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Using a model to take photos

Hi all, I just finished a series of necklaces which I want to
photograph using a model and really need to know how to do this. I am
going to use a model with dark Indian type skin color as this will
show my work off better in the photo. I want it to look dramatic
rather than just a record or the piece so side lighting is a must.
Problem is I have a time and money constraint. Also I don’t have
time to take them all to a studio and must go to the gallery, take
them off the stands one by one, put on the model, take the picture,
go on to the next one, etc. I will be using a SR camera and a digital.
Please tell me the best way to do this and with more time what would
be the ideal way.

Many thanks from
Sharron in Kuala Lumpur

Make sure you have something black to absorb the light on the
opposite side of the light source, which should be pointing at a
large soft reflector. The best portraits I ever took were in an
apartment where the only natural light came from the reflection of a
light colored brick wall coming through glass doors. With the indoor
lights turned off, the effect was like having a large soft reflector
on one side, with no reflections coming from opposite the light. The
portrait was soft but very dramatic.

DMGreer, LLC

Hi Sharron; I’ll try to weigh in on this one.

  1. Professional lighting. This means 3 point lighting minimum.
    Key, fill, and back or hair light. You’ll have to give the model
    some depth and roundness and make her/ him attractive. Plus there
    will have to be accent lighting on the piece. After all, that is the
    point of the photo - to show off the jewelry. Depending on the area
    photographed you may need something on the background also.

  2. The model must be done up. Nice clothes and make-up. Attention
    must be paid to make-up throughout the shoot - the lights can get hot
    while underneath them for any amount of time and people start to

  3. Get in tight. Don’t take full length portraits - the important
    part is your piece and you’ve got to get close.

If you want more detailed coaching contact me off list with any


Hi, Sharron.

I assume that dark-skinned models should be easily located in Kuala
Lumpur. Also, for necklaces, shop for a model who does not have
prominent collar- bones, as they make gaps between necklace and
model, casting distracting shadow. As for side lighting, time your
photo sessions for sunrise and sunset, outdoors. That kind of
lighting is prevalent in swimsuit and other outdoor fashion genres

Good luck!
Dan Woodard

Sharron. One more thing to consider. If you going to take close-up
shots to show details of the jewellery, you may want to use body
makeup! See that even the most beautiful skin would look not all that
nice a background when you are focusing on small jewellery details.
This could save you allot of work with Photoshop. [I did try to use a model once.] Love & Light akash

As for side lighting, time your photo sessions for sunrise and
sunset, outdoors. That kind of lighting is prevalent in swimsuit
and other outdoor fashion genres 

This is true, but you don’t szee all the suplimental bounce cards,
reflectors, and/ or light on the fill side of the subject.

And I don’t think outdoors would be ideal for all styles. For
instance, it would fight with something that had an industrial look.