Taking product photos of jewelry doesn’t come without challenges. It’s important to capture the small, intricate details while also being mindful of lighting and reflections. Put bluntly, photographing jewelry is hard!
One important factor for your jewelry photos is the background. Using the right background for your jewelry photos will help your products shine and convince people to make a purchase.
In this article, we’re going to share a few interesting ideas for the backgrounds of your jewelry product photos. In some cases we’ll use props, and in others, we’ll let the product take center stage. Check it out:
In this article:
- Importance of a good background
- 8 best backgrounds for jewelry product photography
- Make your jewelry product photos shine
Importance of a good background
Product photography backgrounds set the stage and overall mood for your image. You can see how different a plain background jewelry shot looks compared to one shot against a contextual backdrop in these examples, the first featuring plain backgrounds from Amarilo:
And the next showcasing SASAI’s contextual backgrounds:
Both sets of images are beautiful and effective, but they each present the jewelry differently and thus have different uses.
Backgrounds establish context
Your photograph background tells the story of the product, providing context for how it looks and how it’s used. When your main subject interacts with the background, it gives your photo more narrative and hence improves the photo. To achieve this, you need to focus on the focal length and framing of your photo.
You can play around with different backdrops and props to create a story around your product. A well-planned background will also appeal to your viewers’ emotions and make the jewelry more interesting.
Products stand out
Using the right background can maximize product visibility. A proper background helps your product stand out, creating a more impactful online shopping experience. This also draws the user’s eye and makes them more likely to click when browsing several products. It’s important to use the background in such a way that your product becomes the focal point—you don’t want to distract from the product by using a busy background.
8 best backgrounds for jewelry product photography
Now, let’s look at a few background ideas for your jewelry photography.
A mannequin bust is essentially a miniature mannequin meant to hold necklaces. A mannequin bust is a popular prop for jewelry photography, especially when it comes to displaying and photographing necklaces.
Mannequin busts are flexible because there are a variety of options to choose from, including shape, size, color, material, and more. And because they’re so popular and versatile, you can find budget-friendly options out there.
Plus, mannequin busts are easy to work with and provide a dimension to your image and product. Rather than laying a necklace flat in an unappealing way, you can show off what it looks like when someone is actually wearing it—without having to hire and coordinate with a model. This adds a sense of scale as well, so online shoppers can get a better feel for how big your jewelry is.
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Mannequins aren’t just for necklaces, either. You can also purchase various props and stands for bracelets, rings, earrings, and other accessories. However, these props don’t always photograph as well as a mannequin bust. It all comes down to your unique styling and shot.
Plain white backgrounds
A plain white backdrop is one of the most preferred options for a jewelry background—and it’s certainly the safest. This is because it highlights the product exceptionally well, and it’s also the norm for ecommerce photography—especially given the product photography requirements for marketplaces like Amazon and Facebook.
All you need is a white sheet of paper or a foam board. Plain white backgrounds create consistency, so users don’t have to familiarize themselves with the format of the photo—instead, they can focus directly on the photographed product. Plus, white backgrounds allow for bright lighting that showcases the tiny details found in many jewelry items.
When editing your jewelry product photos, white backgrounds also make it easier to get the perfect contrast, crop, and lighting. White backgrounds are universal and can work with jewelry products of all colors, metals, stones, and cuts. Product photos with white backgrounds are also easier to edit and repurpose for other uses, allowing you to maximize your investment.
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Handmade jewelry brand Hunterhue uses a mostly white, slightly light gray background for its product photos. The consistency creates a clean look on the site and allows the intricate details of the earrings to take center stage.
A black background creates a dramatic look and feel. It’s ideal for colorful gemstones, white and silver jewelry, and luxury products in particular. The black takes away some of the lighting but it creates a dramatic contrast you can play with in Photoshop and post-processing.
When executed properly, black backgrounds make your jewelry look elegant, sophisticated, bright, and colorful. It’s also a great background for advertising, especially in print, as it can help your photos stand out against the competition.
Nicole Hanna Jewelry uses precious metals and beautiful stones in its products. As such, it uses a dramatic black background to help the natural materials stand out.
People and context
Hiring real people to model your jewelry can be a little more costly than other options on this list. However, the results can be worth the effort and money. Using a model in your jewelry product photo backgrounds allows you to show buyers how the product would look on an actual person. This will give buyers a better idea about the actual size and appearance of the jewelry when it’s being worn.
It’s one thing to show a ring on a white background, but when you show it on an actual finger, people can imagine themselves wearing it as well. Plus, they can see how different skin tones complement the jewelry.
Online jewelry brand The Clear Cut uses a variety of backgrounds for its product photos—one of those being real, live models. The brand also uses product videos to bring the jewelry to life for online shoppers.
Gradient backgrounds with dimension
Gradient backgrounds are perfect for highlighting jewelry details because it gives the image depth while keeping the focus on the product itself.
When using gradient backgrounds, make sure you put the product on the lightest part of the background to bring more attention to it. Putting it elsewhere may cause the product to get lost in the background of standing out in the forefront.
Bokeh is a photography technique where you keep a part of the image intentionally out of the focus to highlight an object. Using a very subtle bokeh background in a jewelry photoshoot can look very attractive when done well. That’s because it keeps the focus on the product and highlights its design.
Bokeh is perfect for tiny jewelry without precious stones. Bokeh can also create a festive holiday look.
Textured backgrounds give dimension and depth to your product photos while maintaining the focus on the fine details of your jewelry products. Handmade jewelry in particular works well on a textured background, giving it an earthy, homemade feel. But texture can have lots of different effects, depending on how you use it.
You can use materials like marble, concrete, stone, wood, fabrics, metal, cork, and even paper for your textured backgrounds. The possibilities are really endless and this allows you to get creative. You might even find inspiration in your natural environment, such as leaves, grass, or sand. You can also go the DIY route and make your own textured backdrop.
Jewelry brand Welleree sells its items online using a variety of backgrounds on this list. In the example below, the brand photographs the necklace against a textured background, seemingly made of fabric.
Showcased product packaging
Product packaging can make a great photography background in its own right. And in some cases, this can actually make your products look more appealing—especially if you have unique or luxury packaging.
Super Smalls showcases its jewelry products in opened boxes as the main featured product image. The background creates a uniform look and feel, as well as reinforces the brand’s distinctive visual identity. This also sets customer expectations as to how the product will arrive.
Make your jewelry product photos shine
When it comes to choosing the background for your jewelry product photography, there are many ways you can go. While there is no single best background, each of these ideas has a time and place. You might use one background for social media photos, while a different background is featured on the homepage of your website.
You can also use a combination of the ideas listed above. For example, feature models against white backgrounds. Or use a mannequin bust with a black background and bokeh as seen in this example:
Regardless of the backgrounds you choose, you can always swap it out later—or hire a trusted team of editors to handle it for you.