I am by no means an expert on photographing wedding rings. I am by no means an expert in photography – that’s the loveliness of this job; I’ll always be learning. But, if I can offer some tips here and there to help out new photographers, deal!
Mastering the ring shot was one of my priorities when we started shooting weddings. Whenever I saw another photographer’s blog and saw the wedding ring photo and how beautiful it looked, and then looked at mine, I would be sad. Why couldn’t I get those perfect photos?! I wanted my brides and grooms to have beautiful photos of their rings and I needed to really learn how to do that. So, the lovely man that Paul is, researched and we finally bought my 100mm 2.8 Macro lens. And so the practicing began. I used my wedding ring and put it everywhere in the house to get different types of lighting, etc. I used different backdrops, I took it outside under harsh lighting, and I practiced. When it came time to take photos at weddings, I was a little more confident. The difficult thing about weddings is that you never really have much control over anything; lighting, location, etc. So I had to learn to adapt and just go with what I had with my surroundings. And here’s some things that I learned:
1.) Find natural light. The first thing I do when I have the rings (make sure you find out who is supposed to have them back so everyone knows where they’ve gone!) is find my natural light source. It might only be a patch coming in from the window or maybe the whole room is lit up from the sun. Or maybe the weather is nice and you can venture outside. Either way, find some natural light. Other types of lighting cause tints on the ring (which can sometimes be edited out if you edit, and edit, and edit, and edit) so natural light is always preferred.
2.) Use a simple backdrop if nothing is catching your eye. Often times I’m looking for just an amazing backdrop for the ring. And I tend to get so sidetracked on finding it that I’m forgetting that a simple backdrop is just perfect. It brings the attention to just the ring alone. Perfect. Nothing more is needed. Of course, a simple backdrop is not the only right answer, but when in doubt, use something simple.
3.) Incorporate other details from the wedding. This is my go-to when I’m shooting wedding rings. I typically will use a bridesmaid dress for my backdrop – that way the colors of the wedding are incorporated – or I use other pieces of detail from the wedding: a veil, jewelry, flowers, shoes, purse, etc. Make sure to not overcrowd the ring – the ring should be the main focus of the photo.
4. Incorporate the elements of the day. If it’s a fall day, use leaves to put the ring on or use leaves as the backdrop! If it’s during the winter, use a pine cone! Spring? Blossoms! Summer? More flowers! Or grass! It doesn’t have to be something extravagant and overly prepared. Some of my favorite backdrops have just been something simple like moss from a tree, a lone stump in the woods, or bright fall leaves.
5.) Make sure the focus is tack sharp. This is often one of the hardest things when taking photos of the ring. And this is where the practicing comes in – you want to make sure the ring is in focus. Clearly in focus. When I’m shooting a ring, I leave my camera on automatic focus first. I make sure I’m focusing on the closest part of the ring to me. Sometimes this can be hard because slight movement will cause the ring to become out of focus. Use your camera strap to hold your camera tighter so it shakes less or lean your elbows or hands on something sturdy to reduce the shaking. Once I have some photos taken in auto focus, I change my settings to manual focus. This allows me to get in really, really close. I start by being a little far from the ring, make sure it’s focused, then slowly move towards it while refocusing the entire time, until I’m as close as the lens will allow me. I always take a lot of photos for the ring. You never want to go home and realize none are in focus. Nightmare!
I hope this helped, lovelies!! When in doubt, practice, practice, and practice!! :) Have a lovely Monday, friends! :)