Men and women alike have a proclivity for jewelry. Especially in a country like India where each state and each region has its own different style of jewelry. Looking at the fondness of people (especially Indians) to buy jewelry, many entrepreneurs have started selling jewelry on World Wide Web. Buying jewelry has always been considered best to be done by physically checking out the item. So how can these websites promote their product?
There are various practices, business and web based, one can apply to promote sales online. Business practices include giving guarantee of genuineness of the product, giving time based warranties, having the facility of returning the product if not found satisfactory, assurance of money back etc. web based practices include having a well-designed website which is interactive, easy to download, easy to navigate and understand and also making use of jewelry photography. Jewelry photography is a challenge for even experienced photographers as jewelry tends to reflect 99% of the light it gets. It is very necessary to have perfect lighting, non-reflective surfaces and to switch off the flash.
Important elements of jewelry photography
There are certain key elements to be kept in mind while photographing jewelry; these are:
* Continuous natural daylight lighting:
To evenly reproduce the colors in jewelry and not to end up with glares and hot shot if shot with flash.
* Diffused lighting:
To eliminate shadows and hard spots and reflections.
* White Balance adjustment:
To adapt your camera to the lighting environment used to photograph and not to be misunderstood as having a white balance.
* Depth of Field & Focus:
To get a sharp, focused and clear image.
* Shutter Speed/Exposure time:
To control the lightness and darkness of your image.
* Stable camera mounting (tripod):
To ensure proper use of tripod and that your camera is stable to avoid a blurred photo
Types of jewelry and how to photograph them
Just clicking a piece of jewelry does not complete a job of jewelry photographer. Each type of jewelry, be it white gold, silver, platinum or precious and semi-precious stones, have a certain way to be clicked which will yield best results. Based on jewelry type here are certain tips to be kept in mind while clicking them.
* White gold, silver and platinum jewelry
White gold, silver and platinum jewelry tend to reflect more due to their natural properties. Silver is a natural mirror and reflects almost all of the light thrown on it. Few factors ought to be taken into consideration while doing a jewelry photography shoot of this type.
* Avoid white background: white background makes this type of jewelry appear dull and unnatural. Such type of jewelry should be photographed using dark backgrounds.
* Dark backdrops: more and more dark with a tinge metallic backdrops should be put to use while photographing such type of jewelry as the dark background is in contrast to the jewelry and it creates a three-dimensional look.
* Use lightbox: In order to deliver accurate lighting and reflections in silver jewelry photographs, you need to have a diffused lighting source within a closed environment.
* Expecting reflection free photographs is a futile effort: expecting reflection free photographs is impossible as silver, white gold and platinum are natural reflectors. All jewelry photographs of such type of metals are clicked with the reflection of either camera lens or their own reflections. The jewelry photographers make extensive use of editing software to make these photographs reflection free. They also make use of diffused lighting and enclosed lighting systems.
* Precious and semi-precious stones
While photographing jewelry with precious and semiprecious stones photographers seldom use fluorescent lights. Generally halogen lighting is used as it provides a warm light environment providing with an optimum view for stones such as rubies, pearls, opals, amethysts, and emeralds. It is not necessary that all such stones should be clicked using halogen lighting, the photographer should try shooting these stones under both fluorescent and halogen lights and compare the results. Whichever gives better result should be chosen. Proper care should also be taken to adjust camera’s white balance to the lighting to get better photographs.
Other aspects of jewelry photography
Besides taking precautions for the type of jewelry and lighting, white balance there are certain other aspects to be kept in mind while photographing jewelry, they are:
* Position of the jewelry
Correct positioning of the jewelry is essential to get a professional jewelry photograph. When shooting photographs, the jewelry photographer has to remember that the customer wants to get the best shot possible of their jewelry, as the photographs are the ones that are looked at and judged, rather than the actual jewelry. Thus, ensuring jewelry photography is done from correct angles and perspectives are the key to successful shots.
There are many accessories such as ring stand, watch stand and pendant stand that one can use to hold jewelry items while photographing them. Deciding which ones to use depends on the type of photograph the client wants, or simply the photographer’s preference. Jewelry accessories can help one to position earrings, pendants, rings, diamonds, loose stones, and other jewelry pieces in varied angles and positions, in order to capture them from the desired perspective.
* Make the jewelry sparkle
Diamonds and precious gems at jewelry stores do not sparkle as intensely as under the sun. While the sparkle is needed with the assistance of halogen, and fluorescent lighting, it could be illuminated better.
New technological advancement has created a distinct opportunity for the jewelry photography business. A scientific breakthrough in light-emitting diodes (LED) has produced lighting that matches the full spectrum of the sun. As a result, jewelry can now be displayed with maximum radiant potential.
* Cleaning the jewelry
High polished jewelry can easily get dirty with the simple touch of fingers – which usually leaves fingerprints, or from the dust in the surroundings. Today’s digital cameras can capture even the most insignificant details found in the jewelry, including dust and fingerprints. Therefore, it is important that jewelry should be cleaned thoroughly before jewelry photographer clicks them. Here are certain tips to clean the jewelry:
* Wear gloves while handling jewelry
* Make use of gem brush to brush the jewelry
* Use specialized jewelry cleaning liquid.
Jewels as a subject for photography is a challenge even for experienced photographers as so many minutest details are needed to be kept in mind while photographing like reflections, shadows, lighting areas, cleanliness of jewels etc. if there are stones in the jewelry it makes the task even harder. Although it is a tough task but not impossible if certain things discussed in the article are taken into consideration.