How to Photograph Jewelry with Your iPhone (6 Steps)

How to Photograph Jewelry with Your iPhone (6 Steps)

Diamond jewelry on a colored background
Can your iPhone take stunning jewelry images?

If you already have tried taking photos of your jewelry, you must have known that it is not the easiest photography subject. These pieces of jewelry, no matter how small they are, are very challenging to capture images. Their size, the way they shine, and their hundreds of small details could make the image terrible with just one wrong move. 

For online jewelry sellers, beautiful images of the jewelry pieces that they sell are everything. But, how will you take beautiful images of these shining jewelry pieces? Do you have to hire a professional photographer or invest in a high-end camera device? Is that within your budget? Can you use your iPhone to do so? Certainly, yes. But how?

Take a look at the following steps and find out how your iPhone can capture beautiful images of different jewelry pieces. 

1. Place your jewelry on a flat surface.

Silver bracelet on a wooden background.
Using a flat surface helps you display your jewelry pieces better.

When a piece of jewelry is placed into a flat surface, you have the flexibility to get the best possible angle from which you will capture the image. It also gives you the chance to capture the piece of jewelry from the angle that you have always wanted. For example, you want to capture every small detail of a necklace, then putting it on a flat surface is your best choice.

In addition, capturing jewelry images that are placed on a flat surface helps lessen the appearance of crooked jewelry pieces in the final output which could just add up to the things that you need to do. This is because crooked jewelry images will require you to straighten and align them.

2. Use a stabilization device. 

Silver tripod as a stabilizing device
Using a tripod will help you stabilize your camera to have clear images.

Just like in any type of photography, a stabilization device is also much needed in jewelry photography. Your iPhone has an internal image stabilization already but sometimes this is not enough to keep your device stable which means that you still have to use a stabilizing device with the like of a tripod. 

Using a tripod reduces camera shake which will end you up with an unclear, out of focus and blurry jewelry images. If you have a tripod on your own and plans to buy one, make sure that you check on the quality of the tripod and do not forget to check the length of the legs of the tripod as well. In addition, 

3. Create a good light source.

Necklace heart stones in white gold.
The natural light gives a soft light which makes the jewelry pieces look better.

Always keep in mind that it is impossible for you to take beautiful jewelry images without good lighting. And when it comes to jewelry photography, nothing beats a soft or diffused light. This is because soft or diffused light evenly distributes around the subject in as much as it reduces the occurrence of camera glare and harsh shadows as well. But this does not mean that you should stick with a soft or diffused light if you don’t actually have it. 

Your best option here is to use natural light as your source of light, but do not directly put your jewelry pieces in direct sunlight. These jewelry pieces might look pleasing in your eyes when exposed to direct sunlight but your camera will show you an entirely different story. This also means that using your camera’s flash is not your friend. 

What you have to do is to position your jewelry pieces near the door or window. What you need is an indirect light source so begin by looking for the perfect area in your house where there is enough natural light for your jewelry piece to look beautiful. If not, you can just buy a jewelry lightbox that you can actually use for a long time. 

4. Pay attention to your iPhone’s zoom capability and focus.

Gray iPhone's back detail.
Keeping your camera focused and steady will reduces camera shake and blurriness.

Posting out of focus jewelry images tells something about you and your brand. It will make your viewers or customers think that your products are cheap. Of course, you don’t want a negative review that is why you should always check if your camera is focused on the jewelry pieces. There are actually three simple things you can do to make sure that your focus is on point. These three things are as follows:

  • Keep your camera 1 to 2 meters away from your jewelry. Holding your phone too close to your jewelry is a big NO-NO since doing so will make you more prone to camera shake and blurry images. If you want to have a close image of your jewelry pieces, what you can do is to take the image not too close and then crop it later. 
  • Focus your iPhone camera to your subject by tapping your subject on your iPhone’s screen. Focusing your camera will give you clear and crisp images. Once you have tapped your screen, a little yellow square will appear. If it does not appear or your camera is still not in focus, try tapping it for a few more times or turn away your camera from your jewelry pieces for a few seconds. If it still won’t focus, then most probably, you are holding your camera too close to your subject 
  • Take a lot of images. Remember the line “The more entries you send, the more chances of winning?” Well, when it comes to photography, the more shots you take, the more chances you’ll get great images. This may sound so memory consuming but if you really are up to the challenge of having stunning jewelry images, then you have to do this. You can just choose which photos are the best and then simply delete the photos that do not pass your standards afterward. 

5. Invest in a good lens

Clip on macro lens in black
Using a macro lens will help you capture close up images of a jewelry piece.

Since what you are taking images are jewelry pieces that are absolutely small in nature, you’ll definitely need a good macro lens in order to get clear and crisp pictures. Aside from giving you clear and crisp jewelry images, the addition of a macro lens will also help you get through difficult lighting and focusing situations. This will also help you get a close-up picture of the jewelry pieces without actually using the built-in zoom of your iPhone since the built-in zoom of your iPhone is far different from what a macro lens could do. The macro lens has an optical zoom which keeps the image clear while your iPhone’s zoom might just decrease the quality of your jewelry images. 

6. Use applications

The Camera+ app interface
Editing your jewelry images taken on your iPhone is a good idea to enhance them.

There are a lot of applications today that you can use in order to level up your jewelry images. A good app which you can use is Camera+. The Camera+ app basically can do things such as lighting adjustments, cropping, special effects adjustments, and HDR and depth of field adjustments. Using the Camera+ will keep your worries away like you are not doing it well or you are not giving justice to the beautiful jewelry piece in front of you. 

Furthermore, you could also do some major edits or adjustments on the images that you have taken to enhance the overall outcome of the image. Some of the things that you could adjust include the exposure, lighting, white balance and so much more. You could also use filters if needed. When editing or doing some changes in your images, make sure that the editing that you have done does not overpower the natural original look of the image. Keep it at a natural level only instead.

Jewelry Background Photoshoot Ideas

1. White background

Diamond ring on a white background
Using a white background keeps the image clean.

The most popular way of taking jewelry images is using white as the background. This is because a white background does not just look clean but it helps expose the tiny yet important details of a jewelry piece. It helps viewers have a better view of the jewelry that could convince them that this jewelry is exactly what they want or need. 

2. Black background

Necklace with ruby pendant in black background
A black background creates a soft light.

Using a black background is also a great way to photograph jewelry images since a white background will help you create a soft light in as much as it lessens the appearance of shadows as well. Also, black could go with any color so you do not have to think if the color of the jewelry pieces you photographing match your background or not. Furthermore, a black background also adds up to the elegance of the jewelry pieces. 

3. Creative background

Ring on a hand of lovers
Creativity is underrated when it comes to jewelry photography.

There is nothing wrong if you want to go out of the ordinary and play with your background. For example, you could add more personality to your jewelry images by adding a pop of color to your background. Aside from adding a pop of color to your background, you could also try out different textures, styles, or objects to tell a different story. Be as creative as you can, just make sure that the jewelry pieces you are photographing still stand out.

4. Photograph with a model

A girl on a a white dress wearing a necklace
Having a model will help you showcase the real-life look of jewelry.

Jewelry pieces are to be worn so having a model to wear your jewelry pieces is a great idea too. This will give your potential customers an idea of how a piece of certain jewelry will look once worn. Having a model to wear your jewelry pieces while shooting does not necessarily mean that it should be a portrait image but it could be just the body part where the jewelry is worn. In as much as possible, the clothes that the model is wearing should not distract the potential customer from looking at the jewelry. The same goes for the model. If possible, use one color clothes and makeup only. 


Jewelry photography is indeed a fun and challenging experience combined together. Taking jewelry images is not as easy at it sound until you have totally understood and mastered how things go around – lighting, background, types of equipment and the like. A general rule that you should keep in mind when taking jewelry images is to keep things as simple as possible. Sure, you could add a few things but overdoing it will surely distract your viewers from where they should really be focused.