10 Common Mistakes in Jewelry Photography & Tips to Avoid It
Jewelry photography is fun but it tends to be complicated. Yes, it stays still and does not move a lot unlike a human model, but it does have its own quirky characteristics. First, jewelry is reflective. It can be pretty challenging to shoot with a good lighting, and try not to look like it is flooded with artificial lights. The other problem with jewelry as the photo subject is the number of details that must be preserved, especially after jewelry photo retouching.
As these problems make jewelry photography a bit complicated, even expert photographers tend to commit mistakes during the actual shoot. Good thing that there is jewelry photo retouching to fix the issues later on.
10 Common Mistakes & Best Tips to Avoid
In this jewelry retouching tutorial, let us focus on the 10 common mistakes in jewelry photography and the ways to avoid them.
1. Product Smudges
Jewelry must look clean and polished. DSLR cameras can get the tiniest details, including a not too obvious smudge. These details are revealed when the final photo is blown up several times over later on.
If there is a need to touch the jewelry to change its position, use white cotton gloves when handling and wipe it off for extra measure. This will help save a lot of time doing a reshoot of the products.
2. Shooting Inconsistencies
With any type of product photography, you need to be consistent from the camera settings, lighting, and the background. Developing a guideline for your shoots will let you resume a shoot anytime without fear of creating distracting variations. Document everything even the position of the camera and other equipment.
3. Complex Background
In almost all of the online marketplaces, they either require or suggest having a plain white or any neutral-colored background for product photos. This is primarily because colorful backgrounds tend to be distracting. Inexperienced retailers may find a plain background boring but adding distracting elements can actually keep the focus out of the products.
Aside from avoiding distractions, a white background also makes it easier to edit the photos later. It will be simpler to do clipping path and other jewelry photo editing process. Best of all, it is cheaper and easier to have a white background as you can create a simple lightbox or use a seamless white paper or a plain white cloth.
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4. Unnecessary Props
There are times when it is appropriate to use mannequins and props, mostly in editorial shoots, as they make the jewelry look stylish. In line with removing distracting backgrounds, however, props are unnecessary when shooting jewelry for product pages. Aside from taking the focus away from the subject, it also makes the jewelry photo retouching more complicated later on.
It is unnecessary to be elaborate when it comes to jewelry shoots since you will have to show off the intricate details of each piece. It is always necessary to use a background removal tool and other techniques in jewelry photo retouching to show each product in a lifelike manner but sans the distractions. You must have heard about ghost mannequin photography in product shoots and it is perfect for jewelries.
Jewelry stones and flat surfaces must look flawless. Mere reflections can look like flaws especially for highly reflective pieces. Although you can use jewelry photo retouching to remove the reflections, it will be better to just avoid having them during the shoot.
To minimize reflections, it can help if you will use a double overhead lighting setup. Using diffusers and a lightbox are also recommended.
6. Blurred Images
A shaky image is not only distracting, it also makes the product shoot look like it is done by an unprofessional photographer. The use of a tripod during the shoot is a cheap yet effective method of eliminating out-of-focus photos. The tripod will hold the camera steady more effectively than shooting by holding the camera alone.
7. Poor Focus
Low aperture shots may look artsy but using it for product photography is inappropriate. Having the jewelry in full focus creates a sharper-looking image that customers will like. Seeing all the details in full focus will give a sense of assurance and will help you gain the customer’s trust.
8. Inaccurate White Balance
Gold and other colors may come out different in the final photo if the white balance is off. Capture the accurate colors by ensuring that the white balance is set to the correct levels. You may use the automatic function of the camera or set it manually. Try to take some photos then double check to see results.
9. Not Enough Images
One of the limitations of a jewelry photo retouching is creating new pictures from a single photo. Digital photography, however, allows having multiple shots of a single product. Aside from a clear view of the jewelry from an overhead shot, it will be better to give the customers more chances to see all the details. Offer a few variations in the angles to make them appreciate the intricate engravings, stone colors, and other details.
10. Bad Photoshop
It is understandable that Photoshop is used during jewelry photo retouching. It is the last chance of the photographer to make the images stand out in product pages. During the jewelry photo retouching, however, it is important to take note that the pieces are enhanced but not to the point of making it look fake. The beauty of jewelry is in the details so it shouldn’t look too smooth or too shiny. It will look more beautiful if you are able to present all the details while preserving the original form of the stones.
When it comes to jewelry photo retouching, prevention is always better than looking for a remedy. Avoid these mistakes as much as possible and you will spend more time in enhancing the photos instead of correcting the mistakes.