Sunday , 24 March 2019
Product Photography: Here is an easy way to make your metal jewelry shine when taking a picture.

Cut, Wrap and Make Your Silver Jewelry Shine – Product Photography Tips

Product Photography Tips: Here is an easy way to make your metal jewelry shine when taking a picture.

Metal jewelry photo tips

I photographed this pair of silver earrings by my kitchen window. The light  coming from behind made the background look bright and airy. Here is how I made the silver earrings shine.

photo tips

Cut two panels from a cardboard box. Make the pieces much larger than the object you want to photograph. Make them as big as you can but not so big that they become unhandy to work with.

photo tips

1. Cut a piece of aluminum foil a bit larger than the cardboard. It’s OK to wrap the cardboard using several pieces of foil.
2. The duller side of the aluminum foil gives a softer light than the shinny side – the shiny side reflects more light.
3. Fold the aluminum foil around the cardboard and tape it.
4. You just made a silver reflective card. You will need two of them, please cut and wrap in foil another piece of cardboard.

photo tips

I used a book to place the earrings, but any surface will work. Make sure to put a piece of foil under it to reflect more light on the earrings.

Put a reflective card a few inches from the earrings. The closer you put it, the more light that will reflect back. It will also make more of the silver look shiny.

Play with the angle of the card to control the amount of light that bounces back on the earrings.

Put a second card to put light on the left side of the earrings. Leave a space in the center just big enough for you to be able to take the picture.

With and without the cards.

I adjusted the cards so the left side of the book gets more light than the right. Having two different sides of the book gives the picture more depth

Making a transparent bottle look bright against a dark background.

Looking for more photography help?

Studio Quality Product Photography With a $12 Set Up

Creating a White Background Inside a Cardboard Box

Simple Photography Setup

The 5 Cs of Product Photography

5 iphone photography apps worth downloading  

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  1. Ah – the Holy Grail of taking decent photographs! Taking the time and effort to compose tutorials like this is so generous. And they’re so very helpful. I spend ages thinking about photos, and even more time trying to take them. I will get there.

  2. That is a massive difference between the ‘with and without cards’ photo.

    After reading your advice I made a reflective board last week. I had fun experimenting with it. Great idea to use one underneath Too. Looking forward to next weeks post!

    • Thank you for reading Jeanie.

      If you can please link your results in the comments page. Perhaps I can suggest ways to improve and everybody would learn from our effort.

      Thank you.

      • Sure Mariano… I live where it is overcast most days. If it is sunny during the day I’m usually stuck at work. So I love that the reflective cards to help my pics look good on an overcast day.

        After reading some great advice about photos on handmadeology (btw thank you!) I redid all my photos. Took a while but I think it was worth it. I know with practise and more input they could be even better again. The outdoor ones can be viewed here:

        I did an indoor set up one weekend that I was also impressed with. You can view that here;
        I created these pics using this set up;

        Thanks & best wishes, Jeanie

  3. I’m going to try this for those days I can’t shoot outside!

  4. Very handy technique, thanks!

  5. This is so helpful. Now all my product photos won’t have to be facing the same direction to the source of light.

  6. Thank you sooooo much! I can’t wait for the clear glass tip. I want so badly to get great pictures..regards, Donna

  7. Love this! I just recently cut open a cereal box and covered it with foil…making a little freestanding/backdrop/reflector. Loving it so far!

  8. Very nice tip! I have used white background before, but never foil. I am going to work on this! Thanks!

  9. Wow! I can’t wait to try this. I like to take photos outside, but there is always a shadow. Seems like I can eliminate that with these foil panels. Thanks!

  10. Great tips, thank you! :) What are you using to prop up the foil panels? I can’t quite make it out…

  11. also geg you a white cheap ice chest go to goodwill get to small lamps throe the shade away or saleum take out bulbs cut hole on each side the it small lamp opening but 40 watss bulbs or less and try and find lamps with the adjustment cord works ggreat on all things just keep it clean

  12. can’t wait to try this. thanks so much for sharing.

  13. Ouau! Thank you so much for posting such a great tip (I was heard!!!:-) ). It was extremely helpful for me, as I create jewelry with Swarovski crystals and leather. It is always a struggle to capture the different structures/surfaces of the items.
    I will definitely will make the cards and play a little with their positions. I will stay in touch and maybe come up with more suggestions :-)

  14. Fantastic instructions and its greatly appreciated as you can tell from others comments much needed. Thanks so much for the help. You have a great day!

  15. Great tips! I knew that one day I would find a use for some of my aluminum foil scraps!

  16. What a great tutorial…I’m anxious to try it! Any tips on reducing the glare on sterling silver, or will this take care of it?

  17. Great article… I will be back!! I am always trying to improve my jewelry photographs.

  18. Have always struggled to get really good photos of silver and pearls. Tried the foil with a pair of silver earrings and it definitely works. Thanks soooo much for the tip.

  19. I tried a couple of the tips on your site and they are already paying off. Sometime when I photograph jewelry I get a bluish cast background, or if using a black background, cannot photograph without triggering a flash (which looks terrible). I tried your instructions on a very gray day (we have a lot of those in Ohio) just to try a worst case scenario. I used both a white background and a black. For the first time I have been able to get a much improved photo in both cases. I will post some pictures on my blog with a link to your site… great! great! helpful posts. Thanks so much.

    • See my other posts above. Here is Mariano’s first response:


      Thank you for posting your pictures, your input makes the tutorial so much better.

      Before I respond to you online I want to make sure I understand correctly
      why you like the new pictures better.
      - Is it because the black is blacker?
      - Is it because the color seems mess yellow or less cyan?


      • And here are my answers to his questions:

        I like being able to photograph on the darker backgrounds without a flash. The flash creates a glare that is does not invite buyers to look more closely at the jewelry. I want the flexibility of using darker backgrounds because they can create a more dramatic setting for jewelry.
        Yes, the black is blacker.
        I think the metal luster and brightness is better in the second set of photographs.
        There is still a slightly bluish cast to the lighter background photo but it is improved.

        I am sure the results will be even better on a day with more sunlight.

  20. Great tip – got some much improved photos, especially of silver & pearls. Still trying to master correct angle so as not to see me in reflection of silver!!

  21. What a great tip, thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  22. Fantastic post! Just the advice I was looking for to photograph my silver jewelry! Thank you so much. I can’t wait to get started. :)

  23. Awesome tutorial. Thank you for sharing it with us. I am going to keep it in mind when doing my silver. It seems to always be dark and now we will make it shine!

  24. Great tips! Best photography post I’ve read…very user friendly! Thanks so much.

  25. Oh I love it! I typically take lots of pictures outside, but I love this idea for an inside shoot. Thanks for sharing!

  26. This makes such a difference. I love the way we sellers take the time to share our lessons with others. Thank you for being a part of that effort. elizabeth

  27. Great tips! I know photographing silver is really tough and your technique really improved the photos. Thanks for sharing! Wondering how this might work with my glass items?

  28. Great indeed…I’d never thought about that!

  29. I’ll be trying this one. Thanks!

  30. Wow this is such a great idea I never thought of it! I have umbrellas that I use but it’s never “just right” so I will definitely try this out!

  31. I wonder if this would work as well with white reflectors only? Maybe the silver foil isn’t essential? Thanks for inspiring me to keep experimenting. Great to see what professional results can be achieved on a shoestring budget!

  32. Great Tips! Thanks so much, I have been having some trouble lately and this will definitely help!

  33. This is such a good idea. I have so much trouble with lighting. Either too dark, or too bright or too blue…the list goes on. I think this will help enormously, Thank you!

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