You can also learn a lot about photographing jewelry by checking out Etsy, the online crafts marketplace. I wandered over there to see if there was any exciting work to share with you. There probably is, but I haven’t found it yet.
Of course, in a setting like Etsy, “jury” slides are required. More of an “advertising” photography look does fine. However, there are some really scary pictures of there. One person has used a mannequin’s hand over and over too shoot bracelets. The disembodied chunk of hand is really distracting.
Better to use a real human? Not necessarily. Someone else did that and it’s a rather hairy arm. Using models opens up a whole ‘nother group of issues.
Just as with jury photography, the backgrounds and props should allow the jewelry to shine. Some of the photos I saw on Etsy were so distracting it was really hard to see the jewelry. Is that the earring? Or the fancy paper it’s on?
Actually, putting your work up on Etsy (or another similar site) using jury style slides could be a way to really set your work apart.
Some of the more successful shots I saw used jewelry display models, such as necks, to display the jewelry. I like these. They are uncluttered, they show me how the necklace hangs, I can tell what’s the jewelry and what’s not.
There’s so much competition for eyeballs on-line, and it’s so easy to click away, that it’s essential that your photographs are clear and compelling. You want me to think, “oh, I like that,” and maybe I’ll click through to see more.