10 Wedding Ring Macro Photography Tips
Ring shots are an important aspect of wedding photography. Besides the fact that clients pay a whole lot of cash for them, they’re important because of their significance as a symbol of their union. And as such, they tell an aspect of the wedding day story that’s unmatched by any of the other wedding details, like the bride’s shoes even the bouquet and garter.
Gone are the days of boring ring shots! The classic shot of the rings on top of the wedding day itinerary with their names and date as abackground isoverdone. And showing a close up of the couple holding hands, exposing their rings is, well, a little played out. It’s time to think creatively. It’s time to apply to rings shots all of the photography skills, techniques, and knowledge that we utilize in other aspects of our photography. Really, it’s time to think of the wedding rings like you think of your bride and groom in that you want to deliver shots of your subjects with creative light, creative compositions and interesting backgrounds.
Here are 10 tips for getting better shots of Wedding Rings.
Macro Lenses aren’t the cheapest lenses,especiallywhen you take into consideration that fact that you might only be using them for one or two shotsthroughoutthe entire day, but it’s very important to pick one up if you’re considering adding good ring shots to your wedding photography portfolio. If you’re on a Canon, you’re probably looking at the EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro or the EF 100mm f/2.8L IS if you can afford it. All other camera makers should have equivalents.
It’s going to be tough to rely on auto focus in this situation, as it’s just not accurate enough. Get used to focusing manually, take multiple shots, and make sure you zoom in as you’re checking the images on the LCD to make sure you come away with a sharp, perfect focus. There’s nothing worse than having a great shot set up and not coming away with a usable image.
Crank up the aperture as high as you can take it (most likely around F4.0-F5.6) without having your shutters drop below an acceptable level. What’s acceptable? That’s going to depend on your lighting and the presence or absence of flash, but in general, make sure you’re at least above 1/100th. Why take your apertures up? There’s a lot of detail beyond that initial plane that you’re going to want to capture.
Don’t forget to cheat a little bit and touch up/sharpen your rings in Photoshop to give them that extra pop.
Find and utilize reflections to create vertical symmetry and add interest to a scene. This can be a glass table, a granite counter top, a piano or any other reflective surface.
Often times, you can find interesting lighting by piggybacking off of the Lighting setup at a reception hall and utilizing the lights placed against the wall or surrounding the tables or trees. Make sure you’re not using direct flash (ideally using a video light), as you don’t want the background lighting to be flashed out.
Keep in mind that bokeh on small background lights look great.
Symmetry and balance are the key to certain types of ring shots. Since you’re dealing with such intricate detail, the slightest shift can throw your whole image off. For example, if the image has a focus directly down the center, make sure everything is aligned. If your image has prefect symmetry, adjust it so that it’s as close to perfect as your lighting and time will allow.
Don’t forget to think outside of the box. Use silhouettes and other creative lighting techniques. Place the rings in front of unique backgrounds. Or surround the rings with something interesting, like candles or flowers. Unlike much of the wedding day, you actually have full control of this moment, and you and your clients will appreciate the creativity and the attention to detail in these shots.
A ring shot is worth so much more to a client when it includes something else meaningful from the day. Whether you’re incorporating their bouquets, their party favors, or an item with their date on it, having something that adds story-telling or scene-setting value to the image always makes it better.
Interesting colors and textures are things we as photographers are trained to always be on the lookout for. But on a normal, non-macrophotographybasis, we’re usually thinking of walls, sunsets, or other large backdrops. Keep in mind that, with your ring shots, you now have the luxury of taking almost anything and making it a background, from a piece of cloth to a purse to a party favor to a bouquet.
These last two are included because of the interesting textures you see behind the rings.
Well we hope you came away with a few useful tips in this tutorial. As always, we welcome your comments below, and you can check out more of our work on our wedding photography blog and our wedding photography portfolio.