Jewellery Photography – Gemstone Necklace

This beautiful blue gemstone necklace photography class is the first in a series of jewellery photo shoots.

This class provides a detailed explanation of the entire process, from selecting and creating backgrounds to testing lights and adding interesting props. Karl also explains a few common mistakes when it comes to jewellery photography and how you can overcome these.

Using just three lights, he combines a graduated ambient light with a few extra light sources to make the gems sparkle. He then experiments by adding small black stones for a more interesting final shot.

In this product photography class we cover the following:

  • Product photography: How to photograph jewellery
  • Jewellery photography tips
  • Common mistakes when photographing jewellery
  • Lens choices for jewellery photography
  • Studio lighting setups for jewellery photography
  • How to make jewellery sparkle
  • How to photograph juxtaposing textures

If you have any questions about this class, please leave them in the comments box below.


  1. Nice shot. Seems fairly simple. Will practice it this week. Curious if there is a difference between the tracing paper you normally use versus and that acrylic white board in this shot as far as lighting goes ? I guess why did you choose this white acrylic sheet ? Ease of use?

    1. Hi Jared, in something as mirror like as jewellery then it reflects anything such as even a ripple in the paper or the texture of the paper, acrylic doesn’t do this as it is smoother and flatter but it has disadvantages that it is heavy.

  2. Hi Jared. I have personally tested all 3 different types of diffusion material (Tracing paper, lea diffusion paper and acrylic sheet) Any one of them will do but the tracing paper can catch fire if the modelling light is to close to the scrim. I don’t think there is much a difference in terms of gradation of light between the acrylic and the paper. But the acrylic sheet is stiff and can work better in different scenarios. But this is the challenge with product photography as there is no one size fits all.

    On a side note.. Can you imagine the client saying. “Wow I love how blue you got the gemstone on our £14,000 necklace! How did you do that?” Karl would be like. ” Yeah we stuffed it with white tac.. 🙂

      1. So your going to laugh Karl. I had some drop off some antique jewellery for me to shoot today about 2 hours after my comment. Guess what! It had a purple stone on it and I needed to make it look lighter as I was shooting it on black. So what did I do?? Yeah. I stuffed it with white tac. Hilarious….

    1. Hi John, you can start bidding for Ashleigh but she’s very valuable to us, so you’ll need to put in a good offer! 🙂

  3. Hi Karl, another useful tutorial – many thanks.

    From a business point of view:

    How might the insurance work in this case? Is it the jeweller’s or the photographer’s insurance that covers the item ?

    Also, would a jeweller ever expect a shot of their piece ever to be done on their premises, therefore being able to keep the piece secure ?

    Thanks, again


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