photo shoot prep

Materials For Your Editorial Shoot

Sara Rey Jewelry Photography
Sara Rey

Sara Rey

Materials For Your Editorial Shoot

In preparing for your photo shoot, we'll source any materials that we want to use as backdrops & props in the photos. Here's a simple list to give you some ideas. What resonates with you?

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, and hopefully it will inspire some of your own ideas for objects that will be perfect for your project.

And remember, your images don’t need to be filled with elaborate props & backdrops to be impactful. Some of the most beautiful photos are artfully arranged pieces of jewelry in a simple scene. Props & backdrops should play a supporting role in your photos, and appear only to help tell the story of your brand or collection.

PROP & BACKDROP IDEAS

  • Fresh florals
  • Fresh greenery
  • Stones
  • Mineral specimens/crystals
  • Dried florals
  • Flower petals
  • Moss/lichen
  • Branches/twigs
  • Fresh or dried fruits
  • Driftwood
  • Shells
  • Sand
  • Sea glass
  • Candy
  • Herbs/spices (fresh or dried)
  • Vases/vessels (glass, ceramic, etc.)
  • Powders (flour, cement, etc.)
  • Mesh produce bags
  • Brand packaging (boxes, pouches)
  • Solid colored backdrops
  • Acrylic blocks/risers (white, black, clear)
  • Wood blocks/risers
  • ¬†Cement blocks/risers
  • Steel blocks/risers
  • Glassware (champagne, lowballs, bottles)
  • Dishware
  • Ring cones or other props
  • Jewelry-making tools
  • Marble objects or backdrop
  • Wood objects or backdrop
  • Slate backdrop
  • Leather
  • Gauzy linen fabric
  • Lace
  • Velvet
  • Other fabrics
  • Paper cutout shapes
  • Books¬†
  • Magazines
  • Newspaper
  • Stationery
  • Mirror discs
  • Perfume bottles
  • Vintage jewelry boxes
  • Vintage hand mirrors
  • Vintage skeleton keys
  • Glasses or sunglasses
  • Picture frames
  • Trays (metal, wood, mirror, stone)
  • Stamps
  • Maps
  • Hairbrush
  • Makeup
  • Ribbon
  • Candles
  • Game pieces/boards
  • Desk objects/supplies (pens, rulers, etc.)

Building Your Creative Shoot

$200
Sara Rey

Sara Rey

Building Your Creative Shoot

When it comes to planning a creative photo shoot, we'll start by working together to come up with the aesthetic vision for the project. Below, find a summary of some of the things we'll discuss.

What's Inside

Story

Is there a story that you want to tell with this set of images? It may relate to your company itself, or it may be specific to the collection that you’re launching. You can also think of the story as the “scene” of the image, or the theme. It could be a beach picnic, or a working woman’s desk, or a secret garden.

Although it can be a helpful jumping off point, your images certainly don’t need to have a complete story. Sometimes just a vibe or a particular aesthetic is enough to communicate.

Brand Words

What are the words that you associate with your brand, your designs, or this specific collection? You likely already have some in mind, but here are some ideas:

  • Modern
  • Ethereal
  • Bold
  • Edgy
  • Classic
  • Feminine
  • Vintage
  • Luxurious
  • Bohemian
  • Artful
  • Energetic
  • Traditional
  • Quirky
  • Glam
  • Sleek
  • Free-spirited
  • Minimal
  • Bright
  • Romantic
  • Architectural
  • Clean
  • Airy
  • Colorful
  • Mysterious
  • Simple
  • Futuristic
  • Sophisticated
  • Warm
  • Relaxed
  • Elegant
  • ¬†Soft
  • ¬†Natural
  • Earthy
  • Retro
  • Vibrant
  • Chic
  • Energetic
  • Masculine
  • Breezy
  • Beachy
  • Fresh
  • Urban
  • Geometric
  • Eclectic
  • Playful
  • ¬†Dramatic
  • ¬†Sexy
  • ¬†Organic

Composition

Do you like full, voluminous images, or do you prefer a simpler composition where the jewelry & lighting do the heavy lifting?

There’s no right or wrong answer. I tend to look at fuller compositions as more of a story-telling image, where you’re trying to express a mood more than document every detail of the jewelry. On the other hand, simpler compositions tend to have fewer props & other objects in the image, so the jewelry really is the sole focus.

Needless to say, we can do a combination of these styles that will be cohesive & suitable for different purposes.

FULL COMPOSITION

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SIMPLE COMPOSITION

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Tone

In this case, tone is referring to whether you prefer light, medium, or dark images. This impacts things like which backdrops we choose & how we use our studio lighting.

LIGHT

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MEDIUM

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DARK

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Colors

For large sets of images, it’s good to have a plan for how color will be used. Color shows up in a few ways: the backdrop material, the props, and occasionally the light itself.

A good rule of thumb is to select 2-3 background colors (if you’re unsure, go with a neutral like white, grey, taupe, or black) & 3-5 accent colors that can be used in props and other materials that show up in the images.¬†This is also an opportunity to mix in your brand colors, if desired.

And don’t forget, monochromatic images make a big impression too! You don’t need to use a lot of color in your images to make them impactful.

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Lighting

I consider the quality of light to be on a spectrum from very soft, diffused light, to very harsh, defined light (and shadows).

Soft & diffused light is a neutral, flattering lighting style for jewelry & products. The shadows are natural & subtle. The viewer’s attention is focused on the objects in the image.

Harsh & defined light is dramatic. It casts long & dark shadows, and creates hot highlights on the objects in the image. This lighting style is associated with a more modern, bold, or edgy look.

SOFT & DIFFUSED

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HARSH & DEFINED

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Angles

There are three main viewing angles used in editorial photography:

  1. Overhead (used in flat lays, also called “bird’s eye view”)
  2. Face On (also called “head on” or “eye level”)
  3. Three Quarter (in between the overhead & face on view. Camera may be looking down at the jewelry at about a 45 degree angle.)
Most shoots combine all of these angles for different photos, but you may find that you really prefer a certain one. For example, a still life photo shoot will be utilizing almost exclusively a face-on view. On the other hand, a flat lay style shoot with be shot with the camera overhead, looking down on the scene.

OVERHEAD

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FACE ON

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THREE QUARTER

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Materials

Be sure to check out my blog post about materials that work great as props & backdrops in jewelry photo shoots.

Jewelry Photography Angles

Please use this page as a visual guide to select the angles you’d like your jewelry photographed at. It helps us communicate clearly about the type of photos you want, and is used as a reference to maintain consistency in your projects over time. Don’t see the angle you want? No worries – send us an example and we’ll match it for you!

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