How to Prepare for a Jewelry Photoshoot

Today we had the great opportunity to work with a professional photographer sent to us by Main Street Hub, a social media agency that specializes in marketing for small businesses. I have done shoots before so I had a little experience to prepare and maximize the time to get many images! Jennifer was a pro who knew how to quickly adjust her camera,the lighting and how to pose people. Everything came together beautifully.

It occurred to me that many folks starting out- not just jewelry designers but all types of entrepreneurs, might find a few tips on how to get the most out of this type of photoshoot helpful! Photography is the one commodity that you can not have enough of. Whether it used on your website, social media, advertising or branding. I use an average of 4 product shots a day to get my message across different channels. Especially in jewelry design, a picture is worth a million words.

As you have been told, good quality photographs can be obtained using an iPhone and Photoshop or other picture editing program but a professional session will make you begin to understand that professional pictures are usually superior. As a designer of handcrafted original jewelry, I need a creative photography to convey my message. If you have similar needs and want to have your brand say "quality" hire a professional. I wished I had followed this advice 15 years ago when I started out. A photographer friend told me my pictures were not good enough and I, not really understanding, continued doing my own photography. For way too long. I still do most of my pictures,(I am a better photographer and retoucher now), but I cherish the times I can work with a good photographer. So here are some tips you might find valuable.

First get organized. Prepare by pulling the products you want to photograph. Don't wait to be whimsical and waste your valuable time.Think of backgrounds that will highlight your products- today we used layered fabric and marble. Have the backgrounds ready.  If possible an assistant who can cut off price tags and put them back on the pieces after the pictures are taken will keep things organized and moving. My earrings need to be bent to lay flat, so my assistant was there with tools to unbend them before they went back into inventory. Now you will have more time to arrange jewelry (or your specific product) and set up the shots so the photographer can move quickly from one piece to the other. You will get the maximum number of images in the time frame you have contracted for. Your role is to be the art director/stylist because you know your products and how to display them to their best advantage! If you do not possess this talent hire a friend, stylist or photographer that help.

Really important hint- this is the time to get yourself into the picture. Although I am not comfortable modeling today I had two outfits picked out ahead of time with the express purpose of getting myself into some of the pictures. One outfit was casual and showed me at my work bench. The second was fancier and showed me in my private light filled home. My goal was to get some good portrait shots that showed me wearing my jewelry. Pictures of you will inject a human element and personality into your posts and can be used for many professional purposes. Since the photographer is coming anyway- why not get all the images you need? Today we did not use models wearing Pam Older jewels but when you have models, use the same tips to keep things moving. 

My photographer spent 15 minutes shooting my shop's interior and exterior and a few more of a customer completing a purchase. She also got some good pics of my team!

Sadly we did not do any video today. Maybe that will my next blog post. I need to get more experience with video and start using it more often. Maybe someone in the audience can give us their advice on how to do a video shoot!

I feel we really maximized our photo opportunity today and I can't wait to see the final results.