Taking photos of your jewelry designs have never been easier. That is largely to do with continually improving smartphone cameras. Computational photography where "digital image capture and processing techniques that use digital computation instead of optical processes" to improve the quality of photographs is what makes smartphone cameras so useful.

The vast majority of us now own smartphones. Why not use the camera you already have ?Many of us may never bother with purchasing dSLR cameras where the learning curve can be steep.

But you need a smartphone grip and stand in order to avoid blurry shots. There are many makes on the market today. I actually have two grips - the part which holds the smartphone.  The Davoice one on the right is still available and inexpensive.    One stays in my studio and the other is in my teaching kit as I sometimes take photos of student designs.

These grips are spring loaded - just pull the grip apart, place the smartphone and then release the grip. On one hand, the spring action makes it quick and easy to mount the smartphone. But I have occasionally found my smartphone "snapping" off when I loaded it awkwardly.

BTW It pays to have a good quality smartphone case.  I purchased a super strong aramid carbon fiber (used in bulletproof body armor) case from Mous which amused my hubby no end. He wondered why would a Canadian need a Kevlar-like phone case? That is because this Canadian is a klutz and has dropped her iPhone numerous times! My iPhone 6S is still going strong.  The company (I have no association with them except as a customer) is known for promotions involving extreme iphone case testing like this one which subjected phones to a 1200 ft drop from a helicopter!

Also shown above are the two types of small tripods I use.  They both have pros and cons. The mini tripod on the left  is inexpensive, light and portable. But what I like it best for is the extendable legs which gives me 3 different heights - useful if I were doing jewelry shoots using a head and shoulders only mannequin or doing a selfie with the camera on the table. I was less keen on the the flexible leg type like this one mainly because it took time to fiddle with the legs.

But I recently had to purchase a new grip. I have often told students that there aren't any mistakes they make which I haven't already done myself. Here is a new one.  What are the chances of a drop of resin landing on my grip just so it would no longer open up? Sigh.

So I bought a new one which isn't spring mounted - the Vastar universal smartphone grip. I picked it because it can fit a larger phone which I plan to upgrade to. Like many grips, it will hold the phone in the horizontal or vertical position. It is larger than my old grip.

Attachment is secured with a screw action.

It works very well when I shoot straight ahead as for many of my tutorial situations. But as it is so tall, when I tilted it to take a near overhead shot, it tended to fall over. I could steady it with one hand but that defeated the purpose of having a stand!

I finally got round the problem by using the flexible leg stand - I turned all the legs forward which counteracted the forward weight of the grip and phone.

And here is the sample image of one of my past designs - arrow earrings using Tierracast findings! Once I had a stable tripod and grip, it took just a few minutes to take the photo and edit it.
These are just a few examples of the vast number of available grips and stands available in the market today.  Many are very affordable. You do need to pick one that will fit larger phones if that is what you've got.

I prefer small tripods as get the smartphone closer to small jewelry items than if you mount the grip on a full size tripod. You will have to move the latter as close as possible to your photography area. I personally find it more comfortable to be able to sit close to the photo studio when smaller stands are in use.

I used my iPhone 6S with the Camera+  app. I used the Orangemonkie studio which comes equipped with LED lights - for artificial light photography in my windowless basement studio. The Foldio2 is particularly affordable. I use the Foldio3 with the extra light bar because I need the room for tutorial photography.  

My online class Easy Guide to Smartphone Jewelry Photography is now available. Read more about it here.  

Before You Go:

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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