Behind the Scenes of a Jewelry Lifestyle Photo Shoot

Last week I did a photo shoot for Leo's Wisdom, which is a company that makes handmade, high end jewelry. The purpose of the shoot was to provide the client with product shots and lifestyle images for their promotional needs. Their mood board for the shoot was filled with images depicting lush locations and high society. But we were shooting on a rainy day in Columbus, Ohio. So we made lemonade.

I have four Canon 430EX speedlites that I use for the lighting. Most of these scenarios are lit with one or two lights. Because the ambient light was low and orange, I found it best to set my speedlites at a lower output (usually around 1/8 power) and gel them orange to cool down but still retain some ambient light. The orange gel also allowed the outside light, as well as any ungelled strobes, to go blue, which made a nice accent.

nick fancher apparel photographer Lit with one speedlite, white umbrella.

nick fancher apparel photographer Main light- one speedlite, white umbrella. Background- one bare bulb speedlite.

nick fancher apaprel photographer Main light- one speedlite, white umbrella, gelled orange. Stairs- one bare bulb speedlite, ungelled.

nick fancher apaprel photographer Main light- one speedlite, white umbrella. Table Light- one bare bulb speedlite.

nick fancher apaprel photographer Main light- one speedlite, white umbrella, gelled orange. Background Light- one bare bulb speedlite, gelled orange.

nick fancher apaprel photographer Main light- one speedlite, white umbrella.

nick fancher apparel photographer Main light- one speedlite, white umbrella.

nick fancher apparel photographer Main light- one speedlite, white umbrella.

nick fancher apparel photographer Main light- one speedlite, white umbrella, gelled orange.

nick fancher apparel photographer Lit with one speedlite, white umbrella.

Lighting lessons like this one as well as 25 other lighting diagrams are available in my new e-book, RGLR, The Run & Gun Lighting Resource for $10. 

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9 Comments

Andrew Griswold's picture

Really happy to see you getting that GoPro into use! Loved the feel of these photos man, absolutely stunning. Getting to see your process on a shoot is amazing!

I am also impressed with your 2 lens setup, I had a handfull of lenses passed down to me when I started and I am trying to lighten the bag to 2-3 lenses but its easy to get lost with wanting all those options on the go if it can all fit. What happened to the 24-70? Any reason you went with the 70-200 and the 35 specifically?

I used the 24-70L mark 1 for years, but was never super happy with the sharpness. When the mark 2 came out, the value of the mark 1 went up, so I did an even trade for the 35 1.4L and I don't regret it at all. The 70-200 f/4L IS is my other lens, and is super sharp and lightweight. I love it. The only other lens I want to add is the 100 2.8L macro.

Andrew Griswold's picture

Makes sense. I started out with a cheapy 50 1.8. Then my father in law passed down his 50 1.4, 28-135 2.8, 15 fisheye, 60 Macro and 16-35L 2.8. So far the past year has been experimenting with each and finding which of these I really use constantly. I keep going back to the 50 1.4 but starting to play with the 16-35 lately and the images are incredibly sharp! The length is perfect for most shoots that I am doing now and has come in handy when the 50 is just way too long.

I will say the 60 macro, though its not an EF, does incredibly well. If I had a FF I would def snag a 100 macro but with a 60D I see no reason to get one. Maybe down the road as the work fills up.

Outstanding work Nick! Now if we can pick your brain for post production tutorials that would be great. lol awesome that you only use small flash guns to get these results.

Thanks man! I used Trevor's matte Lightroom tip as a starting point and add warm tones to the shadows and highlights- http://fstoppers.com/how-to-create-the-popular-matte-look-in-lightroom

thanks for sharing, nick. these are beautiful shots - especially for a rainy day in c-bus. did you have to rent out multiple rooms at that venue? it looks like you covered quite an area. really nice work!

Thanks! We rented out the entire Athletic Club of Columbus.

Cool. Super simple set ups that can be emulated by us regular folk. Im not into the vintage kind of look from digital but it is suitable for this kind of style/work. Nice job. Also... the heading on facebook was sort of misleading...

Hank's picture

It's very nice to see people turn out great work with just a couple speedlights.