For the longest time we spent so many days longing for ring shots that looked as stunning as the photographers we followed on social media. No matter how hard we tried we couldn’t seem to get them to look like our mental vision did. It was our dream to be able to take incredible shots to elevate our client experience & get our couples amazing photos.
With time we read some helpful articles (hopefully like this one will be!), practicing, and upgrading our gear until we started to love our ring shots! If only we had found these practices sooner! So, we wanted to help even one photographer skip all that wasted time wishing and hoping. Here are a few of our favorite tips for getting show-stopping ring shots!
Use a Macro Lens
For us, this looks like our 100mm Canon f/2.8 macro! We absolutely love this lens and it hands down beats the macro rings we used to use. The quality is phenomenal and the results this lens produces are beautiful. Of course, always do your research before purchasing a new lens and even consider renting to see if you like it first!
Shoot in Manual Focus
With our 5D Mark IIIs and Canon L-Series lenses, auto focus works well for us 99% of the time — except for ring shots and other small details. Don’t forget that when you’re focusing on manual you’ll want to make sure your image stabilization is on. Since you’re focusing on such a small point, it may take a few shots before you get one in focus, but don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of things!
Don’t Be Afraid of a Higher Aperture
When we were first learning to shoot with our macro lens we read from a lot of the pros that they shoot their ring shots at 2.8 to get the bokeh we all love. What we’ve found is that the bokeh may be stunning at 2.8 but we compromise a lot of the detail. Rings today have so many special embellishments, stones, and other unique designs that we couldn’t capture at 2.8. We suggest shooting between 3.5-5.0 for most pictures. To keep that light-and-airy look we love we simply bump our ISO to compensate.
Focus On the Prongs
We’ve found that for our style we can get that crisp, in-focus look ring shots when we focus on the prong. The prongs typically are closer to our cameras than the diamond actually is. This helps make the entire ring look more in focus and won’t affect the diamond’s sharpness. We always pay special attention to focus on the prong closest to us if the ring is at a tilt!
Use a Reflector
Whether natural or artificial using a reflector will help in so many ways. One, it will keep the color of the stone its natural color and eliminate any other colors reflecting off it. Using a reflector will also allow you to have brighter images and create more light to compensate for the higher aperture. One final bonus is it will eliminate shadows from the rest of the image! It’s really a win-win-win!
De-saturate In Post
After we’ve edited the color balance of our images we will sometimes find colors we don’t want reflected in the diamond. This can be distracting to the image and take away from the wow-factor we want. So, when we’re processing our ring photos in Lightroom, we take the adjustment tool and use it to bring down the saturation of the diamond. Sometimes we’ll even pull up the shadows if we want the diamond to pop a little more!We also pay special attention to the metal of the ring. If it is gold or rose gold we always try to zoom in and do this carefully to not de-saturate the prongs.
Some of our all-time favorite ring shots came from us getting creative! Each ring is different with different features & pieces you may want to capture. Try shooting them from different angles, at various distances, and try to have fun with your shots! Your brides will thank you for it later and you’ll definitely love the results! 🙂
We hope these tips help you create our best ring shots ever so you can wow your dream clients! We’ve been using these very tips to capture our ring shots for years now and can attest to how big of a result these small changes can make. For more tips and tricks check out our post on how to get phenomenal detail shots here!