Gemstone Necklace Photoshoot

This beautiful blue gemstone necklace photography class is the first in a series of jewellery photo shoots.

This class provides a detailed explanation of the entire process, from selecting and creating backgrounds to testing lights and adding interesting props. Karl also explains a few common mistakes when it comes to jewellery photography and how you can overcome these.

Using just three lights, he combines a graduated ambient light with a few extra light sources to make the gems sparkle. He then experiments by adding small black stones for a more interesting final shot.

In this class:

  • Product photography: How to photograph jewellery
  • Jewellery photography tips
  • Common mistakes when photographing jewellery
  • Lens choices for jewellery photography
  • Studio lighting setups for jewellery photography
  • How to make jewellery sparkle
  • How to photograph juxtaposing textures

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Hi Karl,

    Outstanding, I love the composition, use of matte black tiles and black granular particles and the lighting brings out the color and sparkle perfectly!

    I’m curious if you think using the KT Light Cone could also work for a setup like this?

    Much appreciated,

    1. Hi Ivan, yes the lightcone is ideal for jewellery for full wrap around lightng but interestingly you would also need to apply the techniques that I just mentioned in my reply to you the electric guitar comments.

  2. Hi Karl:
    Great class, as usual in your videos.
    Would be useful a ringflash would be useful for this kind of photos?

  3. Hello Karl, Thanks for another very informative class. May I ask why you preferred the Acryl sheet instead of a scrim? Thanks in advance for the help!

    1. Hi, in this instance mostly because I didn’t need something as big as my scrims for this and it was easier and simpler to handle and acrylic sheet for this shoot.

  4. Hi Karl
    Great lesson and very useful tips to learn. Can you please let me know the dimensions of the acrylic sheet with thickness in mm. Thanks

    1. Hi Muls they were 5mm thick black matt acrylic. I don’t know the square size I’m afraid as I don’t have them anymore but surely you would make that decision based on the size of the jewellery?

      1. It is my bad that I was not clear in my question, What I wanted to know is the dimension and thickness of the White Acrylic Sheet ,the big one which you used for diffusion. I want to buy one . Sorry Karl for the inconvenience. Thanks & Regards.

        1. Hi Muls, the white acrylic is also 5mm (white opal) I also have 3mm sheets but they are not as rigid but still diffuse the light well. This one was about 120cm x 100cm which is a good size to clip to a grip on a C-stand as in this video. If you’re using hot modelling lamps very close to the acrylic remember to switch them off as they will warp the acrylic.

  5. Hi Karl,

    thank you for the beautiful videos!

    What lighting solutions would you recommend for tabletop product photography (jewelry), in a small space with no room to move large light stands around? I seem stuck between small led panels (not enough power and versatility?), and speedlights (no modeling capabilities). Better options? I’m a jeweler wearing the hat of product photographer for my online store – probably not your intended audience, but here I am. Thank you!

    1. Hi, I feel your pain given your space etc but the only thing I can think of is to use your LED panels through diffusion material like we did in the class above or try something like this class – there is not really an easy solution for perfect results on jewellery. Other options are for your studio space to be a perfect white box and you bounce light of the blank white walls but if you only have LED’s that will be tough. The fundamentals of how things can be lit come down to the physics of lighting and understanding how it reflects and the difference between hard and soft light, when you understand these fundamentals you can often work out things yourself so you should find this class useful –

    1. Hi, the slate came from a building supply store that does exterior stone, paving etc. The artificial one was something Anna had made in Moscow and shipped to us it is a moulded plastic thing that has been painted.

  6. Hi Karl, thanks for the amazing tutorials!
    I would like to ask you if the clients still hire product photographers or do they prefer 3D rendering?
    Is worth it for a new photographer to invest on product photography or soon 3D, CGI will cover entirely this kind of photography?
    Thank you again!

    1. A very good question and something we are covering in great detail soon. Currently many clients still prefer real photography, others like Rolex (see their instagram feed) have gone totally CGI.

  7. Awesome tips. Hope to see more examples when you have the time. Used to photography entry-level jewelry for fun for my website.

  8. This content never disappoints! Another great video. I think I prefer the image with the fine stones added in. Adds a little more interest for me. Lovely!

  9. Thank you for making such great videos.

    Please could you let me know if the acrylic used for diffusing the light is frosted (clear) or white opaque (light box type)?

    I’m looking forward to experimenting.

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