When a client brings jewellery to my studio to photograph, there are often bracelets in the mix together with earrings, necklaces and rings.
Photographing bracelets can be challenging, however I have been refining my photography techniques for over 15 years to ensure I can achieve the highest quality images for my clients. Choosing how to shoot a bracelet depends on the type of bracelet; bangles, chain bracelets or stiff chain bracelets. Each type of bracelet requires its own specific technique to achieve the best result.
As bangles are made out of a rigid piece of metal, they sit quite stiffly upright on the shooting table. They often have the most interesting part of the design on their top. For this reason, bangles are often photographed front on. I find that if a client wants only one angle shot for each bangle, this is the angle they prefer. Sometimes, I position the camera slightly higher, in order to show a small part of the back of the bangle, especially if it is a cuff or if there is an interesting clasp at the back.
Sometimes shooting bangles is best done from above looking down at them lying on the tabletop. If a bangle has an interesting shape or a hanging pendant, then this is the best way to show it. Certain bangles can also be photographed hanging, especially if they have a pendant detail.
The most time consuming and therefore expensive way to photograph bangles is having them sit upright. This is because special glues, props or studio accessories need to be used to help them stand up this way. These need to be removed digitally, adding to the cost of the overall job.
Photographing chain bracelets
The most popular way to photograph chain bracelets is straight from above, or from above but on a slightly lower angle (between 45 and 65 degrees). Clients like to see the bracelet form an even shape so in studio I have to use blowers or other ways of getting the small chains to position in a perfect circle or egg shape, as per clients’ instructions. Often, especially with very fine bracelets, I also photograph extreme close ups in order to show detail in each bracelet.
Photographing stiff chain bracelets
Sometimes bracelets are made with very stiff chains which do not allow the bracelet to lie flat on the tabletop whilst closed up with the clasp. Often these are the diamond tennis bracelets or similar designs. Most common angles for such bracelets is front on with a slight angle from above if the clasp is closed (between 5 and 25 degrees). If we can photograph the bracelet with the clasp open, then often the image is a close up. Sometimes the open bracelet can sit upright on the tabletop which allows for capturing an interesting front-on image.
Bracelets of course can also be photographed as hero images with props or using models. These often feature as headline webpage images and are used in client’s advertising campaigns.