How to Setup the Right Lighting for Jewelry Photography

How to Setup Jewelry Photography Lighting

Table of Contents

Lighting is vital in any photography but essential when Jewelry Photography. With just the right combination of lighting and angles, you can create stunning product shots that will draw your viewers’ attention and showcase your pieces like never before. If you want to maximize the beauty and detail of each piece, proper lighting setup is essential in bringing out the best features of your jewelry. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips for setting up the ideal Jewelry Photography Lighting.

Jewelry Photography Lighting: Master the basics of light

How to Setup Jewelry Photography Lighting


Achieving the perfect exposure in photography can make or break an image. It all comes down to how much light reaches your camera sensor. Three key components contribute to good exposure: shutter speed, ISO, and aperture. Understanding these factors is crucial for capturing the perfect shot.

The shutter speed governs the duration of light passing through the aperture of your camera, measured in fractions of a second (such as 1/8, 1/250, 1/1000, etc.). By adjusting this setting, you can manipulate not only the amount of light that enters through the aperture but also the visual outcome of the image. Remember that high shutter speeds can capture precise motion, but lower ones may yield a more fluid result.

When photographing jewelry, it’s essential to ensure that your camera remains stable. This will result in high-quality, clear images that showcase the jewelry’s intricate details. Consider using a tripod to achieve this, especially if your camera’s shutter speed setting is fast. Avoid the disappointment of blurred or shaky images by keeping your camera stable.

The camera lens’ circular opening, known as the aperture, is measured in f stops. This value can be adjusted to control the amount of light filtering through the lens. A lower value represents a more central circular opening, while a higher value represents a smaller one. Combining aperture with focal length and distance can capture clear and focused images. If you aim for a shallow depth of field to highlight jewelry, adjust the gap to a lower value.

ISO refers to how sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light. When shooting in susceptible settings, it’s essential to use a fast shutter speed and low-value aperture setting to achieve the correct exposure. However, keep in mind that higher sensitivity can result in grainy images. Therefore, finding the right balance between ISO, shutter speed, and aperture is crucial. Consider the subject and environmental factors and use your judgment to capture the perfect shot.


Understanding the quality of light is a fundamental aspect to consider for any lighting source. A clear distinction must be made between hard and soft light, warm and cool, and other variations. Soft lighting is widely recognized as ideal for Jewelry Photography due to its ability to control reflections, distribute light evenly, and capture the pure colors of gemstones.

Ideas for Jewelry Photography Lighting Setup

Glass-like jewelry with Backlighting

Illuminate your jewelry with a stunning crystal-clear glow through backlighting. This technique leverages the translucency of glass-like pieces by lighting them from behind, resulting in a flattering and beautiful finish that showcases their shape perfectly. With suitable materials, you can easily set up a professional-looking backlighting setup right at home without breaking the bank.

Finding an appropriate shooting area within your home or workshop is crucial to achieving the best outcome for your Jewelry Photography. Choose a space that allows you to move around freely and is safe from any external factors that may pose a risk to your jewelry. Remember that jewelry pieces are fragile and require a secure environment.

Consider using a sturdy platform such as a table to ensure an elevated photo shoot position. This will level the product and any lighting source you use. Position your light source behind the jewelry and adjust it to hit directly through the glass without losing shape. This will give prominence to your jewelry’s edges, outer lines, and form without compromising its integrity.

How to Setup Jewelry Photography Lighting

Make sure you position your jewelry how you want it to look in the image, and take the time to fine-tune your lighting until you’re satisfied. Accepting these precautions create a clean, polished, and visually appealing jewelry photograph.

Use a light diffuser and foam core boards to optimize your photography setup. Place the diffuser in between your light source and product, and position the foam core boards beneath and on both sides of the product. This evenly distributes light around the subject and removes unwanted reflections and blemishes. Consider using another reflector on top of the product for even better results. If you don’t have a foam core, white paper or fabric can work as alternatives.

Side lighting

How to Setup Jewelry Photography Lighting

Side lighting is an elegant arrangement that transforms a flat, uninteresting appearance into a visually engaging one. It is particularly effective in highlighting the intricate details of your jewelry.

To capture stunning product photos, you’ll need a few essential items: reflectors, diffusers, or umbrellas (if you have them), a light source, a roll of white paper, and a foam core board. Work on a table with proper elevation and levels the light source and jewelry to ensure a professional-looking shot.

When you’re ready to shoot, hang the white paper and position it so it sweeps down under the jewelry. Doing so will eliminate harsh shadows caused by paper creases and lines. Additionally, a white background creates a non-distracting backdrop that’s easy on the eyes and adds a professional and sophisticated appeal to your product photos. A white background is highly recommended to take your commercial product photography to the next level.

To achieve optimal Jewelry Photography, ensure proper light diffusion using a light diffuser such as an umbrella or foam core board between the subject and the light source. This will effectively control reflections and shadows and eliminate glare.

The side lighting setup is designed to overexpose details, enhancing intricate details and surface textures. Illuminate the jewelry from the side to add depth and dimension to the image rather than a flat appearance as a final touch.

Natural lighting

When it comes to lighting for Jewelry Photography, nothing beats natural light. It’s the most readily available illumination source, providing a uniform glow that highlights your product’s best features without artificial lighting interference. Whether you’re working indoors or out, natural light is the perfect choice for capturing stunning images of your jewelry.

How to Setup Jewelry Photography Lighting

When taking photographs with natural light, you must turn off other lighting sources. Mixing different sources of light could ruin your image. If your subject is silver jewelry on a white background, introducing a gray card will enhance the contrast and achieve ideal exposure in your shot. The gray card will guide you in adjusting the white balance setting and exposure time for optimal results. Follow these tips to produce stunning and professional photos with natural lighting.

Utilize a lightbox

You are achieving soft, diffused lighting when photographing jewelry is best done with a lightbox. You can easily create your DIY lightbox, as many online jewelry retailers do, and combine it with the lighting mentioned above tip. This DIY process is a great option, mainly if your business is still in the early stages. However, it’s important to note that finding the perfect method for your needs may require trial and error. Don’t be discouraged by disappointing results – with persistence, you’ll eventually discover the ideal process that works for you.

Maintain an exploratory and experimental mindset regarding jewelry photography lighting setups, and equipment. This attitude can simplify your business journey significantly. Remember that your jewelry product images possess immense potential to stand out amidst the social media noise and the saturated online jewelry market. Don’t hesitate to take bold steps, express your creativity, and bring innovation to your work.

Jewelry Photography Lighting FAQs

What are the Benefits of Using a Ring Light for Jewelry Photography Needs?

Are you looking for ways to enhance the quality of your jewelry photography? If so, consider incorporating a ring light into your Jewelry Photography Lighting setup. By providing even rim lighting, a ring light can help you capture your pieces’ intricate details and vibrant colors. That being said, it’s essential to remember that every jewelry piece is unique and may require a slightly different approach to lighting.

So don’t be afraid to experiment and find the lighting technique that best compliments your particular piece of jewelry. With the proper Jewelry Photography Lighting setup, you can create stunning images that truly showcase the beauty of your jewelry.

What is the Ideal Type of Light for Gemstone Photography?

Enhance your gemstone photography with the perfect lighting solution. Opt for a lightbox that comes equipped with top-notch, built-in lighting. Illumination is crucial when capturing gemstones, as excessive lighting can result in overly bright images with unwanted shadowing. But, with soft lighting from a lightbox, you can enjoy an even distribution of light, with soft shadows and uniform illumination. Choose wisely to showcase the true beauty of your precious gems.

Which is Superior: LED or Ring Lights for Optimal Lighting?

Selecting the right lighting equipment plays a significant role in achieving high-quality photographs of jewelry pieces. When deciding between LED lights and ring lights, it’s essential to consider your goals and the type of photography you aim to produce.

Ring Lights excel in macro photography, while LED lights are more suited for product showcasing and videography. Understanding the advantages and limitations of both types of lighting can help you capture stunning images of your jewelry that meet your desired outcome.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the details when setting up your Jewelry Photography Lighting, but it can be a simple process. With the right tools, patience, and practice, you can create stunning photos of your work that capture its beauty. Be bold, think creatively, and experiment with different materials and techniques. Remember, the best way to find out what works is to test various options and see what looks best with your pieces. You can make a difference by taking great jewelry photos with simple adjustments!

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