(Extra credit to anyone who can name the movie from which I took this post’s title.)
When I first got engaged, I would come home and report in what light my ring looked best. I experimented for a while but, as it turns out, it was the elevator in the building where I was working at the time. It had that low-bright light of a good jewelry store.
The memory of my early engagement got me thinking about jewelry photography. While I am sure that there are people who specialize in photographing jewelry, I am not informed in that regard. So, I will have to leave the topic of famous jewelry photographers for another day. Instead, I would like to talk about some of the things I like to see in photos designed to sell jewelry — the information I think the pictures should impart.
As the pictures below make clear, I think jewelry should be modeled on a person. As I have mentioned, as far as I am concerned, the fact that it is worn is what makes jewelry a special art form. It is an extension of the human body like nothing else. Secondly, when photographed on a person, the jewelry’s scale and proportion becomes clear. Of course, the up close, magnified shots are useful to show quality and I understand why jewelry designers take them — it is damn hard to make a piece of jewelry and one wants to the show the detail. But, at the end of the day, that is not how we truly experience jewelry. We experience it on people and in the world. Movement. Light.