This was inspired by a question from a fellow Etsy seller beadinbythesea who asked if I take my photos using a light box or natural light. Though I've discussed this with her personally I thought I'd share it with the rest of you too.
When I first started selling jewelry I had no idea how to photograph jewelry or anything about the camera I was using. Macro?...what's that? A pasta? Laugh all you want but that's exactly what I said!
Below are the photos that show the progression that I made not only with the lighting but with backgrounds too. I originally started photographing on black velvet, but couldn't find any of those photos...must have destroyed them, the lint was so embarrassing! I obviously learned what Macro was after that!
At first I just used the flash of my camera...eek, blinding!
Then I read a tip to use a piece of paper towel or toilet paper to diffuse the flash...okay...got that...much better I can take off my sunglasses now.
Then I got a wonderful light box....oh what did I ever do without it!?! But on occasion I still had problems with the photo's not representing the colors of the stones correctly, but that's what my photo program is for right?
Oooo....but then I discovered natural light...and I haven't looked at my light box since!
There's also a trick to using natural light, at least in my experience...don't take photos in direct sunlight....you might as well have your flash on because when the sun hits the metal...it's blinding! I now take all of my pictures in my home at the sliding glass doors (which faces northwest). I generally wait until about 3 pm...it's when the sun hits the backside of my house perfectly. I honestly don't think I will ever go back to using my light box....sad because it wasn't cheap, but you just can't beat natural lighting!
The camera I use is Samsung S630, it's just a hand held point and shoot, small, and very easy to use. It has a nice Macro setting and ASR (stabilizer), works great for what I need it to do. The reviews weren't so good on this camera because of how fast it goes through batteries, but I just bought rechargeable one's (I get about 2 months of use before having to recharge) and I've never had the problems stated in the reviews.
Many sites say that you need a DSLR to take a decent photo, if you have the money by all means purchase one....but a point and shoot will work just fine if you're on a limited budget.
If you have any questions or suggestions post a comment!