Photographing Wedding Rings

Photographing Wedding Rings: Ideas & Tips for Stunning Shots

How to take breathtaking wedding ring photos that look like they belong on the pages of Bride Magazine... or at least, will wow your clients!

Photographing wedding rings is easy. Taking breathtaking wedding ring photos that look like they belong in the pages of Bride Magazine? That takes a little more know-how!

Whether you’re a professional wedding photographer looking to improve your wedding ring photography or just want to take beautiful ring shots at home, this guide has you covered.

We’ll run you through a bunch of pro wedding photography tips (including what camera gear and settings to use) as well as 13 wedding ring photography ideas for all the inspiration you need.

You’ll be shooting magazine-worthy wedding ring photos in no time.

So, let’s get started.

Wedding Ring Photography Tips

Wedding ring photography can be a little tricky. You’ll need a lot of creativity which is why I’ll get to the ring shot ideas in a moment.

First, I want to cover some photography tips. You might need some extra equipment or accessories to nail the wedding ring shots.

1. What is the best gear to photograph a wedding ring?

Credit: Public Domain Pictures

You don’t need a different camera than the one you’re using to photograph the wedding. What you need is a macro lens.

Many photographers don’t want to get a macro lens just for wedding ring pictures. You can use reverse rings or extension tubes if this is your case. Any of them is a budget-friendly solution to turn any lens into a macro lens.

Another piece of equipment you need for great ring shots is a tripod. When you magnify small objects, you also magnify any imperfections. The slightest camera shake will become a blurry photo. A tripod helps you to prevent this.

2. Ideal settings for wedding ring photography

Credit: Marius Pavel

You’ll need a deep depth of field to get more of the wedding rings in focus using a macro lens. An f/8 is ideal if you have a tripod or a powerful flash. Otherwise, use a lower f /number to let in more light.

The shutter speed needs to be slow enough to compensate for the small aperture. If you’re shooting handheld, you’ll need to make it faster to prevent camera shake.

When this is the case, you can compensate with the ISO. Just be careful not to make the ISO too high, or you can create noise in the image.

3. Mind the depth of field

Credit: Marius Pavel

Macro lenses create a very shallow depth of field. Here are a few helpful tips for nailing your wedding ring shots every time:

  • If you’re using a tripod, turn on the live view mode and use the manual focus. Instead, use auto-focus if you shoot handheld.
  • Place the rings in the same focal plane. This way, they will both be in focus.
  • Take multiple shots. Many of them may be blurry or have missed focus, but you’ll have at least one that it’s perfect.

4. What about lighting wedding rings?

Credit: Sam Wyper

Jewelry product photography usually happens in the studio with artificial light. Instead, it’s perfectly OK to use natural light for wedding ring photography.

You’re guaranteed a beautiful shot if you can take the wedding ring photos during golden hour. The light is warm and soft, which is perfect to complement the ring.

If this time doesn’t fit the wedding schedule, look for a shade. Alternatively, use a diffuser to soften the light and avoid hotspots and reflections.

However, some photographers prefer to use artificial light. If this is your case, you can bring small LED lights, pen lights, or an off-camera flash.

5. How to hold wedding rings in place

To get better wedding ring photos, you need to capture them from different angles. Some photographers include props to do this. Others like their images more minimalistic.

If this is your case, you can use glue dots or a sticky potty to hold the wedding rings in the position you want. You can get it at any craft store, and it doesn’t damage the rings.

If you want to do a floating ring shot, use clear dental wax to suspend it in the air. You can easily remove it in Photoshop afterwards.

6. Edit your wedding ring photos

Credit: Sheena Shahangian Photography

First, you’ll want to match the color temperature with the rest of your wedding photos. This way, the overall mood of the ring shots will fit with the rest.

This is because you’re not shooting individual images as if they were for a catalogue. The ring shot is part of a larger story you’re telling about the wedding day.

Then, you might need to add contrast, clarity or sharpness to make the ring pop. Finally, use the healing tools to retouch any scratches, fingerprints, hotspots, etc.

13 Wedding Ring Photo Ideas | Get Amazing Ring Shots

If you’re struggling to find beautiful and creative ways to photograph wedding rings, here’s a list of ideas that may help.

Each one has an inspirational photo to get your imagination going.

1. On the box

Credit: Marius Pavel

This is a classic shot for wedding photography. The advantage is that you don’t need a macro lens. You can widen the frame and include some context.

For example, the hands of the bride or the groom holding the wedding ring case.

2. Frame the engagement ring with the wedding rings

Credit: Marius Pavel

One of the top tips in photography composition is a frame within the frame. It highlights the main subject and pulls the viewer’s attention to a focal point.

In this case, you can use the wedding rings to frame the engagement ring or vice-versa.

3. On the invitation

Credit: Sam Wyper (left) / Sheena Shahangian Photography (right)

Place the rings on top of the wedding day invitation. This will give you a lovely backdrop that’s theme-related.

4. Still life with other wedding accessories

Credit: Sam Wyper

All wedding photographers know how important are the small details. Everything that’s part of a wedding is well thought out, and nothing gets there by chance. So, it’s important that you photograph the bride’s shoes and other jewelry like the groom’s cufflinks.

You can choose to photograph each item separately. But, creating a still life makes a great composition. It will help you to capture the mood and story of the wedding day.

5. Place the rings on a photo

Credit: Sam Wyper

You can use a photo of the bride and groom as the backdrop for the wedding ring. Depending on the photo that you have at hand, you can get creative with the composition.

For example, put the rings on the eyes as if they were glasses, as in the humourous shot above!

6. Focus on the engraving

Credit: Sam Wyper

Most wedding rings have an engraving on the inside. Typically it’s the wedding day or the name of the partner. Use selective focus to highlight this message and blur the rest for an original ring shot.

7. Include flowers

Credit: Sheena Shahangian

Weddings are filled with floral arrangements. Everything from centrepieces to the bouquet, you’ll have plenty of flowers to choose from. Use them as a backdrop or place the wedding rings on them for a more creative approach.

8. On the couples’ fingers, holding hands

Credit: Sheena Shahangian

You should always take a photo of the bride and groom wearing the rings. This is a classic of wedding ring photography. Whether you want a close-up or a wider shot, this is a must-have ring photo.

Remember to ask the bride to keep her fingers ‘soft’ and extended.

9. High key photography

Credit: Sheena Shahangian

A white background is usually associated with the product or e-commerce shots. Still, white is also the bride’s color. So, if you get a little bit creative with lighting or texture, you can create a stunning shot of the rings.

10. Textured fabric as a backdrop

Credit: Marius Pavel

You probably won’t be carrying stands and backgrounds to the wedding day. So, you’ll need to find a beautiful backdrop in the location.

Textured fabrics are one of the best choices. You can use the veil, the wedding dress, a pashmina, a chair’s tapestry, etc.

The choices are endless if you have some ideas in mind and you keep your eyes peeled while walking around the venue.

11. Create bokeh

Credit: Marius Pavel

Bokeh is a photography effect formed by capturing out-of-focus lights. Each lens renders a different bokeh, and you can even shape the bokeh by placing cut-outs in front of the lens.

To create bokeh in your photo, place your ring in front of decorative lights or any small lights you can find. You can also bring some string lights on your case or some Christmas lights if you want to add some color.

Then, you’ll need to shoot wide open so that the rings look sharp, but the lights get blurred.

12. Create a reflection of the rings

Credit: Sam Wyper

Another photo idea to photograph the rings is to place them on a reflective surface. For example, a glass table. This way, you can create a reflection that makes for a stunning shot.

You can look for another reflective surface such as a mirror for your wedding ring photographs. Otherwise, you can use the screenshot of your smartphone.

Remember to clean reflective surfaces with a microfiber cloth before the shot. This way, you’ll prevent fingerprints, lint, etc.
They can always be fixed in Photoshop, but it’s very time-consuming. It’s much better to take care of them beforehand.

You can flip the reflection in Photoshop if you have some retouching skills. This way, the bride’s ring will reflect the groom’s ring and vice-versa.

13. Hang the rings

Credit: Goran Vrakela

You can hang the rings if you don’t like to place them. You can use dental wax if you want something subtle or easy to erase later in Photoshop.

Otherwise, you can use a ribbon or a necklace. You can have both rings hanging together.

You can also try separating them and hanging them from tree branches, for example. If you do this, make sure they hang at different heights for a more dynamic shot.

Photographing Wedding Rings FAQs

How do you photograph a diamond ring?

There are softboxes designed specifically for wedding ring photos. They have led lights, so all you need to do is take the wedding ring photo in it. Remember that macro lenses are the best for photographing rings and other jewelry.

How do you photograph a wedding ring without a macro lens?

You can use reverse rings or extension tubes to turn any lens into a macro. Otherwise, you can shoot a wider picture and use selective focus to keep the attention on the wedding rings.

How do you take professional jewelry pictures with an iPhone?

The most important thing is to use soft light to avoid reflections and hotspots. Also, choose a neutral background that doesn’t still focus on the rings. For each photo, ensure you place the focal point correctly, as you’ll have a very shallow depth of field. To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to shoot many images because some of them may be blurry or have missed focus. See our article on the best macro lens for iPhone photography.

Final Words

The bride and groom already decide many things at a wedding. Others need to be a certain way because of logistics with the venue and other services. So, you have to adapt to the location, their schedules, etc. 

However, the wedding ring shot is one thing where you can really use your creativity. I hope the ideas from this article are helpful. Please share your tips and tricks in the comments section.

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Shotkit Writer & Camera Gear Reviewer

Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.

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