Quick Pictures of jewelry with a cellphone

Like most of us, I agonize over taking pictures of highly reflective silver jewelry. I sometimes say that I spend more time photographing it than making it. I have set up a permanent cloud dome setup including four 5700K lights, a tripod, and a permanent stand for my cameras. With all of this and very little knowledge of what I am doing, I take pictures of each of my major pieces for reference and to send to potential customers. I recently bought a google pixel cellphone and decided to try it out on a silver piece. To my great surprise, it takes great pictures just out of the box with very little adjustment needed. While it has a timer, I bought a bluetooth shutter release to keep from having to touch the camera and waiting for it to stop moving before taking the picture. It also has good color and depth of field. Attached should be a sample.


This is my improvised “light-bench-filming-setup!”. As you can all see, I’ve been improvising with the lights, Microscope & Monopod. All I’m doing is getting everything…into focus…lights come second with me!
All of this messing around does have it’s drawbacks, but just think of all the ‘fun’ you’re having?:>)
Remember ‘we’ are all creative, at the bench & very creative getting our filming done in our studio.

Rob’s Jewelry Photography Setup 4/8/17

Following is a series of pictures that show my jewelry photography setup. It is homemade out of PVC boards and a cloud dome. The second picture shows how I support a cuff bracelet on a nail that passes thru the background base. If you take a picture from directly above the bracelet, as shown in this setup, you don’t see the nail but the bracelet is held up off the background. I use ¼ - 20 hardware to secure the camera and camera shelf for the cellphone to the support arm. The support arm can move such that the camera can be closer or further away from the object being photographed. It is supported on a pin that passes thru one of many holes drilled along the length of the arm. The arm is secured to the support with a small clamp.

View of entire cloud setup. (Note: support arm can be moved up or down)

How to support the bracelet on a nail.

¼ - 20 Thumb screw and wing nut to hold camera or camera shelf in place on arm.

Camera held in place by ¼ - 20 fastener

Cell phone shelf with 1/4 - 20 nut in place

Shelf in place

Cell phone on shelf


Thanks for posting this cell phone pic information. I’ve tried a olloclip on my iPhone but the results aren’t nearly as good as your bracelet photo.
I never have time for photos and need something quick and easy.
Much appreciated!

I’ve been using a cloud dome for some time, taking pictures outside on the deck by natural light, and pretty satisfied with the results. This Christmas my daughter gave me a small folding setup and I’ve been suing it on the basement workbench where I have a large LED shop light. I’m surprisingly happy with the results. The cloud dome is good for avoiding reflections, but not so good at getting highlights and dynamics into the picture. Still experimenting. I love the idea of the cuff bracelet and the nail. I’m going to try that. My big bugaboo is photographing rings.

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Do a search on museum wax. It is this great stuff that you can mold into small shapes to support objects to display them and even photograph them. I sometimes put just a little on the end of the nail if the piece is smooth and slips off without it…Rob

Half of my fun in up-close, digital photographs is in the preparation. I could spend 1/2 hour just to take one photo. Time wasted? No way, but I gotta think how the viewer will see & learn from each ‘shot’ that I take!
Now when I start the filming, then I make a ‘story-board’ ahead of time!! Then as I film, I check off what I’ve done… off camera!

Gerry! from my mobile-phone!

OMG, how many burrs do you suppose you own? Thanks for sharing the photography set ups.

Richard, your question seems to reflect upon who said this verse once
before. The famous ladies’ name escapes me!
It’s not the burs in my life, but the life in my burs!” Let’s see I have
still 7 bur-pads each with about 30-40 burs in each! That could be an
estimate of 7x35=245 burs, in all!
I’m not counting the HSS burs, another 200, expensive collection at about
125 @ $15.00 each = $1,875.00…then a full-box set of 25 HSS burs of all
sizes @ $235.00 = $2,110.00…Ouch & OY! Now for those carbide burs at about
$1.50 each x 245= $367.50 plus the $2,110.00 = $2,77.50!
This is still my full collection, why so many? No one asked this before,
sometimes you might be needing some 7-8 burs of all different sizes for one
large setting project…Carbide & HSS. You must have a full range at hand,
no messing around…in my terms are you a Diamond Setter, or a simple once
in a while ‘claw-setter’?
On the weekends you aren’t going to shop at a tool supplier, because they
are closed, so you need a full range of burs in your inventory…a.k.a.
more burs!!!
Richard, you could simply have in excess of $4,000.00 of burs all near
your setting bench, get my drift?

Gerry Lewy
Toronto, Ontario.

“It’s not the men in my life that count, it’s the life in my men.” --Mae West

I had to laugh when I read this…:-)… I learned setting from a real master–the best setter I have ever seen. He was Russian and learned diamond setting and goldsmithing in Shanghai in the '30’s. He was a goldsmith’s goldsmith. We used only gravers–no burs at all. Ever. For all kinds of settings. Everything was done totally by hand. None of his stones ever fell out, and his settings were beautiful! Never saw any which could compare…

Janet in Jerusalem