The essentials of jewellery retouching

Necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings … Jewellery comes in various kinds and designs. But they all have one thing in common: they require high-quality images to reflect the quality of the products. Photos that make the jewellery pieces stand out in stunning detail.

Jewellery retouching requires precision and paying attention to the tiniest details.
The key is to make sure to highlight the best features of every piece of jewellery and to ensure that the photos do justice to the beauty and uniqueness of each piece of jewellery. While always aiming for a realistic result that will dazzle the viewers.

Stunning jewellery deserves stunning photos. Our jewellery retouching services give you jewellery the perfect shine and make your images stand out. For jewellers, photographers, publishers, e-commerce, products pages, print and more.

Let’s take a look at the essentials of jewellery retouching through the images of Nicola Hinrichsen Accessories.

Clipping & Masking

Clipping and masking is an essential part of jewellery image editing. This includes the removal of the original background. Usually jewellery pieces are presented on a neutral or monochrome background. Removing the original background through clipping makes it possible to include the pieces into every desired environment.

Leather necklace with rose pendants after clippingLeather necklace with rose pendants before clipping

Masking goes a step further and separates individual image elements not only from the background, but also from each other. The jewellery is split up into individual parts, so to speak. Which then can be adjusted individually, making maskings the perfect preparation for further colour corrections or recolourings.

Depending on the object, clipping and masking of jewellery can be a complex task and requires a good eye for detail.

Retouching & Straightening

Dust is everywhere, scratches and stains happen. Even the most thorough cleaning cannot guarantee that a piece of jewellery or a gemstone will look its best in a photo. Retouching removes dust, scratches, smudges, reflections and any other distracting imperfections. Diamonds and gems are polished to catch their unique sparkle and ensure the images reflect their true brilliance. For a sparkling clean look.

Silver earrings with rhinestones before retouchingSilver earrings with rhinestones after retouching

As most jewellery pieces cannot stand upright on their own, they are usually photographed draped on some kind of support. A bust, boxes, stands and racks or even a model. As these objects can be distracting, they need to be removed during retouching in order to present the items on its own without any distractions.

Further retouching enhancements include fixing brightness and contrast, correcting the white balance as well as exposure.

Sometimes, the photographs are taken while the jewellery is laying on a flat surface. Which is a quick and easy solution, but often leads to uneven shapes, especially with necklaces, long earrings or chain bracelets. Straightening any kind of chainlike jewellery and aligning them is therefore another important aspect to achieve a perfect and professional look.

Three rose gold necklaces with pink heart pendant before straighteningThree rose gold necklaces with pink heart pendant after straightening

Shadow creation

Jewellery hardly creates any shadows when photographed. Which makes adding shadows an even more important step during the subsequent jewellery retouching. Shadows add dimension and depth to an image, making the jewellery pop and creating a more realistic look.

Rose gold bracelet with pendant without shadowRose gold bracelet with pendant with shadow

Various kinds of shadow types are suitable for jewellery photos.

– The natural shadow looks just like the jewellery’s normal shadow. It is either newly recreated while editing or the original shadow is preserved and enhanced.

– A drop shadow creates the illusion that the product is placed on a surface and makes it seem like the jewellery is floating.

– The most often used shadow type for jewellery is the reflection shadow. It makes it appear as though the jewellery is on a reflective surface, like a mirror. Which creates a high-end and very classy look.

It takes experience, a practised eye and extensive knowledge of the tools, physics and more to achieve realistic and appealing shadows in jewellery photos.

Colour Correction & Retouching

Accurate colours and shades as well as colour consistency across collections is crucial to meet customer expectations and to reduce returns. With professional colour correction and matching we make sure that your images reflect the true colours of the jewellery.

Metals like steel, gold and silver are reflective and can attract a lot of unwanted reflections which negatively impacts its shine, smoothness and true colours. Using a reference image we can manually restore and adjust the natural texture and colour of metals.

With maskings it is possible to change colour tones and to recolour jewellery pieces and individual parts of it to your references. Like this, it is even possible to convert materials, for example, white gold into silver or rose gold, while keeping metal colours consistent. Ideal for presenting different product variations and collections without having to take photos of each variation.

Rose gold bracelet in three colours


High-quality products deserve high-quality services. Elevate your jewellery images with
our jewellery retouching services.


For product photos that effectively convey the value and appeal of every jewellery.
Want to know more essentials for perfect product photos? Then check out our article about on-body photo retouching.