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 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.
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.