How I Photograph Wedding Rings

Rings_0001 Bling Bling! One of the most exciting things to me about getting engaged, except, you know, being engaged, was that I finally had a gorgeous ring to practice my ring shots with! I had just purchased my first Macro lens, the Canon 100mm  f/2.8, and was itching to try it out. From time to time I still bust everything out and photograph my own ring, just for fun. Guilty pleasures.

Today I want to share with you some tips on how I photograph wedding rings, one of my faves! I actually just upgraded to the L series of the 100mm lens, though I don't have any test shots of that yet.

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When I photograph the rings:

During engagement shoots I always try to get the ring shot taken care of early on during the session. I'm less shaky then and there is usually more light, thus making the shot a LOT easier. Although I am really looking forward to seeing how the L series lens handles this. With my non-L, it took a lot of holding my breath and being extremely still, something I am not very good at :)

On wedding days, I usually photograph the rings before the ceremony (IF there's enough time), during the reception, or, even better but not always feasible, during the details part of the day - this is when I also photograph the dress, shoes, etc. Same rules apply, though when it happens during the reception, I almost always use some sort of spotlight to create some extra bling bling. I'm still amazed how willingly all my couples hand over their wedding rings :)

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How I get a sharp image:

I used to shoot rings wide open thinking I'd get that great depth of field in there, but now, I don't ever shoot below 3.5 or way, way higher. I like 8-10 but depending on the amount of light, that's not always possible. I also focus on the prong closest to me, not the diamond itself. Something else that's helped is a sturdy surface. I will occasionally set the ring inside a flower (ok, like, all the time) but for this to be a success there can't be any breeze at all and I always, always, always take another shot on a different surface as backup. Now, I will admit that I almost always sharpen the image further in Lightroom, but if the image isn't sharp to begin with, no post-processing can help.

An extra tip: I underexpose my ring shots slightly, so the diamond doesn't get blown out and I can go back later and pull more detail out of the ring.

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How I (sometimes) make them more interesting:

Depending on the couples interest, like fishing in the below image, I will include some unique elements into a ring shot. Even when there is no definite theme, however, flowers, mirrors or something glittery will almost always give that extra wow to the image!

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And, though I squeezed it in twice already in the pictures above, I'm ending this post with a picture of my own ring...on an orange...because that's the sort of thing you do when you practice ring shots at home.

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