It looks so simple.
When I photograph a piece of jewelry I really look at it. I hold it up to the light. I look to see what the best side is, what different textures there are, I look at the reflections in the metal or the stone or the gem. I look at the facets. Now, let me tell you, I am no expert in jewels and gems and carats and weight and color. But, I am able to feel a piece of jewelry. I look at the flow, the size, the shape, the curve. I try and determine how best to photograph this beautiful work of art. Even a simple ring is a thing of beauty.
I am constantly reminded of the ball, cube and cylinder assignment in art school. This is really what it comes down to. Light and shape. The relationship to the foreground and background. Dimension. Color. Shape. The client wants the consumer to see a piece of jewelry and to be able to visualize that piece on them. The client wants to be able to see clarity in the ring or bracelet or necklace.
Taking the piece, holding it, polishing it and then determining how to shoot. Is it a downshot? Should I hang the piece? Does it stand on its own? These are all considerations. Jewelry is beautiful. No matter your style, a man or woman wants to adorn themselves in baubles and chains and sparkly things. We are enhancing ourselves by wearing little works of art. My jewelry client, Georgina Herrera, is a perfectionist. I love this about her because it makes me a better photographer. Her expectations are high. She demands a certain look as she manages her brand with the eye of a perfectionist.
The simple work or the complicated work should tell a story on its own. We should be able to look at the piece of jewelry and not think about the light or the background or the process. We should just see the thing that is beautiful. It’s that simple.