Watch Photography Tutorial

Watch Photography Tutorial including tips and tricks

This Watch Photography Tutorial helps you with making pictures of your own watches and watches from others.

Make sure you use a proper camera and do not use your camera on your phone.

You don’t need an expensive DSLR to make decent pictures of your watch but you want to use a camera which allows you to change settings.

Use a steady tripod and make sure your camera is stable and can’t vibrate/shake on your tripod.

You don’t want your camera to move if you take pictures of the watch you’re trying to photograph. Therefore; use a steady tripod to reduce vibrations and shaking from the camera. Also try using a remote shutter release for your camera; you don’t need to touch the camera to shoot, so you reduce the chance of movement in your picture.

Properly clean the watch; use a cloth which is intended for cleaning glasses or watches.

Remove all the dirt, fingerprints and dust from the watch. You might not be able to see it but when you’re taking detailed pictures of your watch you will see every tiny piece of dust. I also use a can of pressurized air to remove the dust from the watch after cleaning it with a cleaning cloth.

*extra tip: wear special gloves for jewelry to make sure you won’t leave fingerprints on the watch after cleaning.

 Set the hands of your watch at 10 past 10

This is a kind of non written rule for watch photography; with the hands of your watch at 10 past 10 you will be able to see the logo of your watch and have a clear view at the dial and subdials.

 Set your camera’s ISO value to the lowest possible

Usually the lowest value for the ISO is 100; this will reduce the noise in your picture but you will need proper lighting especially if your environment is dark.

 Set your lens to manual focus instead of auto focus

If you set your lens to manual focus you will have to focus manually but for product/watch photography this allows you to make more detailed photos of the product.

 Use an artificial light (flash) for lighting of the watch

To make the best pictures it is necessary to use an artificial light (I use a flash light) for lighting your product. When using an artificial light source you are able to choose the way of lighting the watch. When you are using a flashlight like I do; choose for a studio flash lights which you can configure like you want. (adjust the intensity of the flash)

 Choose your aperture of the lens

For compositions shots I usually the aperture range between f/4.8 to f/8.0, for macro photography you can use aperture range f/12.0 to f/22.0

Choose the right shutter speed for the amount of light your (flash)light is producing

You have to adjust your shutter speed to the lights from the environment and your artificial lights. Play with your shutter speed until you find the right shutter speed for your situation.

Use reflectors or reflections boards to make sure there’s light on every piece of the watch

Sometimes a piece of white paper or cardboard is enough to reflect the light in the direction you want.


Last step: make sure you don’t see a reflection of yourself of your camera in the watch

Please make sure you won’t see a reflection of yourself or your camera in the watch you are trying to photograph. Use different angles to see which is the best to reduce reflections in the watch.

For an example of watch photography I did please see the image below:

After reading this watch photography tutorial you are ready for watch photography.