As unique as it is challenging, wedding photography represents more a collection of genres rather than a genre itself. While we most often associate wedding photography with couples portraits, there’s a lot more that goes into telling the complete story. Throughout the course of a single wedding day, photographers regularly test their skills in family, fashion, landscape, and product photography.
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
One of the first tasks of the day, even before covering bride and groom prep, involves capturing the details, which includes everything from the dress to the shoes, and all the accessories between. You can find more tips on how to photograph wedding jewelry and details in our Photographing the Bride workshop.Join Premium
Detail shots merge product and fashion photography (especially when worn), and they play a crucial role in telling the overall story. One of the most important and significant detail shots to capture is the wedding rings.
PROBLEM: Most Wedding Ring Shots Look Sad & Boring
Before they are exchanged between the bride and groom, wedding rings take center stage in their own product shoot. Unfortunately, even though rings are beautiful and unique, most wedding ring shots are not. Reasons for this vary, from not having adequate time to simply not giving the wedding ring shots the same consideration for lighting and composition that is given for couples portraits. Whatever the reason, there’s a simple solution to make your wedding ring pictures rock.
[REWIND: 10 Creative Ring Shots For You To Try]
SOLUTION: Use A Macro And Creative Lighting
Click right in the box below to see a behind-the-scenes video:
Here is how we used a two-light setup to capture a creative wedding ring picture:
STEP #1: SCOUT THE LOCATION
Before any shoot, we recommend scouting the location to find the best available scene. Whether you’re shooting indoors or outside, people or details, you should be able to find an adequate scene to serve as a backdrop for your session. When scouting for a location to capture detail shots, look for reflective surfaces or interesting patterns in the background, or objects to use for a shoot through. Remember, even with limited choices, you can always make the most of your locations.
STEP #2: “pose” the wedding RINGS
For a shot like this, It can be difficult to balance the rings. Depending on how you decide to set up your wedding rings, it might help to have glue dots to save time and keep the rings in place. The glue dots are easy to use and work on multiple surfaces.
STEP #3: POSITION THE FLASHES
Directional lighting creates shadows and adds depth to the objects we photograph. The shape of shadows will change based on light direction, so experiment with different angles until you find a look that satisfies your creative goals.
We placed flashes on opposite sides of the wedding rings, facing one another, to create an interesting interplay between the shadows and the highlights reflecting off the shiny surface of the rings.
We used assistants to hold the flashes for this shot because the chair top was shorter than the shortest setting on our flash stands. If you do not have assistants in a similar situation, you can always find other ways to elevate the surface (such as setting a chair on top of a Pelican case, if you use one), or choose a higher surface altogether.
STEP #4: CAPTURE MULTIPLE ANGLES
Whenever time allows, try to capture multiple angles within a single scene. This will not only help you find potentially better angles for the shot but also give you a variety of options should the images go into an album. While scouting this location, we noticed an interesting pattern in the wallpaper and decided to use it as a background element for one of our wedding ring shots. Here is a look at how we used the wallpaper to capture one of our wedding ring pictures.
Because of the distance between the wedding rings and the wall (we had to leave room to place a flash in between), we set the aperture at f/25 on our macro lens to keep the patterned wallpaper recognizable.
For our featured wedding ring shot, we used the chair as a backdrop because it had a great diamond pattern, and the diamonds perfectly framed the rings; see the final image in the next step.
STEP #5: Enhance your image in Lightroom
Using the SLR Lounge Preset System for Adobe Lightroom (which is available at no extra charge for Premium Members), it is relatively easy to enhance your image. For more in-depth instructions on how to edit wedding ring pictures, you can follow this easy tutorial from our Advanced Lightroom Processing course and learn how to use a dust correction curve and other tools to further refine your image.
Here’s a look at the final image:Join Premium
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