Wedding ring detail shots are one of my favorite things to shoot! It took me a few years to refine and decide what my style was when it comes to wedding day details, and today I want to pass what I have learned along the way on to you! Below are just a few of the things I consider, and some steps I take to get the kind of ring shots you see in this post!
Gather Inspiration From Your Surroundings | One of the first things I do is gather all of the wedding day details when I arrive at an event. I love shooting the rings atop a wedding invitation or program. It is a great and easy way to tell the story of the day. After photographing the rings in this way, I shoot them in another location to ensure I have a variety of images to deliver to my client. It is important to gather inspiration in line with the aesthetic of the event. If the wedding is rustic (at a winery or in a barn) I might choose to shoot rings on a textured and distressed piece of wood, or in the grapes of a vineyard vine. On the other hand, if the wedding is at a ballroom I might choose to shoot on the marble steps or somewhere more reflective of the event. This is to ensure that when the entire wedding day gallery is delivered, each photo has the same heart and tells the authentic story of the day.
Shoot Several Variations | Be sure to shoot several variations, including rings in boxes, out of boxes, styled, and lay out flat. It is never a bad idea to have several images to choose from, and its great to give your clients a variety of options.
Use A Macro Lens | For so long I tried shooting these details with a 50, 85 or 35 mm lens. While I got some pretty good results, nothing compared to the images I took once I started using a 100mm macro f/2.8L IS lens. Man, talk about night and day difference! If you are a wedding photographer, it is definitely worth the investment to add this beauty to your gear. And yes, the IS version is worth it, trust me! When I am shooting on my Contax 645 I pop on a Hoya up close filter and get the same stunning results.
Play With Your Aperture | This one was huge for me. I was so concerned with my "style" being blown out, creamy- bokeh goodness that I never wanted to go past a 2.8 aperture when shooting. Finally I realized that in order to capture every single sparkly prong on a diamond, you have GOT to go up to a 4.5 or 5.0. Now, I shoot all my up close details at a higher aperture to capture every crevice. And because I am using a 100mm, I don't have to give up the background creaminess that I was so worried about.
Some Additional Tips
- Bring a bag of things to help style your photo at a wedding. I like to bring a small slab of marble, ribbon in various shades to match the bride's colors and a few Mrs. Boxes.
- Look for natural light when photographing your details. Place object near an area with the most natural light to ensure you can increase your aperture without having to bump up your ISO too much (and remember to keep that shutter speed no lower than 1/125th to avoid camera shake).
- Bring glue dots. If you've ever had clients with a groom who has a much larger ring than the bride and you can't get the rings to stand up, you'll know why I suggest bringing glue dots! You can simply glue dot the bands and manipulate them to stand or angle any direction you'd like. These glue dots are also especially helpful to tack down paper products and ribbon pieces on windy days.