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Here’s How Many Jewelers Photograph Their Own Jewelry

More than 200 Brain Squad members weighed in.

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Yes: 87%

  • A simple Samsung phone and with a tripod for steady shots. — Joseph Villarreal, Villarreal Fine Jewelers, Austin, TX
  • I use iPhone high resolution and appropriate lightbox. I’m amazed at the quality! — J. Dennis Petimezas, Watchmakers Diamonds & Jewelry, Johnstown, PA
  • My manager’s hobby is photography, and she is a wizard at photoshop! Our website and our Instagram showcase her talents. Always looking for interesting backdrops, accents or unique elements for our great designs. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • We have gotten good at this elusive art over the past few decades. Why pay a newbie? — Steven Wardle, Forest Beach Design, Chatham, MA
  • I JUST got the Gem Lightbox; it lets you take gorgeous pics straight from your phone using their app. As long as you have a decent phone camera, it’s awesome! — Julie Terwilliger, Wexford Jewelers, Cadillac, MI
  • We use a lightbox and our phones. We do a lot of appraisals and have all of our inventory online. It would cost a fortune to have everything professionally photographed. It’s not the best, but we’re learning. — Ralph Vandenberg, Vandenbergs Jewellers, Edmonton, AB
  • I know my inspiration and what goes into making my pieces stand out. My best models are my actual customers. — Earl Grenfell, Spellbound Fine Jewelry, Port Washington, NY
  • For social media and our monthly newsletter, we always include pics of custom jewelry and also style pics on a person to inspire and inform our audience on what we are up to. — Christina Baribault-Ortiz, Baribault Jewelers, Glastonbury, CT
  • More control. Quicker turnaround time. More ability to be creative. — Trisha Corleto, Lowell Jewelry and Loan, Lowell, MA
  • We purchased a lightbox in Tucson last February; it has been phenomenal! Our social media engagement has been amazing and our print ads are seamless! — Linda McEathron, Design House, Waco, TX
  • Using an iPhone is the easiest. I just ordered the iPhone 12 Pro for its improved tri-lens camera. It will be replacing the more involved process of using a 35mm camera with macro lens and downloading the images to edit. I use a white nylon translucent box with white platform and some prop wax and two lights, tabletop style. I need to spend some time really honing my skills and developing a signature style for marketing on social media and website. I will then, happily, teach someone else to do it and turn that task over! — Ellie Thompson, Ellie Thompson + Co., Chicago, IL
  • Good lights, a photo tent from SEP tools, and a steady hand. It is much quicker and easier to do it ourselves, and because we design and build, we like to show the process with step-by-step photos. — Jo Goralski, The Jewelry Mechanic, Oconomowoc, WI
  • Photographing our jewelry in house has completely upped our game. We can quickly (relatively speaking) add items to our website and social media as well send images to clients. There is a learning curve, and photographing jewelry can be extremely difficult. Sometimes photos are good enough to use right off, but most need color correction and some correction in Photoshop. if you can have lighting and tripod set up, it can be really beneficial. I do feel that it’s best to use a professional until you can get the results that you want. — Betsy Barron, Love & Luxe, San Francisco, CA
  • Photography is outdoors in natural light. My simple set up is the result of years of building photo booths with various lights and diffusion. This inspired me to rely on natural lighting. I have them photoshopped to eliminate dark shadows and reflections. — J. Mason Cutchin, J. Mason Custom Jeweler, Chapel Hill, NC
  • We try to purchase finished items from vendors that have images. We weigh this as a factor when purchasing a collection because the time to photograph is intensive. We use Gem Lightbox and their software for photography. — Heather Wahl, R.C. Wahl Jewelers, Des Plaines, IL
  • I use three cameras (not simultaneously). The camera that came with the GemVision system is great for rings and pendants. I also use my phone and I have a webcam with a six-foot cord that makes it fun to do Facebook Live videos and focus in on specific pieces. I started putting a dime or quarter next to just about every piece I photograph — it helped immensely. I used to worry about putting in the measurements and carat weight — people still asked about the size — does not happen very much with the coins. — Cliff Yankovich, Chimera Design, Lowell, MI

No: 13%

  • Takes too much away from selling jewelry. — Barry Fixler, Barry’s Estate Jewelry, Bardonia, NY
  • I don’t have the equipment to do it well, and little time to learn anew how to do it without that stuff. — Mark Thomas Ruby, SunSpirit Designs, Loveland, CO

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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