Digital Jewelry Photography Solutions >> Tips and Advice >> Buying Photos


Advertising agencies, jewelry designers and Internet jewelry retailers are rethinking their approach to the use of 'internet' imaging and are prepared to allocate and spend more money on better digital jewelry photography. How much are you prepared to pay a jewelry photographer to take the best photographs of your jewels? It depends on your budget and the end use for the image.

A number of years ago catalog and advertising photography was produced strictly from images photographed on film. There was no alternative but finding a good photographer who would produce excellent images. A photograph had to be sharp, well lit, well exposed and properly color separated.

There were no shortcuts - the quality of the image had to be very good. A full-page cover was the limit of what 35mm film could usefully deliver. In the beginning of the digital evolution, there were problems in maintaining quality images through the process of shooting, cropping and color correcting. Today, digital technology has not only surpassed the quality of film - it has made film unproductive for commercial use! And yet, many companies seem to be cutting back on their jewelry photography budgets. Why? Because they don't see the point in spending good money on an


image that will end up two inches wide on a web page. Internet images are about 250 pixels wide. Even images that are slightly fuzzy hold up well at this resolution. The images are so small, perhaps you don't feel you can justify the cost of hiring a professional jewelry photographer to take photographs.

This isn't because digital imaging makes jewelry photography easier to take - a good 35mm camera is just as capable and costs less. But with the lower resolution images that are displayed on a monitor, someone, somewhere in a factory, design studio, or retail store has decided that lower quality imagery is totally acceptable! However, photography is still a skill and an art. Buying a food processor doesn't turn you into a cook, and investing in a digital camera doesn't make you a jewelry photographer.

It is now even more important for web images to be well photographed, large, sharp and true-to-life in order to turn a web page into a sale-closing tool. Advertising agencies that created Internet presence for many leading retail jewelers in the past are now rethinking their approach. Why? Because good images, originally photographed for the Internet, can also be used for a multitude of other advertising purposes such as catalogs or magazine advertisements. There is also the consideration of improvements in technology, and the resolution of computer monitors. At the moment, computer monitors average about 15-17 inches in diagonal width. 

Their resolution is about 72-96 dots per inch, and a 250-pixel image appears to be about three inches wide.

But monitor technology is improving, and will ultimately be comparable with print resolutions. When we have 300 dpi monitors, that three-inch image is going to have to be much better. In effect, we will have gone full circle and will need to put the same amount of thought and consideration into our online jewelry photography as we do for print. And all those grainy, blurry 250-pixel images we have in our archive are going to be useless.

Why wait for the future? Improve the way your images are taken and presented now and your 'online presence' will thank you for it. Make sure that you receive from your jewelry photographer a high resolution version of the image you are paying for. Archiving those images will safeguard your investment and save you from additional expense in the future.

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