For this jewelry photography lighting project, I tried to photograph a diamond-encrusted, gold heart pendant in morning light. It was designed and handmade by Mikus Diamonds. Mikus is a premium manufacturer, with 20 years of experience in handmade jewelry.
They tasked me with photographing this gold pendant and wanted the theme to portray a sense of freshness, blooming and morning light. They suggested using flowers as a way to symbolize new growth and a fresh bloom.
Selecting a background
I went out and purchased an orchid. The vivid colors and interesting nature of the petals and leafs made it worth experimenting on. I didn’t have much experience working with orchids; however, this didn’t influence the final image.
The orchid is a popular flower choice for photographers. Interesting patterns formed by the petals, and the vivid color on the flower. It is usually preferred to use a clear white background when taking photographs of these plants. Dark-colored orchids do best with light colored subjects, whilst white or pink orchids do well with darker subjects.
I made use of all the best practices around jewelry photography. Like perfecting the focus on the jewelry, finding the perfect camera angle, and composing with the rule of thirds.
Overall, I ended up shooting two different images for this piece of jewelry. I selected the picture with the orchid for inclusion in the portfolio. The jewelry by itself made up the second image.
The other one, I did with the jewelry piece itself. A small heart-shaped pendant with diamonds inside. Throughout the shooting process, I kept in mind the client’s idea of a light-filled, fresh morning feel.
Jewelry Photography Lighting Setup
For the first light source, I secured a large light directly behind the subject. This illuminated both the flowers and jewelry. The soft, pure light shining onto the subject created a dreamy atmosphere.
For this particular shoot, the milky, soft tones of the flower did not distract the viewers’ attention from the jewelry. As you can see in the final image, the rosy gold stands out distinctly around the flower petals.
A sharp close-up and high aperture were crucial in capturing the intricate detail and patterns on the petals. I placed an additional light source on the top left of the setup. Then, I secured a paper funnel onto the light, with a narrow slit to focus the light. This thin slit allowed me to narrow down on the flower, bringing out the details of the flower petals.
The gold pendant was strung up between the flowers, making it appear like it was dangling from the plant itself.
Overall, this jewelry photography lighting was really simple on this one. The setup allowed for the final image coming out almost perfect.In the end, I just hung the pendant in front of the plant. Experimenting with different angles. You can see the behind the scene video here
Editing and sign off
Again, I used some Photoshop during post-production. This was just to smooth out and remove any defects in the petals and stem and any darkness or reflections in the jewelry. Jewelry photography often requires an element of editing to ensure the actual product is crisp and without imperfections. The last thing you want is to find distracting reflections all over the lovely shiny jewelry.
In the end, I was really impressed by the outcome of this shoot. The client expressed their happiness too, regarding the delivered image.
Have you photographed orchids before? Or want to learn more about photographing jewelry? Drop me a message below or subscribe to my channels.
What kind of background is best for jewelry photography with flowers?
When photographing flowers with jewelry, a background with bright tones is usually preferred. Dark-colored orchids do well with light-colored subjects, while white or pink orchids do well with darker subjects.
What lighting was used in this jewelry photography project?
The photographer used a large light source behind the subject to illuminate both the flowers and jewelry, creating a soft and dreamy atmosphere. An additional light source was placed on the top left of the setup, with a paper funnel and narrow slit to focus on the flower petals and bring out their intricate details.
Was any editing done on the final image?
Yes, some editing was done during post-production to smooth out and remove any defects in the petals and stem, as well as any reflections or darkness in the jewelry. Jewelry photography always requires some level of editing to ensure that the product appears crisp and without imperfections.
What was the goal of this jewelry photography project?
The client wanted to portray a sense of freshness, blooming, and morning light for their gold heart pendant, which was designed and handmade by Mikus Diamonds. The use of an orchid as a symbol of new growth and fresh bloom was suggested, and the photographer aimed to capture this mood through their lighting and composition choices.