We often hear how people love our cremation jewelry product photography and every once in a while people ask how we get our images as sharp and colorful as we do. As such, a short guide as to how we photograph our jewelry (which is applicable to all jewelry, cremation or otherwise.)
The most important item to have is a good macro lense. We use a Canon 100MM Mark 2 IS stabilized lense. It's mounted to a 7D Canon camera body. This lense is super sharp, and also produces great bokeh (camera blur.) We use a 100MM as it narrows the angle of view, reducing cropping in post. We also put a polarizing filter on the lens to cut down on glare.
Generally, we try to do any jewelry photography on lightly cloudy days. This gives us enough light to step down to F2.8 - F4 at low ISO, but still retain the ability to go up to F8. We shoot a few frames at each F-Stop so we can have a nice pick between artistic and technical sharpness.
To get a proper blur, the jewelry is set up about 2-3 feet away from a relatively consistent background. Small leaved plants are great, as are tall grasses. We try to get the sun over our shoulder and shoot at eye level. Of course, the sun can be a double edged sword down here in Texas - our summers are over 100 degrees! As such, we tend to shoot first thing mornings when we get in.
Once the session is done, it's post! We use Lightroom to quickly edit down our selection. For a shoot of 200 pictures, we'll likely only post 8-9. We try to maximize the clarity of the cremation ash and internal jewelry structure along with showing the silverwork. As we're shooting with slight overcast, we warm up the picture slightly to a sunny look.
Pictures are resized (so the website doesn't choke on a 25mg file) and posted. And that's how we photography Spirit Pieces cremation jewelry!