Tricks when shooting on a black background


Clients often ask me to shoot jewellery on a white background so that they later have an option to digitally place that image onto any background.  In some instances, this can and does work.  If, however, a very dark background is needed, then the jewellery pieces often won’t appear to sit realistically on that background.

To capture a product that looks like it matches its environment, it needs to literally ‘exhibit’ some of its surroundings, and vice versa.   This often means showing a slight reflection of, say, a ring band in the background underneath it, or where two pendants hang next to each other, showing one pendant reflected in the other.

When a client does not want the images to have any reflections, like in this example, then each piece photographed needs to show a lot of contrast and dark black areas.  The quickest way to create this is to shoot the jewellery on the black background itself.  Capturing this, whilst also making sure important details are not lost in that darkness, is a bit of an art form and a key reason clients hire professional commercial photographers.

This is an advertisement in the Autumn 2014 issue of the Scoop magazine.