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Love every inch of yourself

I am an intimate portrait and lifestyle photographer based in New England. When I'm not shooting, I'm spending time with my incredible family and two dogs Brisco and Max.

Hi, I'm Michele. Thanks for stopping by! 

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Tips for Brides

How To Photograph Engagement Rings

For Photographers

January 9, 2017

About a year ago, I began getting questions from other photographers asking how I do this or that. I was caught off guard a little by the inquiries, because I thought, why are you asking me?
Shouldn’t you ask… someone else? Someone more qualified?

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to help. I didn’t have the confidence to teach the things I knew. One of the things I promised myself this year was to put myself out there and share some of the things I know. Bear with me as I work through the kinks of teaching again (for the record, I taught special education for 5 years).

So without further adieu, let’s do this together!!

Today I’m sharing my strategy on how to photograph engagement rings (complete with camera settings).

The equipment:
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 100mm 2.8 macro lens
A sparkly engagement ring

I almost always shoot in natural light. All of the images below were shot in natural light.

How to photograph engagement rings

ISO 3200
1/80 sec at f/4.5
I chose a budding hydrangea and slipped the ring over the buds.

How to photograph engagement rings

ISO 640
1/50 sec at f/5.0
This was shot on the UMASS Amherst campus. In one of the flower beds, I noticed the tall thick blades of grass, so I gathered them and slowly let the ring slide down.

How to photograph engagement rings

ISO 1000
1/80 sec at f/5.0
Shot on a closed flower (or cactus, I can’t remember!) I was shooting at a garden nursery and wanted to throw a warm pop of color against the diamond. I always try to focus on a prong, and not the diamond itself.

How to photograph engagement rings

ISO 640
1/125 sec at f/5.6
This was shot on the beach within one of the sand dunes. Another gathered bunch of beach grass and slipped the ring over. In my opinion, photographing the ring directly in the sand takes away from the stone.

How to photograph engagement rings

ISO 3200
1/25 sec at f/3.2
This shot isn’t perfect. The berries are slightly more in focus than the closest prong on the ring, but I still love the color pop and angle of the ring. The ring belongs to a couple who had a December wedding, so the red/green contrast was a great tie in.

How to photograph engagement rings

ISO 1000
1/100 sec at f/4.0
Clearly I love photographing engagement rings on with a pop of color when I can. In this case, there wasn’t many options for me. This was actually shot horizontally looking down at the ring (which was barely holding on). Do what you can with what you have!

How to photograph engagement rings

ISO 800
1/125 sec at f/4.0
This sapphire ring spoke for itself. This was shot in late Fall and the browning of the leaves actually added some interest to the final image.

How to photograph engagement rings

ISO 400
1/100 sec at f/2.8
Mums became the striking background for this beautiful engagement ring.

How to photograph engagement rings

ISO 400
1/125 sec at f/3.5
I love how soft and romantic this ring shot is. There was really nowhere to put the ring, but I found a flower bed with a bunch of tangled old vines and gently placed it diamond up.

If you look at all of the settings, you will find that I almost always shoot at f/4.0 or higher. With the 100mm macro lens, you still get that beautifully blown out bokeh, even when you are not shooting wide open. Focus on the prong closest to you, not the diamond itself.

Be patient with yourself. Turn your ISO up a little higher and increase your shutter speed if you find yourself in a low light situation.

Check out my Instagram feed for more #bling
Questions? Feel free to comment below!

  1. I am not surprised people are coming for your for advice your work speaks volumes of your mad skills!
    Loved reading these tips!

  2. So generous of you to share your suggestions on making awesome photos!!!

    Perhaps, in time, you will collect all of your how to articles and publish a book!

  3. These ring shots are RIDICULOUSLY amazing, girl!

  4. Sarah Marie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these suggestions. Another photographer and I are getting together in the next few weeks to work on macro shots. I appreciate your amazing work.

  5. Clara says:

    This is SUCH good information on how to photograph engagement rings! Gorgeous ring shots lady!

  6. Lori Stead says:

    Excellent how-to! Seriously!!! And we shoot with the same camera 😀

    You are amazing – thanks for sharing!

  7. Anna nuttall says:

    Beautiful photos, i really love how you capture the rings. xx

  8. Urška Majer says:

    Love these photographs!

  9. Kate Wilson says:

    Beautiful photography. Am in love with your work.

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