timing and lighting for your jewelry.

 

The most ideal natural light is through a window because the light is coming in one direction. The first light hour after sunrise and the last light hour before sunset is considered most ideal for jewelry photography.

When considering natural lighting, you must put in mind that you will need a reflector to help you eliminate shadows. This also helps give your image the much-needed light. You will also need a white backdrop to help reflect the natural light on the product. 

 

To give your customers different angles and perspectives on your subject, you will need to try out different camera angles.

 

Using a gemlight box

In this era, using a gemlight box with built-inn lighting is the easiest and most convenient way to do jewelry photography. 

 

The gemlight box is built with translucent sides that help you eliminate unwanted shadows and reflections by diffusing light and distributing it evenly.

 

It is designed with a perfect lighting environment that will help you create beautiful jewelry reflections, capturing shiny metals and sharp details. 

 

If you are not doing large commercial photography, you can try making a DIY gemlight box at home using cardboard.  

 

Back Lighting

 

This setup is an easy and inexpensive way you can use to bring out that crystal clear image of glass-like jewelry, without distorting the pieces’ shapes.

 

In this setup, you will position your light source from behind. You will also need a light diffuser and reflectors.

 

The light diffuser will be placed between the source of the light and the piece you are photographing, while the reflectors will be placed on both sides of the piece, to help distribute light around the jewelry you are shooting.

 

Side lighting

 

This is a jewelry photography lighting set up that allows you to bring out a three-dimensional effect in your pieces by placing the source of light on the side of the jewelry.

It’s most effective in highlighting the surface textures of jewelry instead of having dull jewelry images.

 

This set up will require a white background, reflectors and light diffusers and of course the source of light.

 

For better pictures, you will be required to diffuse the light by placing a light diffuser between the product and the light to control reflections and shadows.

 

Front lighting

 

This is the simplest form of lighting for jewelry photography. You place the light source around the camera lens pointing towards the jewelry.  

 

To avoid this kind of setting from appearing too cluttered, you should ensure that there are no distractions in the background. I would recommend a plain white background.

 

To get the best shot of your subject, try to keep the camera lens at eye level with the subject.

This kind of lighting is best used for illustrations with the kind of jewelry that does not reflect.

 

Even light set- up (Two lights)

This lighting set- up is where you take two lights and place them at a front angle with the piece of jewelry you are photographing.

 

By doing this you will eliminate reflections, especially when photographing pieces that reflect.

 

Full Coverage (Three Lights)

You can use this type of lighting technique on jewelry that does not reflect. You are required to use three lights so that you can be able to light up the subject evenly from all sides. 

You place the lights at different angles depending on the shape of the subject.

 

When using the triangle set up, you arrange the lights in the shape of a triangle. This arrangement creates a three-dimensional look on the jewelry instead of the usual flat look. 

You can also place the three lights in a separation set up if the subject is blending too much with the background. In this setup, instead of the backlights aiming at the subject, they will be aimed at the back and bounce off your subject to the front giving that perfect angle to capture your subject.

 

Conclusion

Product photography is the new way to market your product nowadays and jewelry is not an exemption. To capture your customers’ attention, you will need quality images. This is not possible if you don’t get the basics like lighting right. I hope this guide helps make the process a lot easier for you.