How to Photograph your Jewelry with Jim Lawson

In the early days, when I photographed my quilts, I used a digital point and shoot camera. A good one, but a point and shoot nonetheless. The images came out very well and many of them are on my website, or even in books and magazines.

However, this does NOT work for my jewelry. A friend donated one of his old digital SLR cameras, we bought a light cube, a tripod, and some lighting equipment. But still I had NO idea how to take decent photographs of my finished pieces.

Enter Jim Lawson and his rather sweet, slightly hesitant narration over an excellent DVD download from the Interweave stores. How to Photograph Your Jewelry has been an enormous help.

The video is divided up into different sections:

  • Introduction with Lexi Erickson, Professional Jewelry Designer
  • Point ‘n’ Shoot Success
  • Using a Fill Card
  • Beyond Point ‘n’ Shoot Cameras
  • Photographing Sparkle and Color
  • Diffusion Frames
  • Capturing Detail
  • Creating a Gradient Background
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Jim talks you through a very simple set up. A camera, light, tripod, and computer. The first section gets you going with only your point ‘n shoot camera and light from a window which is rather nifty. I know you can get some pretty good pictures this way because I’ve done it myself. He then adds in the proper florescent light and talks you through the camera settings.

How to Photograph Jewelry by Jim Lawson
How to Photograph Jewelry by Jim Lawson

On Saturday we went to Michael’s and bought some silver and gold fill cards. For a long time I really didn’t understand what fill cards did. I am getting the idea now and can actually see the difference between using one and not using the card.

He uses Adobe Lightbox which I don’t have. But I do have Photoshop and most of the processes he follows can be done in this software.

I’ve watched this video several times now and keep learning something new. I didn’t know how to use the camera settings properly and now I do – thanks to Jim.