How to Photograph Jewelry for Etsy: A Seller’s Guide to Etsy Photos

As someone who runs their own Etsy shop, you know how much effort goes into building and growing an ecommerce store. From curating or creating the perfect jewelry collection to mastering Etsy ads to crafting the perfect product descriptions, there are so many different factors involved in your success. 

On top of all that, you also need high-quality product photos to showcase your pieces and inspire shoppers to take “add to cart.”

Wondering how to photograph jewelry for Etsy in a way that makes your pieces stand out and draws customers to your online shop? This guide will help you elevate your jewelry photography and Etsy store visuals.

The Value of Good Product Photos on Etsy

The type of jewelry photography features on your Etsy store influences shoppers’ first impressions of your brand. Choosing the right photos can mean the difference between a customer who’s drawn into your Etsy shop and someone who keeps on scrolling.

Here are some of the best reasons to create beautiful product photos for your jewelry:

  • High-quality images attract shoppers to your store when they’re scrolling through Etsy search results.
  • Good product photos draw attention to specific pieces when customers are already browsing your store.
  • Clear jewelry photography sets expectations, shows customers exactly that they’re buying, and helps shoppers visualize themselves wearing your jewelry.
  • The best Etsy images help convert window shoppers into buyers.

According to Etsy’s own research, image quality is the number one factor that influences a shopper’s decision to buy. That’s right, having high-quality visuals on your store has a bigger impact on your likelihood of making a sale than your prices, shipping costs, or even customer reviews.

According to Etsy’s own research, image quality is the number one factor that influences a shopper’s decision to buy

Even if you’re not a photography pro, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to photograph your earrings, necklaces, rings, and more. 

How to Photograph Jewelry for Etsy

Taking product photos of jewelry comes with a unique set of challenges. To help you create the best impression and show customers what you have to offer, we’ll start with some general tips on jewelry photography. 

Then, we’ll move into the types of photos you need for your online jewelry store, photography tips specific to Etsy as a platform (like product photo dimensions and requirements), and some easy editing tips you can use to elevate your visuals after the shoot is over.

Step 1: Brush Up on the Rules of Jewelry Photography

Before we talk about the specifics of photographing jewelry for Etsy, let’s make sure you’ve got a strong grasp of jewelry photography in general. Here are our top tips to keep in mind when taking photos of jewelry—whether it’s for your online store, social media feed, ad, or just for fun.

Rule #1: Direct Sunlight is Your BFF

Photography lighting can be tricky business. As a general rule, anything shiny or reflective (like those super cute earrings you want to photograph) tends to look best in a natural light source. 

If you rely on a harsh flash or artificial light for your photography lighting, you might end up with an unflattering reflection that creates white spots on your jewelry and throws off the color balance of your picture. 

Unless you’ve got a professional studio setup with multiple lights and diffusers, natural lighting is the easiest way to prevent these visual distortions. To get a bright photo using natural light, photograph your jewelry near a large window in the daytime—or even outdoors if possible.

Direct Sunlight is Your BFF

Rule #2: Go Big on Small Details

If your camera has a macro setting or if you’ve got a DSLR camera with a macro lens (around 60mm focal length) and fixed zoom, then you can use it to best capture those up-close, sparkly details. 

No DSLR? No problem. You don’t need to rush out and buy a fancy new camera to take awesome jewelry images for Etsy. 

Plenty of smartphone users have macro settings on their phone cameras (even if they don’t realize it). The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max introduced a macro setting that automatically engages when you’re within a certain range of your subject. Similarly, switching to the wide camera on the Samsung S21 Ultra enables a “focus enhancer” mode designed for up-close, macro photography.

Whatever camera you’re working with, you can play around with different camera settings to improve your jewelry photography. When possible, avoid relying on zoom to magnify details. Instead, get physically close to your subjects so you’re able to highlight details.

Rule #3: Simple Backgrounds Work Best

Since jewelry tends to have tons of tiny details (and because it’s so important to capture accurate colors in your product pics), a plain white backdrop is ideal for photographing jewelry. 

If you don’t have a plain white countertop or plain backdrop to photograph against, you can easily remove the original background after-the-fact with an editing app like Pixelcut.

Rule #4: Polish Your Jewelry Beforehand

To get the right look for your jewelry product photos, it’s essential to start with clean, polished jewelry. A close-up photograph will highlight any smudges or dirt that may have settled on your pieces.

Rule #5: Position Your Jewelry with Care

Next, think about how to position your items to look their best. Experiment with different angles during your photoshoot to see what works best for each piece of jewelry.

If you have a self-timer, consider modeling your items to show shoppers how it looks worn or as part of an outfit (or recruit a friend to model for you!). After all, a necklace lying flat on a table is a lot more difficult to fall in love with than a pendant necklace naturally draped on a model or mannequin.

Step 2: Decide What Type of Photos to Feature

The best type of photo for Etsy product listings varies by item and category. For jewelry specifically, we recommend including a mix of lifestyle photos, studio photos, as well as scale and detail shots. Here’s an overview of the different types of photos you may want to feature on your Etsy store.

Lifestyle Photos

A lifestyle photograph shows the item being worn within a larger scene. So, a lifestyle photo might feature your ring on someone’s finger while they turn the page of a book, for example.

Studio Shots

On the other hand—pun intended—a studio shot for that same ring might show it balancing on its band to show off the gemstone against a muted background. 

Photos that Provide a Sense of Scale

Scale shots are designed to show customers how large or small the jewelry is. For a pair of earrings, this might include a lifestyle shot (earrings being worn) or a photo of the earrings in a box on a table next to a flower (or anything else that provides a sense of scale).

Detail Shots

A detail shot, as the name suggests, invites shoppers to get up close and personal with your jewelry, so they can fall in love with every little detail that makes it special.

Collection Images

If an item is part of a matching collection or set, consider taking some group shots. This allows you to how an individual piece of jewelry fits into the wider context of your brand. For example, you could include photos of a necklace with matching earrings to complete the set.

Showcasing how certain items complement each other can also inspire customers to purchase more than one piece from your collection.

Behind-the-Scenes Photos 

Etsy shoppers love to see behind-the-scenes shots of the artisan process that goes into creating unique, handmade goods. So, if you make your jewelry yourself (as opposed to curating vintage pieces), you may want to include a photograph of your creative process. 

Whether it’s a shot of your sketchbook, a work-in-progress, or your workspace, look for ways to give shoppers a glimpse into your jewelry-making process behind their favorite pieces.

Step 3: Optimize Your Photographs for Etsy

The following tips are geared specifically for photographing jewelry for Etsy. These will help you take eye-catching Etsy product pictures that look great on your store, attract customers, and help drive sales.

Use the Proper Shape for Thumbnail Photos

The first image in each Etsy listing acts as a thumbnail. As this is the first visual shoppers get to see of your product, you need to be thoughtful about the order you upload your Etsy pictures.

For Etsy thumbnail images, choose a photo that's either landscape (horizontal) in orientation or a square with a decent-sized margin around the jewelry. 

Whatever shape your original image is when you upload, make sure there’s enough space around the object that it can be safely cropped into a square frame. This makes it easier to crop the photo for the thumbnail image that will show up on your Etsy shop homepage.

Use the Proper Shape for Thumbnail Photos

Remember that Size Matters 

To prevent blurring or awkward pixelation in your product images, only upload high-quality photos that meet Etsy’s ratio guidelines (i.e., the proper height and width).

Etsy recommends that all listing photos be 2,000 pixels or more along the shortest side with a resolution of 72 PPI. The ideal ratio for your thumbnail images is 4:3.

Follow Etsy Requirements

Whenever you’re photographing jewelry for an online marketplace like Etsy, it’s important to know and follow any platform-specific requirements. Just to be safe, we recommend reviewing Etsy’s official image requirements to ensure your photos and listings are perfectly optimized for the site.

Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind:

  • Etsy allows you to list up to ten images per product listing.
  • The ideal image ratio for product listings is 4:3.
  • To successfully upload images to your Etsy shop, your files must be saved as .jpg, .gif, or .png. 
  • Animated files are not supported.

Step 4: Use the Magic of Editing to Your Advantage

Some say perfection doesn’t exist, but you can achieve perfection in your product photos (or at least get super close to it) with post-production editing tools. And thankfully, you don’t need to be a photoshop whiz or photography prodigy to create high-quality visuals for your Etsy store. 

Here are a few tips to help you pull it off.

Remove Imperfections from Your Final Images

Sometimes, you can do everything right and still end up with a speck of dust or awkward reflection that ruins an otherwise perfect product picture. Fortunately, thanks to editing software, you don’t have to reshoot—you can simply retouch.

The ability to easily edit your pictures is especially valuable when photographing jewelry, where there’s such a delicate balance between capturing the shine and shimmer of your items without any unwanted reflections or bright spots.

You can also use an editing tool to adjust color temperature and white balance if your gemstones or jewels don’t look true-to-life in your photos.

Replace or Remove Distracting Backgrounds

What if your jewelry looks great in the photo but you aren’t happy with something in the background? With a photo editing app like Pixelcut, it’s easy to remove the original background and replace it with another color or pattern—or even leave it transparent.

Use Templates for a Consistent Look

Templates make it even easier to create the perfect look for your Etsy photos—whether you create your own design from scratch or start with an existing one.

Struggling to find the best style for your product photos? In need of editing inspiration? Browse Pixelcut’s huge range of ready-to-use templates to kickstart your creativity.

To create your own Etsy templates using Pixelcut, simply open the app, simply click “…” at the top of the screen to reveal more menu options, and then tap “Create Template.”

Once you’ve found an editing style that speaks to your brand, you can use the same design template every time you want to post a new product listing. Not only does this save you loads of time and effort, but it also ensures style consistency across every photo you upload to your shop.

Elevate Your Etsy Photos with Pixelcut

Whether you’re selling handmade bracelets and body jewelry, vintage accessories, or one-of-a-kind custom earrings, rings, or necklaces—your product photography plays a huge role in how your customers feel about your brand.

To make the most of your Etsy presence and win over more customers, it’s worth elevating your jewelry photos with an intuitive editing tool like Pixelcut. From a huge selection of backgrounds and ready-to-roll image templates to powerful visual effects, Pixelcut has everything you need to make your jewelry store stand out. 

If you’re ready to level up your jewelry photography for Etsy, download Pixelcut today and see why over 10 million small business owners, creators, and sellers love the app.

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