Jewelry photography: how to take commercial diamond pictures for advertising

Due to jewelry’s reflective nature, jewelry photography is undoubtedly the most difficult category in commercial advertising photography. Among all the different gemstones, diamond is the most daunting shooting subject that makes a photographer headache. Why? As a professional jewellery photographer, you want to highlight a diamond’s shining and twinkling effect. But regardless of which angle to shoot, you have no way to avoid the flashlight reflection.


Having said that, if you follow some basic yet important principles when shooting a diamond; plus some of your creative ideas and consistent practices, it is still possible to capture the brilliance of this desirable gem.


First, background selection: you should try to choose a background that has a sharp contrast to the diamond with rich color. For example: black or dark background will be much better than white or light background, as the diamond tend not to sparkle much if shot against a lighter background, which makes the whole picture looks dull or boring.


Secondly, set the scene: make sure the background is well stretched so that no wrinkles or creases. If you are shooting a single item, you may want to build something like a bird’s nest or a beehive with background cloth, then put the jewelry on it for shooting. If there are a few pieces of diamonds or gemstones, you may layout them in a way that shows the most sparkling angle of products. If you want to make the diamond or gem stand, just place a bit wax at its bottom then place it into the setting.


Lastly but not least, clean the photo subject. In commercial advertisement photography, jewellery products such as rings, necklaces, earrings, brooches, pendants, bracelets, bangles etc. are normally enlarged many times to display in the shop window. In order to demonstrate its high quality and luxury, the jewelry picture must be able to demonstrate a flawless and extremely clean product. Therefore, the professional jewelry photographer must clean the diamond before the photo shoot, making sure no dirt or fingerprints on the item. Of course, you had better use the jewelry cleaning solution for the job; or at least you should soak it in warm water for a while, then clean it gently with a neutral detergent, and finally dry it thoroughly. In some cases, you will have to use a soft brush to remove the stubborn stain.