Achieving a quality photo of a diamond that will show it off in all of its glory takes quite a bit of skill, knowledge, talent – and practice. There is a noticeable difference between a picture taken by a professional and one snapped by an unseasoned amateur. Here are some tips from our diamond photographer for capturing a diamond in the best light, highlighting its undeniable and all-around beauty.
The various different color intensities of natural fancy pink diamonds - Ben Yagbes
In order to capture the true essence of a diamond (check out the photography in our diamond catalog) or a piece of jewelry (check out the photography in our jewelry catalog) from a technical standpoint, a sharp, crisp focus is needed. The best way to achieve this on a digital camera is by putting the camera on the “spot focus” mode. This way you can control in the most precise way what the camera is aimed at. However, this trick will only get you so far when the subject of the picture is a small stone. For even better results, a camera with a quality manual focus capability is needed.
LEIBISH's Diamond Photographer Capturing the Purple Orchid Diamond
Diamonds photograph best in soft lighting. This means no on-camera flash, which will not only lead to overly lit photos, but it will also cast shadows in the pictures. Continuous diffuse lighting works best for diamond photo sessions.
Getting a great, focused image of a product is critical, so you will want to make sure it won’t move at all while photographing it. In addition, you will often find yourself looking for a shot with the jewelry piece placed in a somewhat awkward position, where there is no way it will stand on its own. Therefore, familiarize yourself with prop wax!
Using wax to connect multiple jewelry pieces
By using this product you can basically position the piece however you see fit and simply edit it out when cleaning the up the final picture.
Bulbs and Tripods
As mentioned before, soft, natural lighting works best for photographing diamonds. In terms of bulbs, daylight balanced compact fluorescent bulbs are ideal. These bulbs produce very little heat and can be left on for long periods of time without overheating. Additionally, using a tripod or other camera support is a must. A sturdy tripod is preferred, but anything really is better than no tripod at all.
Have you ever heard the term ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ The angle from where the photograph is taken will show details about the piece that are almost impossible to explain with text. No matter how good the content writer may be, without an image, there are some things that will simply be missed. A good photograph with the right positioning can be the difference between selling an item and having it sit in the safe for a few years.
Fancy Intense Yellow Cushion Diamond Drop Pendant (3.99Ct TW)
Props for Contrast
Jewelry is special because each piece has a story to tell. When it comes to telling a story, sometimes all you need to do is be creative. As you can see in the images below, the photographer here combined the natural elements of the stone with beautiful plants or flowers of a similar color.
A pair of Argyle Diamonds from the Tender 2017
Seeing Through the Diamonds
A fantastic Yellow Diamond Ring photographed by Ben
Knowing the technical ropes of photography is key to a successful diamond photo, but it is not the only knowledge required for obtaining an honest diamond image. Understanding what a diamond is and what it does for us as emotional beings is crucial. This means feeling it, seeing it, and digesting what feelings it exudes. Diamonds evoke emotions in human beings.
Just like with art, the shapes, forms, and sparkles of diamond arouse sentiment and often stir up memories in anyone beholding their beauty. In a way that differs completely from other objects such as clothing or other fashion accessories, diamonds and jewelry pieces are there to represent one’s personality and heritage. The camera should pick up on this difference that sets every single stone apart from one another, for no two stones are exactly alike. As a result of the cut, the facets may reflect light differently. Therefore, there is a need to adjust the stone accordingly.
How you finish the photograph is sometimes just as important as the photograph itself. Through a good photography software tool, you can learn how to properly manipulate the colors of the image in order to contrast off of the lighting and effects within the image.
An unedited image next to an edited image
Another unedited image next to the edited photo
Just like anything in life, photographing diamonds takes practice, and lots of it. Even if one is a professional, shooting diamonds can be a challenge if it has never been attempted before. With the help of these tips, the rare and extraordinary stone can be appreciated and represented suitably in a two-dimensional version. Trial and error will eventually end with perfection.