Kimberly Gauthier, Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier
Every time I go into my jewelry box, I laugh at the amount of jewelry I’ve collected during my adulthood; I should donate it to charity or give it to friends, but all of the necklaces, earrings, and bracelets transform me into a 6 year old and I’m tempted to play dress up. The opportunity to write for Craftzy gave me the perfect excuse to do something other than revisit my childhood and I was able to get creative. I came up with two great options that an amateur photographer can use when photographing jewelry; you don’t need a fancy camera; a point and shoot will do just fine.
Foam Board: My initial plan was to purchase a table top studio (a fancy white box, with small light stands), because I read that they’re great for product photography, but at $100 (a few were less), I hesitated. I’m not one for tossing around money, especially since I was just having fun, not starting a jewelry business. Plus, I remembered that Nine West was having a sale. Instead, I went to my local Fred Meyers store and picked up 2 foam boards in black and white (less than $10).
You can lay the jewelry flat on the foam board or cut the board in half and use one piece as a surface and other as a background/backdrop. I set everything up in our dining room, because of the fantastic light and the table was out of our dogs’ reach.
I chose a room that had a lot of sunlight and photographed my blue necklace near the window, but in the shade. Direct sunlight was creating a gorgeous reflection off the beads that obscured the details. Sometimes direct sunlight will work (see the pearls below) and sometimes it won’t so try out several options when taking your pictures.
Invite Nature: After taking a few pictures, I was convinced that I could do better. Why not get a little creative? We have a beautifully landscaped property (thanks to the previous owners) and I love natural light photography; I decided to incorporate both and got something special. These pictures were taken as the sun was setting; in my experience early morning sun and evening sun offers the best light.
I grabbed all of my faux pearls and put them in a margarita glass and placed the glass in the setting sun. As you can see, the direct sunlight is reflecting on the pearls, but it really looks great, right? See what I mean about the light from the setting sun?
I found a rock that was partially shaded and took a second picture. The orange beads have an earthy quality and I thought the rock, littered with dried pine needles, was an ideal surface for this shot. It may just be me, but the outdoor shots are more appealing.
You don’t have to take all of your jewelry outside, but I encourage you to think of new and different ways to photography jewelry. Next time, I might take the blue beads (fake water) or pink beads (pink lemonade) and put them in a glass next to a pitcher. Or maybe red beads in a bowl with cherries and strawberries. You get the idea, right?
Many times I see people just take a close up, kind of out of focus shot of a piece of jewelry when they could be doing so much more. If you’ve taken the time to collect or create the jewelry (and I know it’s not easy) and create your site, take a little more time and provide your readers with creative images, because those are the photos that will keep them on your site longer and bring them back later.
Kimberly Gauthier describes herself as a professional-amateur photographer and writes the photography blog Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier. She’s a self taught photographer from Washington and enjoys sharing everything that she’s learned about photography with her readers.