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Every other month our blog posts a tutorial showing how to take at home the pictures we create in the studio. If you have a question about our suggestions please don’t hold back - write to us.

Would you like Via U! to create your photography instead of doing it yourself? Anywhere in the world you live, we are here to help.

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I am an advertising photographer in NYC. My pictures help large corporations sell more and keep their brands looking fresh. I am also the founder of Via U!, an online studio dedicated to creating photography that helps people selling in Etsy increase their sales too.

16. March 2012 17:51

Taking Jewelry Pictures Like a Professional Without the Professional Equipment

Use a regular household lamp to take pictures of jewelry that can look like photographed in a professional studio.

You will need 2 boxes, 2 A clamps, a piece of translucid material and a working lamp.

To make the lamp create a large reflection I used a piece of acrylic (plexiglas). The one I am using is translucent, the kind that lets light go through but you can see through. You can use anything that is translucent and has no color, like paper or fabric. This piece of acrylic is 1/4" thick and 24”x18” in size.

Set up in a place where you will have space to put the camera in front and lamps in the back. Working on the floor is not a bad idea.

The closer the acrylic is to your jewelry, the bigger the reflection of the light on the metal. Consider hanging the acrylic to have space to put your camera close to what you are photographing if you need to. These boxes are a 12” high.

More see more about how to control light using acrylic look HERE

Put the side of the boxes covered in white paper facing the inside. Light will bounce from the white paper to the jewelry. If there writing it will show on your jewelry, cover it with white.

Turn the lamp on. Close the shades and turn off all other lights in the room.

Light is too yellow you say? That’s because a house lamp bulb puts out yellow light. The photograph shows the actual color of the light from the lamp.

Is there a real color for anything? I guess not really, the same object looks different at different moments. To help us make sense of a world that changes so much cameras balance colors so things appear to be the way we think they should look. They do it by adjusting light coming in to match an imaginary 100% white.

Now, you may think twice about white balancing a sunset...


... but it’s a kick ass tool if you want your jewelry to look normal.

To learn how to adjust the white balance for your camera search in You Tube for a tutorial that teaches how to do it for your camera brand and model. I use the tutorials in You Tube to learn things about my own cameras.

Here is something important ... when adjusting the white balance put a piece of white paper in the place where you will be taking the pictures. When taking a reading make sure that the camera sees only the area covered by the paper.

I suggest not to worry about understanding terms like degrees Kelvin, color temperature and balancing targets. The color of your pictures does not need to be perfect, it simply needs to look good. Let your eyes call it, if you like it, it’s perfect.

It is a matter of taste. I let some dark areas in the silver because I like variety and feel that they make the areas that shine more special. But you may disagree...

Polished silver is like a mirror, it has no color of it's own, it takes the color of what it reflects. The dark areas are the room’s reflection.

You can control the size of the black areas by moving the bracelet closer or further away from the light.

If you would like to have the dark areas to be as small as possible put  a gray, white or silver card on each side of the camera. You can control their effect by moving them closer or further away of the camera.

To learn how to make your own silver cards look HERE


The lovely bracelet is a courteous loan of Versani , thank you so much Yaf.