Every type of jewelry presents challenges when shooting. One of the main issues is placement. Rings and bracelets are difficult to stand, earrings dangle, and necklaces are many times too long to capture in frame. In addition, their small size and shiny surfaces add another set of shooting issues.
Considering that jewelry photography is tough even for pros, we have created a series of easy-to-follow articles to guide our ecommerce clients to shoot beautiful jewelry photos. These techniques were put together by our professional photographers, and are often used in our photography studio while shooting our client’s jewelry. Last time we covered how to shoot rings, today we’ll walk you through the steps to photograph earrings that look like they’re floating. This technique will allow you to capture details of the front, back, and side of you earrings. We’ll cover how to shoot dangles or leaverback earrings and studs. Let’s get started!
Step by Step Instructions to Photograph Dangles or Leaverback Earrings
We’ll cover two ways of shooting dangles or leaverback earrings: with an open frame and with an earring holder. Our preferred set up is with the open frame, but try both and discover what works for you.
1. Shooting with an Open Frame
1) Prepare your photography studio setup
Set up the lighting and your light tent. Get everything just right. For more info on setting up your studio visit our article on Shooting Jewelry on a White Background.
2) Set up the open frame
This is a metal open frame, you can easily find one in a crafts store such as Michael’s. Make sure the frame is securely positioned inside the light tent and well balanced using a couple of clamps-use the picture below as a reference. You don’t want it to fall over in the middle of shooting.
3) Use transparent threads
It’s now time to clip transparent threads to your frame. You can use fishing line for this if you have it handy. If you are using an open frame, you can also tie the thread to the frame, but it’s more difficult to make the threads tight once you add your earrings.
4) Attach your earrings to the threads
This may take some time. You want to tie the earrings securely to the frame, and it may require a few threads to ensure that the earrings don’t sag on the frame. You want the whole set up to be very tight and the earrings to be suspended within the frame. It’s important to remember to keep the earring as straight as possible within the frame. You can choose to attach only one earring to the frame. It will save you some time because the second earring can easily be duplicated in Photoshop. We can perform this action quickly and efficiently when we edit your images.
5) It’s time to set up your camera
Set up your camera a short distance from the earrings. You want your product to fill the frame. Leave some space around the edges so you can adjust the cropping of your image but make sure the earrings take up most of the frame.
7) Add a small LED light for additional brightness
8) Adjust your exposure
Be sure to meter your camera off of the jewelry not off of the white background. You want a bright white background and well-exposed jewelry. The white background can fool the camera into thinking the shot is too bright. Remember you want to expose your image for the jewelry. That background will be a little overexposed, but that’s okay.
2. Shooting with an Earring Holder
The set up for shooting earrings on a holder is very similar to that of the open frame. There are only a few slight adjustments to make.
1) Attach the earrings
You will want to attach both earrings to the holder. Make sure they are evenly spaced from the edges of the holder and are positioned nicely.
2) Arrange your Lighting
In this case, the lighting should be angled in such a way to create a sense of airiness. You will need to angle the light slightly. It is also recommended that you use reflectors that are positioned below the earrings and reflect light back up towards the jewelry. The photo below doesn’t show an earring holder, but it showcases how to position a mirror (in front of the earring) to reflect the light onto the jewelry.
After a little practice, you will see just how the light can create a mood within an image. Keep practising until you get this set-up correct.
This is set is almost exactly like shooting dangles on an earring holder. There are only a few slight differences. The shape of the earrings makes it extremely difficult to photograph the earrings from a frame in a suspended position. You will need to use an earring holder when capturing images of studs.
1. Place the earring holder in the light box
Get a white or transparent earring holder and place it inside your lightbox.
2. Mount the Studs
Carefully mount the studs on the transparent or white earring holder. Be sure they are arranged evenly on the holder, and they are carefully secured. Check the earrings to be sure there are no fingerprints.
Now you can quickly and efficiently shoot the studs. Make sure you mount them as a pair. It’s difficult to Photoshop in the second earring on a holder.
The End Results
The photos below were photographed and edited by our team for one our jewelry clients. Photo editing services included adding shadows, enhancing diamonds, among other things.
There you have it!!!
That’s all there is to it. Photographing earrings doesn’t have to be complicated. If you need more information on setting up lighting and purchasing the right equipment, take a look at our other articles on product and jewelry photography. We are here to help ensure your products look their best.
If you need some inspiration, check out this handy Pinterest collection. You can also take a look at this video. You’ll be able to see first-hand how a professional photographer sets up for a photo shoot.