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THE MERITS OF PROFESSIONAL
JEWELRY PHOTOGRAPHY

An ongoing debate in the jewelry business is the merit and expense of professional jewelry photography. A jeweler's blog referred to jewelry photographers as insatiable, and lacking in necessary skills. A famous jewelry professional at a recent WJA (Women's Jewelry Association) meeting described professional jewelry photography as a 'useless trend'. And yet, jewelry photographers are energetically pursuing their craft, and I wish to offer jewelry manufacturers, designers and retailers another opinion on the subject. 

I consult advertising agencies regularly about the worth of quality jewelry photography. In a recent newsletter sent to my clients I reiterated the following: Except for the investment in design and production, an investment in professional jewelry photography is arguably the most important decision a jewelry professional will make. The jewelry may be fabulous, the diamonds timeless, the designs stunning, the metal precious, and the entire jewelry collection magnificent... but failing to inspire the potential consumer with a beautiful photograph, the jeweler will miss the opportunity to close the sale and recover a fraction of his/her initial investment. Without producing an outstanding digital
reproduction of the jewel, often the only actual jewel the consumer will see and be inspired by before a

 


purchase, the perceived savings of in-house photography will be the only gain at the end of the day.

For the average jeweler, the pressures of additional expense have a way of blurring the true importance of jewelry photography. A crisp, vivid, true to life digital capture of the jewelry is the best, and often the only, chance to sell the product. The design and details you have worked so hard to create, the shape, the metal, and the stone - these elements that create the art and the mood are best appreciated and reproduced when viewed through the eyes and the lens of the professional jewelry photographer.

I do not mean all this to be a personal ad or absolute endorsement of all jewelry photographers. However, among my clients, over 85% emphasize the importance of finding a good jewelry photographer and not skimping on the photography budget. Jewelers who have had both positive or negative photography experiences still advise other jewelers to invest in professional jewelry photography.

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