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wedding-ring-photography Tips & Tricks

10 Wedding Ring Macro Photography Tips

By Pye Jirsa on November 10th 2010

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.

1) Use a Macro Lens

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.

2) Use Manual Focus and Take Multiple Shots

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.

3) Turn Up Your Aperture

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.

4) Use Additional Sharpening in Photoshop

Don’t forget to cheat a little bit and touch up/sharpen your rings in Photoshop to give them that extra pop.

5) Find a Reflection

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.

Ring Shots

6) Find Interesting Lighting

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.

Ring Shots

Ring Shots

7) Find Balanced Backgrounds

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.

wedding-rings

Ring Shots

8) Think Creatively

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.

Ring Shots

Ring Shots

Ring Shots

9) Find Something Significant or Meaningful to the Couple

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.

Ring Shots

Ring Shots

10) Find Colorful or Interesting Backgrounds & Textures

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.

Ring Shots

Ring Shots

These last two are included because of the interesting textures you see behind the rings.

wedding-ring-photography

Ring Shots

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.

About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. rual raise

    wonderful photography tips for small products

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  2. Joseph Prusa

    Great tips

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  3. Soumen Nath

    Just bought a macro lens with the view to shoot wedding rings.
    Very inspired by this article.

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  4. Phillius Thomas

    I really like the one on the orange! That is a unique way to take a picture of the ring. Personally, putting it on food wouldn’t have been something I would have thought of.
    http://goldmarkjewelers.com/bridal_sets.html

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  6. Caloundra Wedding Photographer

    Hi! I am a photography amature.
    I would like to thank you for this great post. I certainly loved reading it.

    I have already signed up for your RSS feeds and would like
    to ask if you have and email list? would love to seeing your news in my inbox!!

    Thankyou again!!

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  7. BigD

    #3 Turn up the aperture? Crank up your aperture as high as you can take it?

    What does that even mean? Where did you learn your photography terminology? Seriously, that kind of advice makes you sound like a complete imbecile and definitely makes one wonder why anyone should take your advice.

    The term for adjusting the aperture is stopping down or opening up. What you are referring to in “tip” #3 is STOPPING DOWN the aperture to increase depth of field. You don’t “crank up the aperture” you dolt.

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  8. Tanja

    Gorgeous ring shots! (I loooove ring shots ;)

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  9. Stacie

    I absolutely love your ring shots!

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  10. Susanna

    Amazing ideas. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous tips.

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  11. Kara Coleen

    Gorgeous images! Thank you so much for these amazing tips!

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  12. Hannah Cherney

    Gorgeous images!! Very creative. Thank you for posting this!

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  13. Kennice Woods

    Very nice designs of ring.. I have never seen such before.. I am glad I visited here and come to know about it.. I was wondering to know what is the cost of such rings and are they made on order also..
    wedding bands for men

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  14. Anonymous

    You write nice article about wedding ring photography,I personally  follow your tips,your tips useful every wedding photographer.You share nice wedding rings photographs.Thanks for sharing information.

    wedding photographers bristol

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  15. Paula Franco

    Great tutorial!! Thanks a lot for the tips!!

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  16. James Reyes

    After seeing some of these images I think I’ll be running off right away to pick up a Nikon 105 mm 2.8. This is an amazing set of pictures! Keep up the great work!

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  17. Steve Causon

    Nice images. Difficult to photograph well and interestingly, especially as I try to avoid getting th b&g to take their rings off after they’ve put them on, which means you have to get the shots before the ceremony. Still, churches and venues often have interesting lighting and backgrounds. Be careful not to drop them down the vents in the church floor though!

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  18. D

    Most of these are great shots. However, not all of them are sharp either as you indicate in Tip #2.

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  19. Jacliff

    I have a problem with the overall premise of your article but I still think its really informative. I really like your other posts. Keep up the great work. If you can add more video and pictures can be much better. Because they help much clear understanding. :) thanks Jacliff.

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  20. Eirik

    thanks for sharing your insights/tips. inspired me to be more creative when taking ring shots!

    thanks again :)

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  21. Christophe

    Thanks so much for the tutorial.
    Some of these pictures would be great on a Place Vendôme jewelry catalog !!

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  22. diana elizabeth

    love all of your ring shots. hope to see you guys at wppi again ;)

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  23. Beautiful wedding ring, engagement ring photos « The Daily 101 « Engagement 101

    […] photography blog recently did a blog post about how to take pictures of wedding rings in gorgeous and unique ways. […]

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  24. eric

    Yup.. great tutorial and very interesting images!

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  25. Carey

    This is a fantastic tutorial with great examples. Well said!

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  26. Janie

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I’ve looked at your ring shots and have had the hardest time trying to achieve the same look. Does anyone here recommend using a tripod?

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  27. DomipixA » 10 Wedding Ring Macro Photography Tips | Free Photography Tips …

    […] PauloGabriel wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptRing 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 … […]

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