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Tips & Tricks

A Simple Method To Easily Light Wedding Rings & Detail Shots

By Hanssie on August 7th 2015

One of my favorite parts of the wedding day is getting the detail shots while the bride is getting ready. Because bridal prep always runs late, I find myself with ample time to get creative with my detail shots. Sometimes there isn’t always a great place with good light to photograph the wedding rings, watches, jewelry.  The following method is a fast and simple way to photograph the detail shots, and the results are fantastic.

Developed by Paul Keppel in a method he coined, the Keppelling Method, Paul gets consistently lit, beautiful ring and detail shots with just a shiny or reflective surface, a macro lens, and an inexpensive YongNuo YN-160 LED video light. He discovered the technique almost by accident while photographing rings on a piano. While trying to balance his light and handhold his camera as still as possible to get sharp images (wedding photographers know this struggle well), he placed the light on the piano with the barn doors down. In this lightbulb moment, as he describes it in his blog post, Paul got this shot:

Paul Keppel Photography 27 Keppelling wedding ring Method

[REWIND: 10 WEDDING RING MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS]

Here is the setup of the light tent Paul makes with his Yongnuo:

Paul Keppel Photography 29 Keppelling wedding ring Method

Here are more samples of the Keppelling Method with rings and other pieces of jewelry:

Paul Keppel Photography 31 Keppelling wedding ring Method

www.paulkeppel.co.uk

www.paulkeppel.co.uk

www.paulkeppel.co.uk

www.paulkeppel.co.uk

www.paulkeppel.co.uk

www.paulkeppel.co.uk

www.paulkeppel.co.uk

www.paulkeppel.co.uk

www.paulkeppel.co.uk

www.paulkeppel.co.uk

Paul explains this method and shows how he sets it up in detail in the video below. Be sure to check out Paul Keppel’s website to see more of his work.

[From Babalu Films on Vimeo].

CREDITS: Photographs by Paul Keppel are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com. Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Mary Skidmore

    The best heart touching moment for a girl is her wedding day. It is a day when she wanted to look the most beautiful and prettiest lady among all. With the same thought I got my rings from https://www.elmajewellery.co.uk/palladium-rings-c-239_240.html. I was little nervous but the compliment form all boosted me up and brought a smile on my face. I still love to see my wedding photographs.

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  2. Terry Ryman

    Great idea, thanks 4 sharing mate

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  3. Brandon Dewey

    Wow that is a great tip and i really like how easy it is.

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  4. Barry Chapman

    Great idea and thanks for sharing it. But the on screen text in the video describes the model of the light as Ny-160 Mk 2 instead of YN-160 Mk II, and the link in the article is to a version of the light without the barn doors. Here’s the URL for what I believe is the correct one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IN4984O/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_2?pf_rd_p=1944687602&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00DZDFGH6&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1WAZEQ4NNSP7YT5ATRD2

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  5. Alexander Europa

    Definitely going to use a variation of this in the future! Very nice!

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  6. Graham Curran

    That seems to work a treat. I’ll have to look into this.

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    • paul keppel

      The Led light does come with a frosted diffuser, which may actually work better at gives a softer light.

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    • Bill Bentley

      @ Paul. These are very nice images. I think the diffuser you mention would be helpful on a few of the shots though, in particular the watch shot where the LED light reflection is distracting imo. There are also some “hot” reflections in some of the other shots. But as a simple, lightweight, portable and reasonably inexpensive solution it is hard to argue with your setup and results.

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  7. Justin Haugen

    I’ve been doing this with video lights at receptions for a while now, but I was calling it the Haugen method (jk lol)

    When I do video work, I like to do a macro shot of the rings and I move the light around the rings to give some movement to the footage without actually moving the camera or rings.

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    • paul keppel

      haha you should have done a video tutorial. I’ll pass on your tip my the videographer. :-)

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