When you’re selling a product that is entirely about aesthetics, the quality of your product photos really matters. You need images that are technically perfect, but interesting enough to catch the attention of shoppers. This is why sellers of sparkly things often make use of jewelry photography props.
Product photography props come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are DIY, while others require some investment. If you choose wisely, they can make photos that genuinely drive more sales.
In this guide, we’re going to take a close look at some key examples of jewelry photography props and how you can put them into action!
Any object that you use to enhance your jewelry photos can be described as a photography prop.
In some cases, props are used to create studio-style images, while others fall into the lifestyle category. Having several different options is useful if you’re a regular seller, and particularly if you have multiple product types.
For example, necklaces usually look their best when they are hanging down vertically — so you will need some kind of stand or clamp. In contrast, rings are commonly photographed placed on a shiny flat surface, or on velvet-like material.
Not all photo props come into contact with your product. Some can be placed in frame to create a natural scene. Even photography backdrops are props, and you can add props digitally nowadays using specialized editing apps.
Some jewelry props are purpose-built. However, professional photographers are masters of DIY and will happily use random parts from a local home decor store to build the perfect photoshoot setup.
The choice is yours, but you definitely don’t need to break the bank to produce high-quality jewelry product images.
It depends who you ask, of course. But there are certain items that stand out as being especially useful for photographing jewelry. Here’s a roundup of our favorite props:
Okay, so this is probably an obvious one. But let’s talk about why you need a necklace display stand, and which one to pick.
As we mentioned earlier, necklaces look their best when they are hanging. After all, this is how they appear when they are being worn. The same goes for pendants.
However, necklace stands come in many different shapes. Some provide nothing more than a hook for the chain, while others mimic the shape of the human form.
In general, you want to pick a stand that presents the necklace in some kind of V shape.
Your choice should also depend on whether you want the stand to be included in the shot, or you’re simply using it to support the product.
If you’re trying to capture one of those classic “floating on white” shots, consider buying a stand with a top rail and a gap for the pendant. You can buy them on Amazon and Etsy for only a few bucks.
Bear in mind that longer chains might require a more DIY approach — attaching clamps to the side of a table top can work well.
If you’re not going to use a hand model to show off your rings, you might want to use a dedicated ring holder.
Ideally, your chosen holder should suspend rings in the air. This ensures that the ring will be properly lit, and potential customers can see the shape and sheen of the piece.
If you decide to purchase or build a ring holder, bear in mind that it will be visible in every shot. As such, it’s worth investing in something that looks nice. Etsy is packed full of beautiful hand-made options that will assist you with capturing both studio-style product shots and lifestyle images.
Much like pendants, earrings are designed to hang. However, they don’t come with a chain — so you will definitely need a display stand in order to present them nicely.
Many earring stands have multiple layers to accommodate several pairs. But for the purposes of photography, we would recommend going with something simple. The less visual clutter you have, the more your pieces will stand out.
Be aware that studs and hook earrings present different challenges. Some purpose-made jewelry stands might work for both, but many will suit only one style or the other.
For this reason, many photographers choose to create DIY earring holders. For stud earrings, all you need is a piece of acrylic or painted wood with a couple of holes in it. You then prop up this backboard vertically, and pin the earrings through the holes.
For hook-style earrings, you can simply hang them from a short length of string, suspended between two objects.
In any ideal world, every jewelry piece would be modeled by a human. But if you’re working alone on a limited budget, this isn’t always realistic. That is where mannequins come in useful.
We’re not talking about the full-size dolls you see in the mall here. Specialized jewelry mannequins mimic the head and shoulders of the wearer, or the hand. Either way, you can dress up your very quiet model to show how your pieces will rest on a human wearer.
Many people who shop for jewelry are looking for a gift.
Sure, these potential buyers want to know what the pieces look like on a person. But they also want to know how the gemstones and jewels will appear as they emerge from wrapping paper on a special day.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to take a few shots of your pieces in a jewelry box.
If possible, use the presentation box you send out to customers. Otherwise, use a large jewelry display box and rest your products inside, with the lid open. You should get some really authentic, everyday lifestyle images.
Walk into Tiffany’s or any other high-end jewelry store. On the walls, you will see posters of jewelry made by the biggest names from around the world. And in nearly every image, the pieces will be on a clean white background, and suspended above a reflective surface.
The reflective part definitely adds some glamor. Today, it is often inserted after the shoot using an app like Photoshop. (Even on your phone, you can add reflections using Pixelcut).
But you can also create reflections by using acrylic blocks in your jewelry photoshoot.
Acrylic is really useful for photographers, because it has a perfectly smooth surface. It can also be see-through or translucent, and you can purchase acrylic in many different colors.
As you become more experienced with your camera, it’s definitely worth playing around with acrylic — as a backdrop, as an underlay, and even as a part of your DIY presentation stands.
Unless you’re lucky enough to be using a lightbox or full photo studio, creating a perfect white background can be tricky.
If you’re happy to go down the DIY route, foam boards provide a good option.
They are strong enough to stand up by themselves, and they are good at reflecting light back onto your product. For simple studio-style shots, you can use them as a clean base surface and as a backdrop.
Basically, a white foam board is the Swiss Army knife of jewelry photography.
From pine cones to seashells, the natural world has an impressive props department. Utilizing these beautiful extras in your photoshoot can add an organic feel to your jewelry images.
Some other examples include pebbles, fruits, flowers, and fallen leaves. You can either use them purely as decoration, or turn them into DIY jewelry displays. For instance, you can place rings on smooth stones or hang a necklace from a small branch.
Another beautiful type of prop created by nature is wood. Having a few nice slices of timber around — whether that’s a table, a dresser, or even a chopping board — can really bring your product photos to life.
In particular, wood is great for creating flat lay shots. This is where you place a piece down flat on a horizontal surface, and set up your camera above. The natural grain of wood provides a warm, visually pleasing backdrop for your products.
Don’t have any wooden furniture? Using Pixelcut, you can shoot flat lays on any surface and replace the backdrop with any stock photo. That includes wood textures!
While props can add some extra zing to your jewelry photos, your creativity doesn’t have to end there. The editing process gives you the opportunity to tweak and hone your jewelry photos, and add yet more interest.
The first step is to correct exposure and color balance. Usually speaking, you will want to make sure your images are nice and bright. Adjusting the color balance is also important, so that your product photos fairly portray the real shade of your pieces.
Next comes retouching. No matter how careful you are, some dust is going to land on the products during a shoot. And at some point, you’re going to spot a mark, or notice that part of the background is missing, which needs to be fixed.
In addition, you can enhance your photos by replacing the background altogether and adding digital props.
For instance, Pixelcut has a huge library of stickers, which you can add to your product images. This means you don’t even need to go out and buy those flowers for that engagement ring shoot — you can simply add them with a couple of taps on your phone.
That’s not the only way Pixelcut can help with your product photography.
Our easy-to-use app can remove backgrounds in seconds, add reflections, and resize your shots for every major e-commerce platform.
Want to give it a try? Download Pixelcut today and join 10 million small businesses already using the app!