black gradient

Solid Black

A couple weeks ago I did a quick shoot for Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry. Like most people with a pulse, I am a big fan of Adam’s work. His vision in creating unique designs and showcasing beautiful stones is remarkable.

As with previous shoots, we did a mix of solid black and black gradient backgrounds. I tend to prefer the lighting of the black gradient, but the solid black creates a nice seamless look on their black website theme. The setup for shooting is quite similar, with minor differences in lighting and focus.


Photo Shoot for WJA San Diego

Sara-Rey-Jewelry-Photography-Blog-161Katie Newell

Sara-Rey-Jewelry-Photography-Blog-163Zeta Greene


Nancy Meli Walker

  Sara-Rey-Jewelry-Photography-Blog-165Kathleen Lynagh

  Sara-Rey-Jewelry-Photography-Blog-166Eliana Zepeda Graham

  Sara-Rey-Jewelry-Photography-Blog-167Betsy Kinsey

I was excited to have had the opportunity to again do a summer photo shoot for the Women’s Jewelry Association San Diego Chapter. This is our chapter’s second year doing the Makers Project, which is an event that brings together about 25 women jewelry artists throughout Southern California and challenges them to make a piece of jewelry inspired by the year’s theme. The pieces are then photographed by yours truly, put into a catalog, and  auctioned to the public. The artists are so generous to donate their pieces, and the proceeds of the auction go to the WJA’s Scholarship funds, allowing women around San Diego and the U.S. to further their professional educations in the jewelry industry. This year’s theme is “She Inspired Me,” and each artist created a piece based on female figures that have inspired them personally and/or in their careers. As with last year, this year’s batch of pieces is remarkable, and I’m sure will lead to another very successful auction. The auction takes place next Saturday, July 29th, in San Diego. If you’re in the area, you can find more details about the event by visiting WJA’s website here.

Black & Blue



Here are some photos from another recent shoot for Adam Neeley Fine Jewelry. The necklace was photographed in front of a black acrylic board to achieve the solid black setting. The tanzanite ring was photographed in a black gradient setup (a black acrylic board with mostly back lighting and less side/front lighting). To achieve two angles of the same ring in a shot like this, I set up my camera and kept it in place while I first photographed the ring laying down on the left side of the frame, then moved it to a standing position on the right side of the frame. Then I layered the two images in Photoshop and so that they appear to be next to each other in one image. This is a much more complicated process than doing something similar on a white background, but I like the effect.


New Shoots on Black Gradient


Most of us in the industry recognize the name Adam Neeley. He’s won several design awards over the past decade and you’ve most likely seen one of his pieces at some point on the cover of trade magazines. So it goes without saying that I was excited when I got the opportunity to do a shoot for the designer. Adam sent down a few of his pieces for a test shoot on a black gradient background, as well as some on solid black. I think these images turned out beautifully, and absolutely enjoyed working with the team at Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry.

Based On A True Story


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It takes a certain type of artist to be able to create a scene depicting homicidal hamsters and still make you say “aww, cute.” Tara Magboo is definitely one such artist. This ring suite tells the tragic narrative of two hamsters (traditionally solitary creatures) put together in confinement, and the gruesome scene that unfolds. What’s cool about these rings as well is that each one has a moving or interactive part.

Tara’s stuff continues to look stunning on the black gradient background, and I continue to be impressed by her true artisanship and attention to detail.

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Did I ever tell you about that time I got to shoot a full size high heel made out of silver? Well, I did, and it was a-maz-ing! Tara Magboo, of Magboo, recently dropped off this treasure along with a couple other beautiful necklaces. I was excited to have an excuse to bust out my black gradient photography gear, and even more excited to photograph something so unusual as this! Tara certainly puts the artist in jewelry artist, and it’s always exciting to see what she has in her arsenal.

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