Jewellery Photography - Part - I / by Harminder Singh


Jewellery photography is one of the most challenging of all photography. A specialty jewellery photographer is a master craftsman who understands jewellery and knows how to deal with the challenges of creating pleasing results. It requires very high levels of professional skills in photography, handling of sophisticated equipment, visualization skills to achieve fabulous looking images that can drive the sales and create extraordinary brand image.

Technical know how

The use of specialized, technical large format cameras that use movements for swing, tilt, rise and fall, at lens and image plane for controlling depth of focus, shallow or infinite. These cameras when mated with high resolution Schnieder Macro Apo-Digitar and Rodenstock Apo-Soronar optics having large image circles along with PRO quality digital back are the ultimate weapon of choice for a serious photographer to achieve great details in the diamonds to show clarity, cut and colour. The use of such cameras require study and technical know how.

These are very expensive photographic assets and only a competent photographer with years of experience can muster the courage to invest so much capital. It is very risky to venture into this exclusive club of rare photographers in an era where DSLR photographers are a dime a dozen to provide mediocre images dirt-cheap.

Lighting – The key factor:

Possession of these photographic assets alone does not ensure great images unless the photographer understands the use of correct lighting and has the patience and commitment, to create controlled highlights and shadows with sparkling diamonds. In technical terms, it is the use of different types of lighting (Soft and hard) both for metal and diamonds in proper ratio and conjunction that is required for high quality images. Fine-tuning the lighting to get glitter of diamonds with smoothness and graduating highlights on metal surfaces, for form and shape. The varying tones of shadows and highlights, on very small surfaces poses the greatest challenge to the photographer.

It is very time consuming and requires a lot of patience and dedication to execute great jewellery photography. Thus I insist once again that great jewellery photography go beyond equipment. Having visual sensibilities are the greatest assets of a professional jewellery photographer.

like in medicine, where you have a specialist doctors who have mastered in Ophthalmology, Oncologist, Ortho etc. Jewellery photographer is a specialist who has mastered the art of jewellery photography.

Master jewellery photographer is one who goes beyond the technical skills and creates enchanting images by intense visuals. He is an artist who understands the language of visual art.

Representation of the jeweller’s creation in full glory, creating mood, fashion and style by adding environment around the jewellery in a way that is minimalistic in nature is the challenge.

The jewellery  has to be arranged in a prominent and revealing manner. Showing the clarity, cut and colour of the jewels along with the fine finish, craftsmanship and design.

Knowledge to show the most important parts of the jewellery while hiding the inappropriate parts effectively is important.