There’s no need to deny it or even challenge it, but it’s become very clear that product photography is a huge part of an online businesses success. The clarity and quality of your photos can increase sales, improve customer satisfaction and also convey your brand story. Ultimately, your photos are the deciding factor of whether a customer will make a purchase from you or not.
Your smartphone or iPod is almost always with you, and everyone knows how much we love to take photos, especially selfies. So why not put your smartphone to good use while saving tons of money on hiring a professional photographer and start photographing your own jewelry for your website, eBay, Amazon, ETSY shop or social media marketing pages. It’s simple, easy and amazingly inexpensive. All you need is a table, a photo cube lighting kit, 1 desk lamp, 3 daylight bulbs, a diamond dazzler bulb, a mini smartphone tripod, a necklace stand, an earring stand, a bracelet holder, reflective acrylic panels, the Camera+ App and of course a smartphone or iPod.
As you may already know, jewelry is very difficult to photograph because it reflects everything in its sight. However, a simple and practical solution is to use an enclosed lighting system. The advantages are consistent lighting, even distribution of lighting and the elimination of glare. I personally use the Photo Cube Studio Light Tent Boom Stand Kit, which I purchased, from www.thelashop.com for $115.
So lets get started with your setup. Prepare your table by assembling your Photo Cube Studio Light Tent Boom Stand Kit on it. (By the way, assembly is 1,2,3). Use daylight bulbs in the three lamps that are included in your kit. I used 5500K bulbs. Now choose a backdrop for your photo-shoot. For jewelry photography your backdrop should be white, black or grey to give your photographs a clean and consistent look and avoid distractions. Depending on the type of jewelry your photographing (i.e. diamonds, CZ or colorless gems) you will also need a fourth lamp, which can be a desk lamp. I got one for $10 on Amazon. In addition, you will need a Diamond Dazzler bulb for that lamp, as this bulb truly enhances the appearance of faceted stones. This bulb can be purchased for $39.95 at www.tabletopstudio-store.com.
The following sets of items you’ll need are jewelry displays i.e. a necklace stand, an earring stand, a bracelet holder and reflective acrylic panels. These props and tools will inspire your creativity and help you take professional looking photos of virtually any type of jewelry. I purchased each piece on Amazon for about $5.
Next, purchase and download the Camera+ App. Trust me, it’s the best $2.99 you’ll ever spend. This App is uber phenomenal. It takes crisp, clear photos like you’re using a DSLR camera.
After that, mount your smartphone or iPod and position it on a Mini Desktop Aluminum iPhone 5S/5 Tripod Mount Holder. I purchased mine for $7 at www.lightinthebox.com. (Sidebar: Make sure you purchase the tripod holder compatable to your smartphone). Then, be sure to maintain the proper distance from your fabulous piece of jewelry in order to center it in the frame. I usually position my smartphone about one foot away.
Finally, you’re ready to begin your photo-shoot. So go ahead and place your jewelry in the photo cube. Now click on the (+) button to the bottom right, then choose macro if it’s a tiny piece of jewelry, so you can easily zoom in. Click (S) which is the Shutter. The shutter is the length of time that your camera’s shutter opens to take in light. Ultimately, this controls the amount of light that’ll be captured and also any movement in your frame. Next, you’ll click (WB) which is the White Balance. Then choose daylight. The white balance is used to correct any camera color imperfections and it helps keeps your jewelry as close to its natural color as possible. All you have to do is play with the scale until you have a frame that looks exactly how you want it to.
Alas, take a picture of your jewelry. If it’s to your liking, click on the flower at the bottom left of the screen. This will lead you to your lighbox. In this area you will make basic adjustments to your photograph. You’re going to crop, straighten, contrast and filter your photograph. After you’ve done all these adjustments you should notice a huge difference in your photo. Now go ahead and save your photo to your camera roll.
Congratulations! You have now used your smartphone or iPod to take a high quality professional looking photograph of your magnificent piece of jewelry. I’m sure you’ll be thrilled, but most especially your customers will be thrilled, because you’re providing them with great images and they can see exactly what they’re buying.
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