Photographing jewels is unique because you’re creating a memory that will remain with people as one of the most important moments of their lives. It is a great responsibility that must translate into the creation of a perfect product like the perfect moment that brings it back to mind.
The jewel has always been the protagonist in the history of humanity. An expression of femininity, power, pure ornament. This simple symbolic element, a sign of royalty and wealth. It has existed for as long as the human being, full of almost magical meaning and power. We have always linked jewels to famous people, to royalty, to noble lineages the protagonists of our most cinematic stories and fantasies. And the charm of photographing a jewel while it is worn reinforces the dream ideal in the imaginary story we want to create.
A good photograph must highlight the salient features of a piece of jewelry that make it enticing, desirable. Rings, watches, earrings, bracelets and colliers, and precious stones have complex and reflective surfaces that require images as sharp and perfectly detailed as they are.
Jewelry photography presents numerous challenges to best portray the precious, which only a true professional is able to successfully face. Experience and preparation are essential.
In addition to the technical problem of the lights and the precision of the focal lengths of the lenses, we must also take into account the character who wears them, his aesthetic and stylistic preparation, and the entire production process all leading to the moment of the click.
And while managing all the practical aspects of the organization and shooting, we must always be tuned into the direction of the set to ensure it conveys the idea proposed in the collective imagination.
Unlike still-life and product photography, where the technical aspects are privileged and become ever closer to virtual reality with technological evolution, photographs of jewelry being worn take this to the next level. It requires not only the elements of extreme quality, but also the aesthetic canons of lightness and expressive emotion. In this way, jewelry photography combines the characteristics of still-life and portrait, along with aspects related to fashion photography.
Of all the jewelry-related shoots I have done, I remember one that stands out in particular.
It was an editorial shot in Paris for a fashion magazine, featuring the most high-end jewelery brands. I imagined some everyday moments of a woman spoiled by the desires of gluttony that she had sublimated, accompanied by many jewels equally showy in colors and shapes, like the sweets she devoured. By combining desires, colors, and emotions, I then mixed the natural light of the rooms with that of the continuous daylight projectors, so that I could capture enough engraving on the jewels while also capturing the reality of the environment in the inhabited world of the location. The contrast of this naturalness on a whim, mixed with an accurate illustration of these precious, unique pieces of inestimable value, resulted in a story brimming with emotion and meaning.