I am trying to photograph my jewelry

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Posts 34
Angel@35 wrote
on Oct 11, 2011 1:16 PM


I am having the hardest time trying to get my photos online....don't know which is best the scanner or my camera.

would you all look at these and tell me what am I doing wrong here! I have tried this without a picture behind the jewelry and with a photo (maybe its the paper I'm using) I have all sorts of scrapbooking pages I can use but I can also be sitting here till the cows come home trying to decide which to use. What do you all think? I need suggestions, because I am about to start posting to etsy and facebook.

This is also where I am have problems with...I have so much jewelry to post this is going to take some time...I would rather be making jewelry than posting jewelry, LOL


this one looks sooooo close and distorted ....scanned image, but I think the scanner takes better pics though.

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Posts 23
on Oct 11, 2011 4:00 PM

Hi Angel,

Not sure I am following completely so apologies if I misunderstood your post. There are some good articles from this forum, I believe, on photography for your beaded creations. When you say scanner, are you scanning a physical photograph to create a digital image or are you actually using the scanner to get the image? Sorry to sound so dense, I just wasn't sure that could be done!

To get really high quality photos, here's what I think you need:

  • light box (can buy or make one)
  • a dslr camera that allows you to change the settings
  • a variety of background cloths - I have white and black but you can go crazy with different colors

If you don't have the above or find them cost-prohibitive, I think the most important thing is really good lighting and would advise you to check some online resources for how to make a photo light box. It's worth the investment.

But please advise if I have misunderstood your question.



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Angel@35 wrote
on Oct 12, 2011 3:25 AM

So sorry Paula if I wasn't clear....I have 2 flatbed scanners, that if you position things right will take great shots (capture images) of whatever you lay on them (with great details) ...plus I have a digital camera with all the tools needed to take great shots too. I also have all the software programs needed to manipulate your shots.

The problem is I'm not really good in photographing jewelry and I want my jewelry to be captured right with all the colors and details showing and as you can see with the earrings on the scanner it made the ear wires look silver and gold when actually they are gold, you see what I mean. I think I should have played around more with the contrast and brightness on those.

It seems to me that I will be using my digital camera with props to capture true colors and I'm going to have to play around with my equipment to figure out what's best to use.  Photographing jewelry seems to be a whole new playground for me.

Oh and I am going now to search the forums for other photographing jewelry ideas and tips, thanks.


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KipperCat wrote
on Oct 13, 2011 7:41 PM

Hi Angel,

there are even more good articles on photographing jewelry if you google them.  I read a blog post awhile back that I wish I could remember that went into more detail.  I should have kept it! You need to use the macro setting on your camera. A light grey background is very good for most colors.  Cameras are usually better than scanners.

That's about all I can remember off the top of my head!  the good news is that you can take great jewelry photos with the right knowledge and a few basic tools.

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Posts 266
beadinstyle wrote
on May 10, 2013 3:59 AM

Hi Angel. I feel your frustration, I do! I have spent and wasted SO many hours (NOT counting the $s) trying to set up a quick clean work flow that I can repeat simply, take my photos and then get on with other (any) things in my life. Like making jewellery, just for instance :-)  I have had good and bad lightboxes, simple cameras, backgrounds, ... oh just thinking of it all is embarrassing.  I am reasonably intelligent, but I am NOT a photographer by instinct, training or learning. 

So ... why am I replying to you post, then?!! I found Jim Lawsons dvds. Aaahhh. Simple language, and what's more ... he actually photographs jewellery! I couldn't translate other photographic tips or methods to my jewellery photography.  And believe me, those who love photographing landscapes, birds, people, whatever, mostly have no idea how difficult it is to take photos of small beads, crystals, earrings and metal. 

I now have a small dedicated "photographic studio" similar to Jim's but using what I had. I no longer struggle with little lightboxes (they are so awkward to move around in and about. I bought a sturdirr tripod, with better adjustments, and a light tent. Both on special at a speciality shop in Melbourne, Australia. 

I rarely change from a white background. I don't have time or patience enough to set up stunning individual backdrops for every piece of jewellery I want to publish online. And I like the idea of consistency. And simplicity. I have used a black background to shoot my beloved pearls. Per Guru Jim's guidlines ... they looked fabulous. *loud celebratory yells and happy dances* !!

Start looking at jewellery photos you like. Why do you like them? I couldn't answer this once. Better now. I like it when the jewellery is simply arranged, showing all of the item. Simple shading if there is any colour. But that's just me. 

I've said enough. There will be many others with more skill and expertise who might chip in with more advice. I too, would welcome that!  Good luck Angel. 

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Posts 165
momma9 wrote
on May 10, 2013 7:15 AM


There is a free editing program called Picasa that I find to be invaluable. This program allows you to manipulate the picture, crop and adjust color. This might help you fix the pictures you already have taken. What I find really cool is that changes are not permanent. I have gone back to edited pictures and was able to undo edits and then edit again.

I look forward to the day when I can set up a picture taking station in the house. Meanwhile, I take my pictures outside for the natural light. Avoid taking pictures in direct sunlight, overcast days make for awesome pictures.

I did a quick search on this site and found these 2 articles.



Peace and love,


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Posts 304
KathyK1999 wrote
on May 10, 2013 9:08 AM

I just started listing some of my jewelry on Etsy.  We're using a DSLR camera with a macro lens, on a tripod, with a shutter release cable.  We're using a white background (be sure to check your white balance) with natural light.  Then use Photoshop to crop/tweak as necessary, and save as jpg for uploading to the web.


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Posts 707
shanks wrote
on May 10, 2013 9:23 PM

When using your scanner, try turning off the lights in the room and do a scan, then try the scan again with the lights on. See which gives you a better picture. On the earring scan, try leaving the lid of the scanner open with the lights off, it could give you a pleasant surprise.

Google has a free editing program called Picasa 3 which is easy to use and does a very good job on pictures. Scanned over 600 buttons and edited them all with the program. Can be seen on the etsy site

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Posts 7
on Dec 19, 2013 7:31 AM

i like your designs and in first picture awesome.

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medly wrote
on Mar 1, 2014 11:22 AM

Use DSLR for the detailed, sophisticated and work of art print photo.  These pictures would be more viewable if you try to check my offer.

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Jim Juris wrote
on Mar 3, 2014 12:25 PM

I own a DSLR camera and about two weeks ago I purchased a used Nikon Coolpix S4300 point and shoot camera from a pawn shop.  The camera only cost me $40 used and I also had to purchase a memory card, 4 gigs, and a battery charger.  I purchased both of these camera accessories from a local camera store.  I spent $100 all together, not counting tax.

The Nikon camera is extremely easy to use and it takes great photographs.  I have used this camera with great success to photograph jewelry and other things.   Check out my images on my InexpensiveJewelryPhotography.com website.




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Posts 26
on May 4, 2014 2:37 AM

For best results you'll have to use a DSLR camera with a tripod stand. It takes high-quality pictures and you can always use photoshop to change the backgrounds or edit the colors of those pictures.

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D.M.Z wrote
on May 4, 2014 2:29 PM

anthony.roman, not every beader here has the resources to purchase a dSLR and Photoshop. Your reply to an old post may have been sincere, but it comes across as a bit elitist to a lot of the folks here. A lot of web sites have absolutely wonderful pictures that were shot with white or gray background and a decent point and shoot. Back in the dark ages we used a good qualtiy scanner for pictures of jewelry to sell..........this was before digital cameras. Today's point and shoots are cheap and do a very good job. I've used both. DMZ

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Posts 41
Jim Juris wrote
on May 4, 2014 4:12 PM

I disagree with you about having to use a DSLR camera to take great photographs of jewelry and/or craft items.  The photograph shown below of the red tulip was taken with my Nikon Coolpix S4300 point and shoot camera and I did not use a tripod.  I used a special lens for the photograph.


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Posts 7
on Jun 20, 2014 5:52 PM

I have to agree that a DSLR camera isn't really necessary anymore for quality pictures. Most smart phones have pretty good cameras now! The key is to make sure the camera is focused when you take the shot  and then I would say editing the white balance is the next important thing.

You should check out Picasa by Google. It's free and relatively easy to use. Step number 5 on this page shows you how to do what I'm talking about: How to use Picasa

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