If you are serious about having your jewellery collection photographed, be it for social media, website use or client interest, here are 5 tips on preparing your items ready to be professionally photographed.
Clean & Polish.
It’s not always obvious to the eye, but once your jewellery items are under the lights and enlarged on a computer screen everything shows up. From dust, dirt, smudges and dreaded fingerprints. So making sure each item is either polished or wiped carefully with a lint-free soft cloth is essential in preparation. Once the jewellery is in the hand of the photographer, the items will generally be wiped carefully and dusted with some compressed air, but if possible, it’s always best to give your items a professional clean first.
Once you have your chosen jewellery ready to shoot, its best to consider how you want your end results to look. What’s the purpose of needing professional photography? Do you want a clean look with your jewellery simply displayed on a white background? Or would you rather have your jewellery displayed on a model? Or perhaps you’d like props in your shot, for example, flowers, pebbles or water! If props, models or unusual backgrounds are required, these are things that need to be discussed and planned with your photographer well in advance of the shoot. Models and props can take time to organise and not every photographer has immediate access to every background colour, so always consider planning your background ahead of time.
Layout And Angles
If you have a group of items to be photographed, perhaps consider how you would like them displayed. Ask yourself if there are certain items which have a design connection and should be placed together? Perhaps you’d like to keep particular stones or colourways grouped closely? Have this in mind when wanting a set or collection photographed. You may simply have a single item to photograph, if so you may still need to consider the best angle to have it viewed. Is there an engraving you want to highlight, perhaps a set of stones or an unusual angle that makes it the main feature. Whatever it may be, if you have a personal preference, it’s always best to have a discussion with the photographer.
As previously mentioned, when jewellery is professionally lit it can show most hidden marks and blemishes often invisible to the naked eye. It is not unusual for most jewellery items to have some kind of mark to them, and depending on how you are going to display the final image, it may not be a problem and won’t even show. However, if you have any concerns or are aware of any problematic area’s, and if you do intend to zoom in for enlargement, it may be beneficial to discuss additional retouching services with your photographer. There is often a lot of post production that goes into jewellery photography, that often the client doesn’t get to see. Most photographers charges will cover the basics of editing, however, if there are faults or additional edit requests, you may well be charged for this simply to cover the additional time and work involved.
Format & End Use
Consider how you intend to use your final image. Perhaps you only need it for web use, or maybe you will need to send it to print. A photographer may well want to know your intended use of the file. This way they can organise the best way of providing you with the finished work and the best file size for your needs. It’s always best to have finished files ready for different uses, so be prepared to ask your photographer these questions. And as discs are slowly dying out, and everything seems to be stored in the ‘cloud’ now, it’s not unusual for your finished files to be sent to you via a download link or stored via an online service. Whatever happens be sure to keep your finished files somewhere safe on your computer, even backing up the work. Gone are the days of prints, transparencies and hard copies, so keeping your own digital files somewhere safe is imperative, as you may not be paying for you photographer the service of archiving your finished work for you.
Last month I was approached by one of my jewellery clients who wanted to have a promotional video made, helping to showcase her business and brand. Rebecca Mundy is a local jewellery designer, based in Sevenoaks, Kent with experience in designing and making handcrafted jewellery for clients. As a local business, she was keen for some marketing content to use on her social channels and in turn something to help showcase the work involved in creating such beautiful designs. Realising the potential video marketing now has we arranged a meeting and began discussing a few ideas of what we both had in mind and how we could plan out the process ahead. Rebecca was at the time about to start work on a beautiful diamond and white gold ring for one of her clients, so we decided it would be a perfect piece to work a promotional video around, but because such designs can often take weeks to make from start to finish, we obviously had to plan the shoot in a few stages, capturing the ring in each phase, from its design through to the final polished product.