Photographing Jewelry

I’m in the process of setting up an Etsy shop for some of my jewelry, and one of the key parts of having a good shop is having good photos.  The challenging part is having photos that look nice, have accurate colors, and show a potential buyer the key features of a piece.  It sounds simple, but it’s not.

For me, the hardest part is that I want to take photos that are more… artistic.


I just took this one this morning, and while I really like the layers from the papers, and the composition, it’s not really ideal for an online shop.  First, there’s a lot going on in the picture that has nothing to do with the jewelry itself.  Second, while the jewelry is a major component of the image, it’s not center stage like it should be, and it’s hard to get a feel for the necklace as a whole.  So, while I like the photo a lot, it’s not really what I need for Etsy.


Enter the gear.  I got a light tent recently, and I’m already falling in love with it.  The main point of one of these guys is to diffuse the light, so that the photos don’t get washed out or have harsh shadows.  I added a tripod and a prop and I focused on buyer-friendly composition to get this pic.


While the composition isn’t as fun, it works better for Etsy.  Anyone looking at this photo immediately gets a clear idea of what the earrings look like and how they’re put together.

Though, I’m wondering if there’s room for both kinds of photo in a listing.  On a technical level, there is since you can post multiple photos.  I just wonder if the more artistic shots are distracting compared to the business shots.  I guess there’s one way to find out.

I’ll be tinkering with my shop a bit more before it’s ready to go live, but the launch is getting close and I’m not sure which wins out – nerves, or excitement.

About Ali

I take pictures, make jewelry, read books, and bake things. I especially like macro photography and polymer clay.
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