I spend only a short about of time photographing wedding rings but it is one of my favourite details. Photographing jewellery can be tricky with all that sparkle going on and different heights and textures of jewels so today I’m sharing 6 tips to help you take better photographs of wedding rings.
If you want to produce those buttery, magnified images of rings then you need a macro lens. Macro lenses have the ability to magnify a smaller object that other lenses just can’t so it is essential for jewellery photography to get those beautiful close ups – and it is the only way to photograph engravings like this image below. My chosen macro lens is the Canon 100mm f/2.8 L Series which I have used for a number of years. I tend to only bring out the macro at this point of day unless there are smaller details at the reception such as letterpress or engraving that again can’t be captured with any other lens than the macro.
Its rare that I’ll ever use artificial light to photograph rings so I look for a soft, directional window light that allows those diamonds to really shine. As you get familiar with jewellery you notice that light changes the depth of jewels quite radically so once you’ve found the light, its time to manipulate it a little to get what you want by using a reflector to bounce light back onto the rings and fill in those shadows.
You’ll soon find that using a macro lens is best with manual focus – especially when photographing something as multi-dimensional as a diamond ring. There are many angles that the lens wants to choose to focus on and it will often not be the best focal point so I always go with manual focus.
When you are photographing jewellery, I find it best to not focus on the jewel but instead focus on the setting for the jewel – the metal. This gives a great focal point where if I just focus on the jewel it can be a bit hit and miss as they are so translucent.
Its one thing to photograph a ring but bringing in environmental elements breaths new life into the image and help tell a story. I love to use stationery, flowers, veils/dresses and books to name a few but will always ensure it fits with the wedding. This image below of an engagement ring in a red bouquet is very bright – much brighter than I would normally do – but the entire wedding had pops of red from the bride’s lipstick to her bouquet and of course her Louboutins so it fit in perfectly and was a great addition to their album.
Oh this is a big one! There is nothing worse than photographing a beautiful set of rings only to find when editing that there is a hair or thread caught in a prong or a fingerprint on a wedding band. Always give them a good wipe before setting up the shot.
The angle is a personal preference and you can tell that my preference is to be slightly above eye level and to the right. I do change it up from time to time with a flat lay or shooting straight on but I find this the most pleasing to my eye. Experiment and find the best angle for you – and the ring.
And there you have it! Some tips to help photograph rings or jewellery of any kind and I have to admit I take all of these steps when photographing the wedding rings. Now get out there and practice!