Creative Tip: Photographing Small Objects

November 26, 2009  |  Written by Jan on Jewelry Design Tips  |  6 Comments  | 

Photographing jewelry, or beads for that matter, can be a daunting task to most beginners. But we all know how photos can actually make or break a sale. Right on.

So, why not treat each photo as a thing of beauty. Your special art. After all, beauty can emanate from even the simplest of things like beads. However, there are some things to consider in capturing a bead’s beauty with your favorite Nikon or even a compact point-and-shoot camera.

Here are a few practical tips that worked well for me…

  • amethyst beads ladys watchSize matters. Macro shooting allows for showing closeup details of small objects. However, macro shots can be very misleading. So, when photographing smaller objects (like beads), it helps to use a “reference object” which, can be easily identified with and is of relative size with the object/s in focus to show scale.
  • Model wearing a necklace with a focal pendantDemonstrate the object’s uses. Surely, you’re going to use the beads for something. A model wearing the finished products such as bead-embellished bags, jewelry, and whatnot’s is a great way to show the different ways on how the beads are used to illustrate context. The beaded design can serve as your focal point.
  • Retro-style-hoop-earringsBe relevant. Your composition must translate cross-culturally. Work with themes that are easily understood such as the seasons and color trends. Use props that are readily available and as much as possible, must not be offensive. Focus on how the object fits in the theme and not the other way around.

Well, a good photograph, really, is all about focus, focus, and focus. Got tips, too? Share it with us…

(Disclaimer: This post is not intended as a precise, or standard operating procedure in digital photography. The topic is lightly treated as a D.I.Y. sort of thing. Jan works for Beads and Pieces as its official photographer and graphic artist. She is passionate about digital photography and punk rock music. And oh, she loves pasta, too.)


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6 Responses to “Creative Tip: Photographing Small Objects”

  1. 1

    I like your idea of showing scale by placing a watch face in the photo. Other good objects include teacups, books or an antique ruler. Bad choices are regular coins or plastic rulers. They make the item look cheap IMO.

  2. 2

    I agree! That’s a good point.. sometimes the reference object works best if it can actually blend with the whole idea of your picture instead of isolating it..

  3. Jan

    Author Comment

    Thank you for the compliment.

    I agree with you. Coins and rulers are just so cliche.
    I like your idea about using books. It would be pretty interesting to see how typography could contribute to scaling.

  4. 4

    Great Tips! I also use a tripod because I have a hard time keeping perfectly still, especially if I am trying to get a certain angle. The tripod also keep my hands free so I can make adjustments to the subject (the jewelry) but the camera can stay in position on the tripod.

  5. 5

    I found your site on this morning and really liked it. I bookmarked your blog and will definitely be back soon to read your new posts!

  6. Beading2go


    Thanks for showing us photos of your jewelry are amazing and I hope to continue grasping

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