Thinking Upside Down

Baroni Earring

The last few weeks I’ve been shooting the latest jewelry collections for Baroni Designs. These are all product shots to be used in their catalog and on their web site. Like most catalog shots, these are all shot on a white background. In the case of the products that hang, like earrings and necklaces, the background is a translucent piece of plastic that gets lit from behind with a soft box.

Most of the items are straight forward but every so often, as with any group of products, there’s one that throws you for a loop. In this case it was literally the loop that threw me.

For most of Baroni’s earrings I simply insert the ear hoop through a small hole in the plastic, just as if you were inserting it into your ear to wear it. The earring hangs as it naturally would. But for this one earring set, the loop itself is a large part of the earring’s design and it needed to be shown from the side. That ruled out the normal method I use.

I thought about laying it on a table, but the pearl, being much thicker than the wire would cause it to bend and not look like it was hanging.

I also thought about rigging it from some fishing line or a small hook and then Photoshopping it to remove the suspension device.

But by thinking upside down, I solved the problem in a way that looked natural and didn’t require any Photoshop work. I used a small piece of earthquake putty on the back side of the pearl and then stuck it to my piece of translucent plastic so it was hanging upside down. To get better separation of the white pearl from the white background, I surrounded the pearl with bits of black gaffer’s tape. Then I shot it as usual, with one soft box behind the plastic, and one soft box in front. I also used a small reflector card to control the specular reflections.