Creative Wedding Ring Shot Setup

One of my favorite times while shooting a wedding is composing the ring shot.  My goal with a ring shot is to try to make it creative and incorporate something from their wedding day.  As soon as I arrive I begin to keep an eye out for things I might use later for this shot. If I have time I can photograph the rings at the begining of the day but many times I end up doing this during the reception or dance.  

Wedding ring shot from a 1920's /Great Gatsby themed wedding.

Wedding ring shot from a 1920's /Great Gatsby themed wedding.

The following is my setup for the above wedding ring shot. I didnt have a assistant at this wedding so this is the result.  By the way, I always you a macro lens for ring shot. Im using the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 and its amazing!    Here are my settings for this shot:  f/9.0,  1/160,  ISO 1000.  You need to use a high aperature so that more of your ring will be in focus. If not you might only get one little corner sharp and the rest will be fuzz. I probably could have shot at a lower shutter speed but by this time my hands are shaking and Im weak from working all day! lol.  If possible, please please prop your camera or end of lens on something to support yourself.  Also you need to learn to use manually focus only for these shots because you can depend on the cameras focusing, as it is distracted easily by random shiny points.   Since the LED light is directly on the ring I dont need to fire my on-camera speedlight.  I also like how the light is spilling over into the background.  This will create some nice reflections and make for a more intersting background. 

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Wedding ring shot setup.

The water glasses serve two purposes in this shot; holding up this prop, and holding my light directly over wedding rings.  In order to get the brides rings to stand up I am using a small ball of Elmers putty. Gently push the ring(s) down into the putty until the rings stay. When shooting at a low angle you wont be able to see the putty blocked by grooms ring laying flat.  This shot was taken at night during the wedding reception so Im using a small battery operated LED light I bought from Target.  You could use a video light if you want but this is cheap and small, so I like it.   I hope this helps or inspires someone out there.  Just wanted to start giving back to others. Have fun!

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Here is another ring shot I did using a fresh piece of chewing gum. This was taken on a kitchen counter top but any refelctive surface will work just fine.  I placed the brides shoes about 12 inches away in background and the stood my small LED light up at front right, approx 12 inches away.  Notice how the 105mm lens renders the shoe in the background.  Because it was made up of reflective material we only see these reflections.  Well, there ya go. I hope this helps or inspires someone out there.  Just wanted to start giving back to others. Have fun!