People sometimes ask me how I get my wedding ring shots. It's definitely a combination of a few things; the right camera lens, good light, how I compose the shot and elements from the wedding day that I incorporate. So I thought I would write a blog post with a few points about this type of photography which is called macro photography.
Firstly I couldn't produce these types of up close, macro shots without my Canon 100mm macro lens. A macro lens is one that magnifies the subject. You can make subjects appear much larger than life with a macro lens. When you take such an up close photo of something only a really small amount of the subject matter will be in focus - notice how in all these images only the rings (sometimes even only part of the ring!) are in focus, everything else falls off softly. This is one of the common characteristics of macro photography.
The Canon 100mm macro lens is my absolute favourite lens in my bag even though I often only ever use it for 10 minutes on a wedding day while I take the detail shots of the rings, jewellery, sometimes detailing on the dress and that sort of thing. I just love being able to capture all those exquisite details up close and this lens produces absolute magic!
On a wedding day I try to use surrounding elements or decorative items that are part of the wedding as backgrounds in my ring shots. Amelia & Nick's beautiful rings are sitting on Amelia's bead-encrusted clutch, which produce a beautiful sparkly background because they're out of focus and only the rings are sharp & in focus.
Other times I might use interesting textures, the wedding stationery, or the bride's bouquet as a setting for the wedding ring shots. I like to get an image that really just focuses on the rings, and then also shots of all the bride's jewellery laidout.
An important component in getting these shots is lighting. I need to find sufficient light to get that sparkle in the diamonds. Usually I use window light but I also carry a small LED torch in my camera bag for some directional light if I need it.
The hardest part of taking these ring shots is getting the rings to sit just the way I want them. Sometimes I let them just lie naturally and unstructured, other times I want them standing up and that's where the blu-tack I carry in my camera bag also comes in handy! ;)
I usually ask my couples if the rings can be with the girls in the morning so I can get these photos. But if that's not possible I'll shoot the rings together during the bridal party photos after the ceremony, incorporating in some natural elements.
Tech talk for anyone interested in photography: another important aspect of macro photography is actually getting the right aperture. I often shoot my ring shots at f5.6 to f11, because when you are so close to your subject the depth of field is SO small, to get all the diamonds in focus you need those smaller apertures!
I'll take a macro photo of the engagement ring during an engagement session too because it's a big part of your story too!
Getting these wedding shots usually only takes me a few minutes on the day, but I believe they're a beautiful part of your final wedding gallery. As a photographer I love documenting all the elements of a wedding day, and as a girl I love diamonds and sparkly things so it's a match made in heaven really! ;)