One essential part of almost every wedding day is the rings. Not only are the rings a symbol of a couple's love and commitment to one another, they also usually cost a good deal of money. Capturing an amazing picture of the rings can not only wow your clients, it also adds great value to your portfolio. The best part is, getting a fantastic ring shot can be simple and quick.
To get a beautiful ring shot, all you need are these four things:
Macro Lens- Rings are, in general, very small and full of detail. It really helps your shots if you can zoom in nice and close to capture the detail of the rings while eliminating distracting background. Since I shoot Canon, my first choice is the 100mm f2.8 macro.
At least 1 flash- It really helps if you have the ability to keep your flash off camera, but if needed, you can get away with an on camera flash. For some examples I show, I used two flashes to help add some pizazz to the pictures.
An Umbrella or some other diffuser - Casting soft even light makes a huge difference when trying to capture the detail of the rings without having harsh shadows.
A pretty setting - A brides bouquet is usually an easy and beautiful place to put the rings. However, some flowers wilt throughout the day so getting creative with settings might be a better choice.
Here's your basic set up for a single light ring picture.
To get soft, even light on your subject, put your flash and diffuser as close to rings as possible without getting them in your shot. I often have my camera brushing up against the edge of the umbrella.
In general, I want to make sure the diamonds and details of the rings are all in focus. I also usually like to eliminate ambient light so I start with the following settings and adjust as needed.
Flash power at 1/4
Camera Settings: F 11, ISO 100, shutter 1/250th
Pick out a portion of the bouquet that has an interesting element to it and place the rings among the flowers. Depending on how much light your dealing with, you may find it easier to switch into manual focus mode.
When the brides flowers have wilted or just aren't very pretty, look for other wedding props that you can use instead that have some interesting element to them.
If you have two flashes and are able to get them off camera, adding a kicker light can really help add to some scenes, especially when dealing with reflective or opaque surfaces.
Adding kicker light to glass or to mirrors makes your scene match the sparkle of the diamonds.
Alternatively, kicker light can also make opaque material glow or make falling water in the background sparkle.
These kinds of shots are beautiful and simple once you get the hang of them. Try it out and see if you like the results!