The Best Guidelines for Jewelry Photo Retouching

guidelines for jewelry photo retouching

[Updated on June 2022]

Jewelry is one of the most precious items used by human beings especially womenfolk as a way of adornment. Previously, people snapped up jewelry by visiting each and every jewelry showroom. Even though people are still reliant on purchasing their jewelry by a physical visit to a large extent, a vast majority are opting for buying their jewelry online from various ecommerce sites. The product owners get the product photos clicked either themselves or by professional shutterbugs to advertise on ecommerce sites.

These product images cannot be posted online without retouching as optimized photos play a pressing role to get products sold on e-commerce sites. Only exhibiting the designs of the products are not adequate rather the illumination of the gem, the luster of the gold or silver setting, glamorous surface of the pearls are also crucial to be displayed to grab the customers’ attention. While capturing the photographs, the professional photographers cannot focus on all these minute details which makes the images unappealing.

To enhance the quality of these photos, the product owners approach the photo manipulators. Based on the splendor of the jewelry photos, they draw the attention of the clients and sell their products. On top of that, jewelry photography is also used in fashion magazines and billboard advertisements which also require jewelry image retouching.

Importance of Jewelry Photo Retouching

If you aspire to make your eCommerce jewelry products stand out from the other products and wow your online clients, there is no alternative to jewelry image retouching. As the customers don’t have the scope to touch the products online, the quality of the photos must be up to the mark to win their hearts. Generally, the components of jewelry like a gem, pearl, stone, etc. matter a lot to sell the jewelry products. However, emotional attachment influences substantially to buy jewelry as well.

When a guy intends to buy a piece of necklace, ring, or bracelet for his mother, wife, or sister, he visualizes whether these ornaments will suit each of them, how good they will look by wearing these kinds of jewelry. The customers are inclined to sparkling, colorful, and gorgeous product images as opposed to dull, hazy, and distracting images. Therefore, the importance of jewelry photo retouching is undeniable.

You may also read: How to Promote Your Jewelry Business Online

The Kit and Props Required for Jewelry Photography

As already discussed, the clients always hanker after quality photographs while buying jewelry or other products online. Therefore, quality cannot be compromised while posting the images on various ecommerce sites. As per research, if you cannot attract your target customers 7-8 seconds after they view your posts, consider they are lost. To optimize the quality of the photos, some gear is indispensable.

  1. Camera: Before shooting jewelry, one appliance which every shutterbug profoundly thinks is a high-priced camera. Technically, having a posh camera doesn’t ensure the best jewelry photography. In fact, the expertise and experience of professional photo shooting matter a lot than an expensive camera. If you own a high-end and costly camera lacking all the skills and experience, your image output will be shoddy, which is nothing but throwing money down the drain.
  2. Lens: Jewelry image quality is closely linked with lens and the best lens is the macro lens. This particular lens allows you to take close-up shots so that you can have macro photo output. Macro photo is vital to grab the attention of the customers online as this portrays intricate details of the products.

Camera Lens

  1. Tripod: A three-legged stand used to hold a camera in a particular direction. This allows better handling of the camera as tripods allow photographing in a steady position. On top of that, you can rotate the camera in different directions for adjustment purposes. This will help you to focus appropriately.


  1. Lighting: Lighting plays a major role in jewelry photography. To have a first-rate jewelry photo, you should pick the zone having adequate lighting so that the image doesn’t get gloomy. Apart from that, the lighting sources in the region should also have identical color temperatures to ensure a balanced impact in the photograph.
  2. LightBox: Apart from the studio lighting, an the additional lightbox is required for jewelry photography. This adds soft lighting around the product and also replenishes the deficit of lighting in any part of the product.
  3. Jewelry Stand: To make sure the most elegant look of the ornaments, a jewelry stand can be used as an accessory. This stand stabilizes the jewelry and portrays the key parts of the product. This also allows the photographer to shoot the photo from various angles.
  4. Reflector: Another piece of equipment that improves the lighting on the jewelry image is a reflector. Many a time, certain parts of jewelry items don’t get proper image exposure which makes those parts dark and dull. The reflector comes in handy in these cases. A roll of pure white paper, fabric, foam board, etc. can be used as a reflector.
  5. Other necessary equipment: Apart from these crucial gadgets, there are some accessories that will assist you substantially in subtle matters for jewelry photography. You should use a table, mirror, clamp, acrylic tile additionally in your studio to achieve a high-quality jewelry image.

The Best Cameras for Jewelry Photography

Over the past few years, the digital camera has been in huge demand for photographers. Previously, the key features of digital cameras were available only in posh cameras but now even in an average digital camera, you can get those features. For jewelry photography, you can resort to any DSLR camera or mirrorless camera but the cameras underneath can be recommended for superior output.

  1. Nikon D3400: Even though each and every DSLR camera can be perfect for jewelry photography, this particular camera can be handy for high-resolution jewelry photography used in fashion magazines or in billboards. It allows you to adjust the shutter speed and aperture setting as per your requirement. In jewelry photography, you have to click from 1-2 feet away to get the complete detail of the product photo without blurriness and Nikon D3400 lets you do this.

Nikon D3400

  1. Canon EOS Rebel T5: For jewelry photography, this is one of the best cameras due to its flexibility in terms of manual controls. It offers 18 to 55 mm standard zoom capability which is ideal for snapping still jewelry items. It also features 60 exchangeable lenses as well as a long-lasting battery which is conducive for shooting massive inventory.

Canon EOS Rebel T5

  1. Sony SLT-A58K: This camera is befitting for clicking enlarged photos with intricate details. It has a 20.1 MP sensor perfect for close-up shots. The camera has a feature of translucent mirror technology which streamlines the performance of autofocus. Sony SLT-A58K is also well-known for its sustainable battery, flexibility, and top-notch quality.

Sony SLT-A58K

Common Errors Made in Jewelry Photography with Solutions

The importance of jewelry photography is immense when it comes to representing products online for sale. If you want to attract clients, you have to showcase the minute details of the jewelry item. The customers make up their minds based on the appearance of the products.

  1. Smudges and Careless Preparation: Many photographers commit errors from inception. They show a sloppy and idle approach while preparing to photograph the jewelry item. They don’t remove the tag, string, and sticker from the product. Sometimes, the jewelry contains missing stones and gems along with dust and stain. To grab the customers’ attention, these photos must be touched up during post-production. The dust, blemish, and other unwanted objects must be removed.
  2. Lack of Consistency: Consistency is a massive factor in jewelry photography that many photographers don’t focus on. They keep altering the images of ornaments without keeping in mind the clients’ requirements. Excessive cropping and sizing distract customers and they don’t show any passion for the products. Despite the mistakes, there are opportunities for fixing these issues while editing the products. The items must be converted into similar sizes and shapes to bring the customers’ focus.
  3. Hazy Background: Some photographers have a misconception that if you set a colorful background, it will appeal to the clients. They fail to realize that a bright and complex background conceals the details of the product and distracts the clients. The right and the best background color is white as it displays the product holistically. However, you can use a gray-colored background as well. During the post-processing, you can retouch the jewelry photos with the assistance of professional photo manipulators. Ecommerce sites like Amazon, eBay, Rakuten, etc. always recommend a white or neutral background.
  4. Redundant Props: Photographers frequently use unnecessary props to display jewelry products appropriately. This distracts the customers from the products even though props like mannequins are crucial for the exhibition of the products. Later on, you have to retouch the product photos by removing the mannequin from the jewelry products.
  5. Reflections: The appearance of stones and metals often creates reflections in the product. Moreover, the camera lens also produces reflections. As a result, the customers lose focus on the products. It is also a stiff task to snap the product photo without capturing the reflections. Therefore, the reflections must be dispelled before posting them online with the latest photo editing tools.
  6. Shaky Image: Having a shaky image output is very common due to handholding the camera. Handholding instead of using a tripod cause hand-movement which shakes the camera and ultimately obscures the photographs. As the clients urge highly on the appeal of the jewelry, these photos need to be optimized with the help of professional photo editors.
  7. The Contrast of Light: One of the notable pitfalls which most photographers commit is using harsh light. Due to this, the inaccuracy in the photograph, unseemly shadows, and other nuisances remain in the photographs which impede jewelry image exposure. To avoid this drawback, you have to use soft and natural light coming from a window or artificial studio lighting. However, you can also approach professional image modifiers for retouching in case you used harsh light.
  8. Shoddy Image Editing: After shooting the jewelry photo, there will be some flaws in the photo. These flaws must be removed in post-processing. Many a time, even after retouching, defects exist in the jewelry photo which is an output of poor retouching. This happens due to the lack of expertise and experience of the editor. In this case, either you have to attain expertise in photo editing yourself or hire a professional image manipulator.

Procedure of Professional Jewelry Photo Retouching

  1. Background Removal: Occasionally, it is visible that the background of jewelry photos is unbefitting which must be altered to match with the products. Image background removal is one of the crucial techniques applied in jewelry image retouching. To accomplish this task, proficient graphic designers avail the pen tool, pen tablet (Wacom), and sometimes the integration of both. On top of that, they use the lasso tool, magic wand tool, magic eraser tool, background eraser tool, and quick selection tool as well. As the jewelry product shapes vary from one another, they are categorized into different shapes including basic, simple, complex, compound, super complex, etc.
  2. Photo Shadow Creation: Many a time, the jewelry product photos look pale and unappealing in their raw form. Sometimes, due to the shortage of light, the natural shadow of the products may not be visible. Even if the natural shadow is visible, it may not reflect a charming look. To make the products captivating and elegant, the photo editors employ image shadow blending their expertise and talent in Adobe Photoshop. Generally, this technique is conducive to beautify the appearance of different jewelry products. Depending on the requirement of the products, they add reflection shadow, drop shadow, create natural shadow and sometimes retain the original shadow in the jewelry items.
  3. Color Correction: Normally, it is common after clicking photos to have mismatching color output due to camera setting, light effect, inappropriate position, etc. But these cannot be used for personal or professional purposes without correcting the color. The jewelry photographs which lose appeal due to inappropriate color can be adjusted with matching color in the color correction method. The professional image modifiers blend their talent and expertise and rectify the color of the jewelry photos. They use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, and a pen tablet to execute their tasks. While accomplishing their task, they focus on white balance and proper image exposure to render the desired output.
  4. Jewelry Photo Cleaning: While capturing a photo, noise and other unwanted objects get added along with jewelry such as rings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, etc. unintentionally. These photographs also contain dust, blemish, and scratch which thoroughly spoil the original appearance of the photo. To restore the genuine appearance of these ornaments, professional jewelry photo cleaning is imperative. The photo manipulators dispel redundant and distracting objects using various software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to portray the jewelry image with a resplendent and elegant look.
  5. High-End Jewelry Photo Retouching: After a photographer shoots a photo of any piece of jewelry, there are zones in the product which contain defects. To attract customers online to purchase your jewelry product requires top-notch image retouching. The image enhancers supplement professional touch and details to the jewelry images to create a stunning look. They use the latest photo touch-up tools to adjust the color, size, shape, and texture to make the images flawless and outstanding. As a result, the buyers find these images appealing and spectacular and ultimately buy these jewelry products through ecommerce sites in a hassle-free manner.

Important Tips for Jewelry Image Retouching

Jewelry photography is a very challenging and painstaking task and consumes plenty of time. Yet, after capturing the photos of the jewelry like earrings, necklaces, bracelets, bangles, etc. they lack the desired quality. To retouch these photos requires high-end jewelry retouching, and the best tool to accomplish it is Adobe Photoshop. Jewelry Photo retouching is inevitable for both personal and commercial reasons.

  1. Color Balance: As a professional shutterbug, it is your responsibility to check the color balance of the camera. If you forget to check the color balance, you can balance it during post-production.


  • Firstly, open Photoshop and import the image which you want to edit.
  • Go to Image > Adjustment > Color Balance
  • Pick the desired colors with the assistance of the sliders in the box and select OK after you are done.
  1. Brightness and Contrast: This specific feature of Photoshop adds plenty of effects to the image. By adjusting the brightness and contrast of the image, you can enhance the beauty of the photograph.
Brightness and Contrast

Brightness and Contrast

  • Import the image on Adobe Photoshop.
  • Create a new layer.
  • Select Adjustment layer > Brightness/Contrast.
  • Adjust according to the preferred brightness and contrast.
  • Select OK to apply the changes.
  1. Unsharp Mask: Unsharp mask is used for a piece of jewelry having sharp edges due to the presence of gold and metal. This tool helps to soften the edges and make the jewelry more eye-catching.
Unsharp Mask

Unsharp Mask

Go to Filter > Sharpen. At the time of activating this tool, 3 sliders appear by the name of Amount, Radius, and Threshold. These 3 tools assist to adjust the sharpness of the image.

  1. Levels: Sometimes, it is crucial to tweak the overall image exposure. The adjustment layer aids to execute that. This can be accomplished easily without any hassle.


  • Pick the image.
  • Select an image from the menu bar.
  • Adjustment > Levels
  • Select OK to apply the changes.
  1. Utilize the pen tool: Pen tool is a very conducive tool used in Adobe Photoshop. When it comes to jewelry photo retouching especially for ecommerce sites, this tool comes in high utility as the background is removed or edited with it. Among various methods of background removal, you can use the most common method known as clipping path. With this method, you can retain the object in the same shape and remove the background.
  • Import the image to Photoshop and choose the ‘pen tool’ from the toolbar.
  • A shortcut to do the same is to press P.
  • Select a path termed as ‘path1’.
  • You need to draw the clipping path around the object.
  • Select the Ctrl button and then, click on the path you created.
  • To remove the background, press Q.
Background Removal with pen tool

Background Removal with Pen Tool

Latest Image Retouching Software

  1. Adobe Photoshop: This is an image modifying software used to enhance the beauty of digital images by making changes to them. This is the most popular and on-demand software for image editing. It has a wide range of tools such as a pen tool for creating a path that uses anchor points; a shape tool for creating a rectangle, circle, and line; a clone tool for creating a duplicate of the part of an image. Other tools include crop tool, slice tool, lasso tool, magic wand tool, marquee tool, etc.
  2. Adobe Lightroom: It is a very pivotal piece of software for professional photographers. It helps you to import, organize, post-process, print, and find your images. Unlike Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom is a non-destructive photo editor and it allows you to tweak or set any adjustment retaining the original files intact. It has no “save” button and all the edits are automatically kept in your Lightroom catalog which acts as your database of edits and history. So if you intend to create a photo album, it will facilitate your work. Using this software, you can also work with multiple images as it can focus on speed.
  3. Pen Tablet (Wacom): Pen tablet or graphics tablet is a computer-connected device used by graphic designers and visual artists. It enables them to draw and sketch images digitally with the help of a pen or stylus. Like the conventional artists, they draw images on the pen tablet using the stylus and the computer converts the drawings into digital form and shows them on the computer screen. This device is also handy for editing images having rough or soft edges like certain jewelry, hair, fur, blanket, smoke, etc.


No doubt,  jewelry items require some special editing and polishing to make them presentable and attractive to the customers. To do so, you must need assistance from professional retouchers (individuals or agencies). In this article, we tried to put together all the necessary information so that you can prepare yourself in the area of jewelry photography. Besides, you’ve got the methods to retouch the items like a pro. Hopefully, it will be a helpful guideline for both beginners and professionals.