Traditional jewelry photography is deeply rooted in the physical, and that process is no different for jewelry photographers in New York than those in Peoria. Jewelry photographers must invest in expensive cameras whose basic models begin at $500 and increase exponentially. Traditional photographers must invest in lighting which adds hundreds of dollars to their expenses. Jewelry photographers are also limited by the conditions in which they work: a stray bit of bad light can cause an entire photo shoot to be ruined; a ring positioned a few degrees off can appear awkward in the final product. More than even that, traditional jewelry photographers don’t have the flexibility to work without multiple variants of a piece in question.
Retailers are looking for Upper East Side quality in their photographs, but paying an Upper East Side price for every single piece of jewelry is too prohibitive for all but the wealthiest retailers.
Computer-Aided Jewelry Images
At Stark Jewelry Animations, traditional jewelry photography and computer design are wedded together to create a style of that takes advantage of the best qualities of both. Still, the digital technology is distinct from old-fashioned methods of capturing images: the way our jewelry technology works is different than traditional jewelry photographers’ work. Once hired, Stark’s process of image creation is straightforward and simple for retailers. Rather than having to invest in expensive photographic equipment, a retailer can take a simple digital picture of a piece of jewelry in question by way of smartphone or any other device, and send that to Stark. Once received, Stark begins the process of digitizing that photograph.
Once digitized, the image of the jewelry piece is sent to Stark’s trained team of digital artists. Using advanced computer programs, Stark’s team is capable of taking the raw information conveyed by the retailer’s photograph, and transforming it into a nearly identical image of the jewelry in reality. The benefits of this process are manifold:
A computer-aided jewelry image is just as beautiful as a professional photograph without being subject to environmental problems such as weather, lighting, or background artifacts.
Computer-aided images are manipulable by the animation team, retailers, and by potential customers, meaning that the image of a ring can be viewed at literally any angle.
As digital works, computer-aided jewelry images can be produced anywhere, reducing dependence on local photographers.
The computer-aided jewelry images are then placed in files and can be transferred to the retailer or further edited, depending on the tastes and requirements of the company.
Benefits of Computer-Aided Jewelry Imagery vs. Traditional Photography
One of the most prominent differences between computer-aided imagery and traditional photography is in price. The expenses that a traditional photographer incurs (particularly New York photographers and those in major centers of the jewelry trade) in purchasing photography equipment, renting or buying studio space, and paying for all other physical incidentals are part of the costs that a retailer must pay. In a city of millions like New York, renting even the most cramped studio space in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens is an expensive proposition for a professional photographer.
Thus, a retailer can expect to spend between $25 and $35 for a single image of a piece of jewelry. If a traditional photographer is commissioned to take four photos that show a single piece from different angles, that means that a retailer is now spending between $100 and $140. Of course, rings come in different metals—a ring, for instance, can be made of white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold. If a retailer wants four photos of those metal variants, the price has suddenly ballooned up to $300 to $420. Since a jewelry retailer can release hundreds of new jewelry pieces in a year, and those hundreds of new pieces can have variants of their own, a jewelry retailer can expect to pay thousands of dollars with traditional photography.
At Stark Jewelry Animations, we offer a basic package starting at $175. This package includes three videos, twelve still images of a piece of jewelry and its metal and gemstone variants, and three “sequentials”—a 360° rotational view of a piece of jewelry that permits people to view the jewelry from any angle.
Since our process creates a digital representation of a piece of jewelry, creating an image of a yellow gold ring in rose gold is simply a matter of changing a little bit of code around. Our digital art team is capable of more elaborate things than changing the metal from which a piece of jewelry is made—our team can change the gemstone in a setting, change the cut of the stone, or alter the gem’s color, all without any extra input from the retailer that has commissioned us.
Our process of creating computer-aided jewelry images is also far safer for retailers than traditional photography. In traditional photography, physical pieces of jewelry must be given to photographers. If a retailer wants variants of that piece photographed, that means a retailer must have those variants in-store and give them to the photographer alongside the “main” piece. By working with Stark, a retailer needn’t worry about loss or theft of their pieces—specifically because the pieces never leave the retailer’s hands in the first place! A retailer need not worry about bike couriers getting lost in Bushwick or robberies in a bad part of New York.
Stark gives jewelry retailers options for working with professionals beyond their physical environment. Stark Jewelry Animations is a Los Angeles-based company, but we work with retailers in from California on the West Coast all the way to our clients in New York City on the East. The limitations of jewelry photography in New York are no longer a limitation for New York jewelry retailers!
We’d like you to see the difference for yourself. As proudly as we at Stark praise our digital art, we want retailers to love our work on its own merits. If you’re interested in what Stark Jewelry Animations can do for you, feel free to contact us at any time. We’re happy to talk to potential clients about computer-aided jewelry design, and we can even provide examples of our recent work for clients on request.