It’s just before closing, a customer comes in search of that perfect item. You chat briefly about what they want, realize it’s going to be a custom piece, and you have to bring in the stone. Then they ask, “is there any way to see pictures before I buy it?” Your heart sinks, knowing how difficult it is capturing the beauty of a gemstone in a single picture, but the sale depends on it! We have apps that can literally drop food off at our front door but we still can’t figure out how to easily and quickly take quality gemstone photos. What if there were tools available that make taking pictures painless? Here are some easy options to make the stress of taking pictures disappear.
Unless you’re making your own catalog, no one is going to take the time to own a light box for photos. Kassoy offers a mini light box called the Triple D Photo Kit (MSRP $299). It’s a simple stand for your cell phone that you place your camera over a light-up loupe, which provides a consistent light source for the photo. While holding the stone to be photographed with tweezers, just snap the photo with your cellphone camera. From my personal testing, you consistently get high quality photos. Once the photo is taken, you can edit, e-mail, or text right from your phone. This is a great product when needing top quality photos for single stones and allows you to stay away from large light boxes that can be expensive, cumbersome and time consuming
Many customers may want pictures of finished jewelry or to view a selection of stones. In this case, the Dino-Lite Digital Microscope (Amazon MSRP $99-799; depending on the camera series) is a valuable asset. This product links with your computer and takes photos with a click of the mouse, making pictures quick and efficient. Photos of jewelry, groupings of stones, or single stones are saved immediately to your computer. This makes it easy to save the photos for a presentation on the computer or e-mail them to your client. Convenience is key with the Dino-Lite.
While these products will provide you the means for quick, professional quality pictures, it’s not imperative to buy new equipment for good photos. Your cellphone camera works just fine when used correctly. Start by having a good photo editing program on your phone. These are crucial as gemstones can lose their color in photos and editing programs will help retain the closest natural color as possible. A few highly rated apps are Snapseed, VSCO, and Filterstorm Neue for iPhone and Bonfire, Fotor, and Adobe for Android.
How the picture is taken is just as important as an editing program. Instead of trying to get as close to the stone or ring as possible from the onset, it is best taking pictures from a distance and zooming in while editing. This preserves a higher definition photo. While editing the photo, then use the zoom function and adjust color and clarity. Presenting high quality photos are essential for accurate representations of stones or mountings.
Pictures are becoming essential to our industry and will continue their importance. With several ways to provide pictures for your customers, there’s no reason to worry about sending photos at the end of the day. Now, you can focus on the sale and moving your product efficiently.
Konrad Darling is the sales and marketing director for Darling Imports, a color gemstone wholesaler offering genuine and synthetics as well as lapidary services and stone identification. For more information contact Darling Imports at 800-282-8436 or www.darlingimports.com.