JCK Luxury Photo Shoot, Polished Rough Diamonds


Check out the July issue of JCK to see beautiful still-life photography of jewels featuring polished cuts of rough diamonds. Here, JCK offers you a peek into the behind-the-scenes process of how we photograph jewelry and select pieces to appear in print.


Once I determined the jewelry trend for the July issue, I called several designers whom I knew had pieces that were perfect for the theme. I invited Rahaminov Diamonds in Los Angeles, Diamonds for a Cure (Galleria Collections) of New York, S & R Designs of New Jersey, and, House of Baguettes of New York to participate.


All sent in about six pieces for us to choose from; all items featured the polished rough that I requested.


I look at items from an editorial perspective—which items best reflect the designer’s signature style and are most unique—while JCK art director, Todd Gast, assesses which pieces will photograph best.

Jewelry from Diamonds For A Cure.
Some of the jewelry that Diamonds For A Cure sent in for consideration.

Earrings from Diamonds For A Cure.
Close-up of a pair of DFAC’s earrings.

Diamond rings from Diamonds For A Cure.
Cool rings!

Diamond Jewelry from House of Baguettes.
Jewels from house of Baguettes.

Diamond pendants from S & R Designs.
S & R Designs diamond pendants.

Diamond jewelry from Rahaminov.
Rahaminov Diamonds. 

Diamond jewelry from Rahaminov.
Earrings from Rahaminov.

Diamond jewelry from Rahaminov.
Pretty colors!

We lay out all of the jewelry in order to see everything at once and decide what items will be photographed. It’s all so beautiful, how do we decide?

I look for the most unusual or unique piece the company sent, and the pieces that best tell their design story and will stand out on one or two pages. We also have a sort of template for A La Mode: we generally pick one strong piece to use as an opener on a single page. We generally rule out pieces that are too busy or have too many detailed design features (it’s hard for readers to know exactly where to look when a lot is going on). Earrings that dangle are almost always a problem, too, because they’re tough to set for the camera (you end up having to use a lot of wax to make them motionless).

JCK art director Todd Gast.
Here, art director Todd Gast sketches out some possible page looks

JCK art director Todd Gast holds a brooch from Diamonds For A Cure.
Diamond brooch from Diamonds For A Cure.
This broochnot shown aboveis from Diamonds For A Cure. It’s amazing, and such a wonderful way to showcase the natural inclusions of polished rough. We will definitely shoot this piece. 

JCK art director Todd Gast.
Our Todd, such a talented art director.

JCK senior editor Jennifer Heebner tries on polished rough diamond jewelry during a recent JCK photo shoot.
No model, just me, trying on some of these gorgeous pieces. I can’t lie: this job is SO much fun!

Photographer Mike Cuccio and JCK art director Todd Gast.
Photographer Mike Cuccio and JCK art director Todd Gast.
Photographer Mike Cuccio and Todd set up a shot. 

Can you guess which other items we ended up shooting for print? Pick up the July issue to see if you’re correct. If you don’t have a subscription, call (800) 305-7759 or (818) 487-4589 to order individual copies.



Don’t forget to:
* Follow me’ on Twitter to read helpful, one-sentence insights on the jewels, trends, and business commentaries I glean from walking the show floor. 
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* Update your subscriptions to JCK is up to date so that you don’t miss any print coverage in the coming months.