The Art of Pearl Photography

Pearl photography is certainly an art and capturing the beauty of this gem in a high-resolution image to be used online or in print is one of the most difficult aspects for any jewellery photographer.

The round surfaces of a pearl can throw off a reflection from any angle. Too much light and a pearl’s natural lustre will fade, diffusing its overtones of colour. Too much contrast can reduce a pearl’s natural beauty and will turn a wonderful organic gem into a harsh, metallic object.

Different types of pearl also complicate the photographer’s challenge.  The appearance of the soft white, cream and pink tones of a cultured Akoya pearl are very different to the shimmering complexity of a colour in a Tahitian pearl necklace.

When we are buying pearls for Winterson, we find that consistent lighting is very important so that we can understand the surface and lustre of a pearl fully. As the quality of a pearl can vary so widely, the skill of a photographer for our customers is to represent the jewellery as it would look in real life and yet convey its unique beauty.

We were delighted to see our pearls featured this month in an article on photographing jewellery in The Jeweller magazine and we would like to thank Paul Hartley for his exquisite photography.