Saturday, 6 October 2012

Jewellery Model Photoshoot

Two weeks ago I scheduled a photoshoot with a model to take some test shots of my jewellery. I took the photos myself as I've been interested in photography for the past few years, but I haven't had many opportunities to shoot models.

I arranged to do an outside location shoot just around West London and luckily, the weather was really nice on the day. Invested some time beforehand in getting lunch and selecting a couple of outfits (bright colours, chic and classic). I didn't use any additional lighting equipment besides a reflector, but armed with my trusty old Canon 400d (I need to upgrade..!) and a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens, I got 350ish photos in about 1.5 hours.
Using a model to bring the jewellery and brand to life
If I was better at photoshop I would get rid of that stray strand of hair.

Overall, I was pleased with the shoot - I got some good shots and, importantly, more experience. The model knew how to pose from her experience and was very easy to shoot, but at times the jewellery did get lost as that wasn't her core modelling experience. I also think I might get better results, particularly around showing off the jewellery, from a studio shoot.

More photos and tips after the jump >>>

In hindsight: should've avoided the fussy neckline on this top

 A few tips for shooting models (including what I didn't do but wish I had)

  • Do not shoot in direct sunlight. The sun will end up leaving really harsh shadows across your model's face. I know this and I still made this mistake again. Shooting in shade or when it's overcast helps diffuse the light and looks much more attractive in photos
  • Focus on the eyes, because you want those to be sharp in the photos
  • Move around - try different backgrounds and spots - you can't be sure what will work the best until you view the photos later
  • Don't let your model accidentally cover jewellery up and try to keep fingers long and elegant in poses
  • Choose outfits carefully - do not pick a top with a busy and closed neckline if showing off necklaces. Made this mistake with the pink top - nice colour, but kept covering up the jewellery
  • Choose a model carefully too - if possible, one that has modelled jewellery before. Use sites like model mayhem to find one who is willing to pose in return for digital prints (Time for Prints, or TFP).

Not a jewellery photo. Direct sunlight = harsh shadows

To use models, or not to use models?

There are reasons for and against using models in your product photographs if you make jewellery. On the plus side, models show off how the jewellery looks when worn and I always feel like it makes the brand a bit stronger. On the down side, viewers may find the model distracting from the main focus - the jewellery - especially if the model is making eye contact. Which method do you prefer in your photographs - models or no models?

Some prefer jewellery photos with no eye contact


  1. Lovely shots! Although you picked a very pretty model and it seems as though a lot of the focus is on her face and not the jewellery? I quite like the pink top, but agree the blue is simpler.

    You are welcome to borrow my 60D if you want to play around with something different? I don't get nearly enough out of it and it would be lovely to see it used for something worthwhile.

  2. I know, totally agree with you - definitely need to make it more about the jewellery next time!

    Wow, thanks - that would be awesome if you really wouldn't mind and the arrangements wouldn't be too much hassle. I've been considering buying a secondhand 60D - would be awesome to try it out before committing a large sum of money!

  3. Don't be fooled into thinking your 400d is not good enough. Megapixel Myth is being used to sell you a camera you don't need in the same way Digital was used to dominate film. Yet medium format film still offers higher resolution than any digital and 35mm films is equal to digital.

    You'd be better off spending your money on good lenses, lessons in available light photography or studio photography.

    1. Hi Anon - I completely agree with your point about Megapixel Myth - but that's not why I'd like to upgrade (no quarrels at all with the current resolution, and I shoot in medium format film from time-to-time so I understand all that). My 400D is an entry level camera that I've had for some years, and the increased functionality of the next camera up in Canon's range such as the 60D is really appealing, so I don't think it's a waste of time investing in a new body.

      I agree that it's all about the lenses though - I have several more on my wishlist.

  4. :) I bet even if you had the 60D you'd still find yourself reverting to fully manual.


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