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How to Photograph Jewelry for Ebay or Etsy - Three Secret Tips on Close up Photography

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L. Cargill, Medical Laboratory Scientist, ASCP. Retired blood banker and laboratorian. Loves to write about a wide range of subjects. Enjoy!

Close up of earring jewelry for a sales photo

Classic crystal and onyx earrings with patented clips

Classic crystal and onyx earrings with patented clips

Secret tip number one...

Get as close as you possibly can!

Use the macro function of your camera. Read your cameras instruction manual on how to do close ups using the Macro lens or Macro function setting.

I use a Kodak Easy Share Z612 digital camera with auto-focus and lots of other auto functions. Experiment with all of your cameras functions until you are adept at all of them. Just follow the directions in the manual and take practice shots using various functions and settings. Practice makes perfect!

Remember, you don't have to waste film anymore. You can use thousands of shots to learn how to operate your camera. Then erase them all with the formatting function, You might even accidentally take some prize winning shots. You never know until you try.

Selling jewelry on eBay is easy if you learn how to shoot macro shots well.

Secret tip number two

Always use a jewelry model to show off how the item will look while being worn.

Naturally, the prettiest model (or body part of a model) will be needed for this step. Try to use children to model children's items. Child models are the best! To use a model, you will first need their permission and a signed model release is necessary to use a professional model.

To model rings and bracelets, make sure to use a well manicured hand and a pose that does not take away from the brilliance of the jewelry being photographed.

Use flattering soft lighting for models and if possible, use photo editing software to take out blemishes and increase color and lighting highlights. Best sellers for photo editing software are offered at Amazon. (See sidebar) Windows operating photo software is a good place to start learning simple editing tools. This is the software that pops up when you open or download a photo to your computer. It's not very sophisticated and I do recommend a full photo editing application. Learning to edit photography could turn out to be a whole lucrative career move.

A good free one is located at The GNU Image Manipulation Program which is an open office type of software. Once you get the program downloaded to your computer, open the application and start studying the help files! The easiest way to learn photo manipulation is with the help files included in the application and, of course, you must practice constantly. Don't be afraid to mess up! You can always start over.

Use of angles or different views


Secret tip number three

Use different angles, views, backgrounds and sizes

In other words, always use as many photographs as possible! The more photographs you take of an object, the better the buyer will be able to make a buying decision. Never skimp on photos! Remember the old saying, "A photo is worth a thousand words."

Experiment with your photo editing tools! Big tip - Make it a habit and always used the "save as" function instead of the regular "save" setting. This will ensure that your original is always available to play with some more.

Also, don't forget the "undo" button. This is arguably the most important button in the universe and it's found in almost every software application on your computer! If you mess something up - presto/chango - you hit the undo button and all is erased immediately, or at least from the last time you saved.

P.S - Theses earrings are going to a good home.

Excellent lighting tips for product photography, and it's ok to use a regular auto/digital camera with this system.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Lela

Comments - Please share your favorite tips for selling jewelry on eBay or Etsy...

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on June 03, 2012:

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Try it both ways, with and without flash. Choose the best one. Try window light, or whatever works. Practice makes perfect.

Dana on June 03, 2012:

I would actually say don't use the flash, unless your main light source is behind what you're shooting, and then you will have to fill in the shadows. But even then you are better off filling in the shadows with a consistent light source, and the softer the better. Flash is too harsh.

maggs224 from Sunny Spain on April 30, 2012:

A useful and interesting hub so I will vote up and hit the relevant buttons on my way out :D

Natasha from Hawaii on April 10, 2012:

I think these are all good ideas. I used to manage a got shop's website and it took me so long to figure out to to make the jewelry look good in photos!

Tammy from North Carolina on April 10, 2012:

These are some great tips for someone starting out in the crafting business. Taking the photos can be tricky with the flash on. These are some awesome, helpful tips!

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on November 07, 2011:

Thanks Rai and Stephanie! I'm working on some more photo hubs now. Enjoy

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on November 07, 2011:

Isn't it great that cameras come with so many settings, you can obtain the professional-looking results you want. A very helpful hub! As an eBay shopper, I can say that a well-lit photograph, nicely modeled, makes a big difference. Rated up - Stephanie

rai2722 on November 05, 2011:

Another great tip on photography. Thanks for sharing the knowledge.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on November 05, 2011:

NiaG - I know, right? If sellers only realized how to photograph stuff, they would get a lot more bids.

drbj - some phones have enough mega-pixels to take adequate pics for the web, but simply getting closer to any object with any camera is the number one secret to good photography.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on November 05, 2011:

Is there no end to your talents, Lela? What great photo tips! Lately I've been taking photos with my phone but would probably get better results with a camera. Right?

NiaG from Louisville, KY on November 05, 2011:

As a consumer these are all great tips. There's nothing worse than someone advertising something with poor images of the item. Or not enough angles. Good hub!

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on November 04, 2011:

Go for it! Take lots and lots of photos...

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on November 04, 2011:

I love those earrings! lol I did just get a new camera too - It is a sony and I have been playing around with it. It even takes panoramic pictures! You know I can't see well through the lens so I just take dozens and hope that some turn out nice. I am very good at centering objects they are just fuzzy until I put them on the computer. I have a hard time seeing facial expressions clearly. I love photography though and took a class in high school.

The tips will help me though - I didn't think about getting as close as possible or using my manual with the new camera. I bought Sydney some artsy software package for digital images - she has never used it - maybe I will try it out!!

Up and everything!

craftdrawer on November 04, 2011:

Great tips! I have a difficult time with the small items but your Hub has some great advice!!

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