When I began to try to master the intricacies of photographing my jewelry, I started with this, a cardboard box and a set of regular bulbs in clip-on aluminum light shades:
Then the roof leaked and destroyed my homemade box, so I broke down and bought this, the “Square Perfect SP500 Platinum Photo Studio In A Box”:
This set-up was in my library/spare room, and I went through many backgrounds, including a whole fairy-forest-in-a-box!
I was still having problems with color and lighting, so I left the expensive lightbox rig in the garage after the house flooded and purchased a Canon EOS Rebel T3 Red EF-S 18-55mm IS II:
On the advice of a friend who was a professional photographer at one point in his life I bought a collapsible reflector disk, and now this is my photography studio:
Looks a lot like a livingroom, heh? Well, it is and it’s mine, sprinkled with bits of the yard tracked in by my pups. To the left is a tall set of double doors that face west. These doors let in a considerable amount of ambient light from morning until early afternoon, and have turned out to be a perfect light source. To set up, I turn the ottoman on the left 90° and place one of the leather pillows on it:
Then I unroll and lay a piece of chocolate suede over both (the leather of the ottoman is too shiny; I wanted matte):
I push the other ottoman over against the first one, and stick the reflector in the gap:
Add my handmade necklace display (made of the same suede) and I’m ready to set up my piece of jewelry.
And here is my latest creation, waiting for me to sit down on the floor, or kneel as required, ready to shoot!
Post-editing, this is one of the shots I uploaded to my boutique:
Ta da! No special lights, no special lightbox, no special room, and very little to tuck away out of sight when I’m done.
Simpler, in this case, really is better. To read about my breakthrough “aha moment” in photography, start here.