How I Planned My First Photo Shoot For My Jewelry Line + My Favorite Photos

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

how to plan branded photo shoot jewelry designer

I wish I could grant everyone a glam team for the day. Gems by Kelley will be five years old in September 2018, and my first professional photo shoot was in May 2018. 

I had been getting nudges to do a photo shoot for years, but I kept putting it off. It seemed very big and complicated in my head. And it was both of those things, and it was wonderful. 


woman with stacks of colorful gemstone bracelets
I finally started planning my first photo shoot after one of my mastermind group meetings. "Mastermind Group" is one of those phrases I've heard tossed around on business podcasts for ages. It's kind of a grandiose label for something that's just plain amazing, in my experience. My group has five women entrepreneurs. We meet monthly to share our experiences and give each other feedback. There's something about this group that really lights a fire under me. I started planning this photo shoot after one of our first meetings.

My model Megan is in my Mastermind group. She's an interior design copywriter and blogger at Crafty Copy. After Megan agreed to model, the plans fleshed out quickly after that. 

hands with colorful gemstone bracelets


I tend to overthink things, but I'm working on being more intuitive and flowy. So when Megan said she loved working with her photographer and makeup artist from her wedding, I reached out to them and booked them for the shoot. 

My plans for the shoot were ambitious: Head shots for me, jewelry photography for Gems, and also head shots for Megan's business. I was grateful to find a photographer that agreed work with us. Amanda Marie from Amanda Marie Studios was amazing! 


photographer shooting jewelry photo shot


Amanda Marie is excellent at giving suggestions for posing. Prior to the shoot, she and I both made Pinterest boards with jewelry photography that we liked for inspiration. You guys, it's awkward as hell standing in front of a photographer's camera. I felt stiff and nervous. I really didn't think I would get any photos of me that I liked, but somehow Amanda Marie worked her magic. 


kelley bren burke 

One thing I would do differently: Music! We forgot to play music for most of it. When I turned on my Hipster Cocktail Party Pandora station, it definitely elevated the mood.  



It didn't initially occur to me to hire a hair and makeup artist, but I'm glad Megan suggested it. Cristina from Cristina Ziemer Beauty did hair and makeup for Megan and me. I'm really glad we did. There's something about having a glam squad onsite. And false eyelashes! 



blonde model wearing stack of colorful crystal bracelets

So many bracelets here! I'll just name and link the ones on the front wrist.

Here we go: Jade, Amazonite, Labradorite, Chrysocolla,

Labradorite, Turquoise, Seraphinite, Jade, and Chrysocolla. 

blonde model with layered gemstone bracelets

The white bracelets above are Moonstone and Opal.
The blue bracelets are Sapphire and Kyanite
gold initial bracelets

delicate gemstone bracelets

The pink and green bracelet above is Watermelon Tourmaline
The clear bracelets are White Topaz
opal and citrine bracelets
The yellow bracelets above are Citrine. The bracelets on
Megan's other wrist are Opal. The necklace is Black Onyx

layered minimalist gemstone bracelets

The blue bracelets above are Sapphire and Kyanite
There are also Freshwater Pearl bracelets. 
blonde model with colorful bracelet bracelet stack
The bracelets above are Amethyst, Lapis Lazuli,
There are LOTS of bracelets pictured here. If you see one you like, I can link the bracelet listing for you. Just ask in the comments. 

Are you thinking of a photo shoot? Or planning to get head shots done? If you have any questions for me, just ask! 

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