DIY – Product Photography

DIY Product Photography via Everything Golden Blog

As a one-woman-run operation, I carry out all the tasks of running my shop. One of those tasks and arguably, the most important one, is taking quality, eye catching photos. I owe this experience to my dear friends at Vickerey.com, who taught me everything I know about product photography and gave me the room to explore and learn. At Vickerey, I had access to amazing lighting and all the best equipment. Now, in my humble little operation, I need to get creative with what little resources I have. Luckily, I have always preferred natural light over artificial. Now, I either take my photos outside or in our sunroom. My process is very simple and involves very little, so I thought I’d share my process in hopes that it will help other makers out there who pour so much love into what they do, yet struggle to give their work justice through presentation. 

I use a white matte piece of poster board that I tape to a wall creating a curved background like this.

white board

Again, I will either set this up outside out of direct sunlight, or in our sunroom. Sometimes, I use a reflector like this one to brighten the subject, or use the filter to diffuse the light. However, I find it’s best if I can find the right place with the perfect amount of natural light, this might take some experimentation to find the right time/place. I usually use my SLR camera because I like to have control over the aperture and shutter speed, however I have had success using my iphone, especially if I’m taking the photo to post to Instagram. Now for the editing part…

I have used Photoshop for years but it’s really expensive. So, on my laptop at home, which is where I do most of my editing, I use Pixelmator which costs only $30. I find that I rarely miss Photoshop when I’m working with this program. There are only a few actions I use to enhance the photos.

photo unedited

Here is the unedited photo. I like to brighten and make it pop as much as possible without making it look fake. I find that often when I upload a photo to the web it ends up looking darker, so I’m pretty liberal about brightening.


The first action is to adjust the curves like so.

brightness contrast

Then I bump up the brightness and contrast a touch.

extra layer

Then I create a new layer on top of the original photo and using the eyedropper tool, I select the brightest area of the white background. Then using the paintbrush at about 25% opacity I brush around the outer edges of the photo to brighten the edges. It wasn’t as necessary on this particular photo but I often find that the photos have a subtle vignette that I like to smooth out. Then I take the eraser and erase any areas where the brush might have covered the subject. Also, it’s fun to get creative with props. I often like to use triangle shaped rocks, or driftwood to prop up jewelry and add some interest, especially if I’m going to use on social media.

Let me know if you find this helpful. If so, I’ll share some other tips, like photographing clothing, shoes, etc…

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  • Leah

    Great post! What camera settings do you use? I also take photos of jewelry and I’m having a difficult time getting everything in focus while still letting enough light in.

    • goldenstyle

      Thanks Leah! I use the manual setting and adjust according to the light. I recommend photographing outside (out of direct sunlight), that should provide plenty of light. Good luck!

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