Ring photography: who wants to see the hand of the maker?

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Ring photography: the hand of the maker is not the hand of the model
ring photography: this is the hand of the maker
The hand of the maker, not of the model

Making good pictures of rings is quite challenging. Ring stands are used to show a ring in the best light. But the most important image of the ring is the one on the wearer’s hand.

Imagine… you just finished your ring and you are very proud of yourself. Your creation looks exactly how you wanted it to look. Then you hurry up to catch the last daylight for making some good shots. Of course you do not wear any manicure. Most hands of jewelery makers bear the traces of their activities, such as cutting, filing, soldering, polishing, bending. And their nails are short and unpolished, incidentally with some dirt under and around.

But as proud as you can be about some ‘working dirt’ on your creative hands, as disgusting the customer might find it. The customer does not want to see the hand of the maker, she wants to see the hand of the model.

Most hobby jewelry makers do their own ring photography. They can not afford models. And they just overlook the important fact mentioned above.

I have learned my lesson from a real-life experience. One day I received a convo on Etsy.com with the following words “I was going to purchase it until I saw it on the dirty fingernail hand… Changed my mind and I believe it will change others also. you need a new hand model sorry”. (American) etsy buyers can be very blunt. But I was actually grateful to this lady, because she took the time to write. How many people would just pass by without saying anything? Admit, there was a very thin line of dirt around one of the nails. Only to be seen under the magnifying glass. But these etsy close-ups (sometimes 10 times the real size) are merciless.

ring photography: 'cut fingers'
‘cropped’ fingers

The first step was to study critically all my ring images and just crop them, cutting off the unattractive nail part. But then I realised that it does not do justice to the ring. My rings are designed to make the wearer’s hand beautiful, the fingers –  more long and slender. How can it be shown without full-length fingers?

My hands – in spite of slowly progressing arthritis – are still attractive enough to be used as a model. I just had to find some trick for the lack of manicure. And I found a quick-fix.

Ring photography: the remedy
ring photography: fake nails with natural look
Fake nails: the remedy


with nails
Full length

At a drugstore I bought a set of fake nails, to be glued onto the real ones. You can actually use them without gluing. However it is tricky to cover them with varnish if they are unglued. I would also advise to make several nail sets with different colored varnish for rings with different colored stones. And take pictures of several rings in one session. Then you might even want to glue the nails for a while and take them off after the photosession.

And now look at this full-length picture showing the ring on the finger. It does make a difference, doesn’t it?

The hand of the maker can be used as model. Just with some creativity. But being creative persons jewelry makers have a lot of it.

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