just for fun, weddings

February 7, 2017

Ring Shot Practice

January is generally a slow time for photographers, and I’m no exception. With a record snowfall frozen to the ground, I’ve been spending my time indoors…but not slacking off! Not only am I determined to keep fresh content on my blog this year, I want to spend my off season learning and practicing. Often during a wedding day, I don’t have a lot of time to get creative with the rings. Last week the mounds of snow outside were bouncing light all around, so I set up our wedding rings on our kitchen table near the sliding glass door. It seemed like a fun way to spend a cloudy day, plus it was just after our anniversary, so you know, I was feeling kind of sentimental.

First, a Few Favorites from This Summer

I stayed up late one night figuring out how to use flashlights and sparkly objects to compose the following shots. As much fun as that was, I was looking forward to working primarily with natural light. And remembering to clean my ring BEFORE taking highly magnified photos of it. Hello, dirt! Anyway, here are some shots from my summer practice session.

Beautiful blue and gold bokeh behind a wedding ringTwo macro pictures of a wedding ringWedding ring on a blue backgroundBeautiful blue and gold bokeh behind a wedding ring, with purple bokeh in the foreground

Hours Before We Took Down Our Christmas Tree

Oh yeah, I also got the itch to practice my ring shots earlier this month, right before we put away our Christmas tree. Although I liked many of these, I wished I had been able to work with more light than just the overhead lightbulbs (and tree lights, of course).

Two pictures side-by-side: one of colored lights behind wedding rings, the other of wedding rings on a mirror

My husband saw this one when I pulled it up on the computer and asked, “How’d you do the fire one?” I’d like to keep this little secret to myself for now, but I will say that it did involve a yellow Christmas light!

Wedding rings with bokeh that looks like fire

Last Week, During My Daughter’s Nap

Okay, so here we go! I dug up all kinds of items around the house, trying to find props that might be available on a wedding day (or things I could carry in my gear bag). Our wedding colors were red and black, so that seemed like a good place to start.

Stick a holly sprig in there and it’s Christmas!

Wedding rings with red bokeh all around

I dug out our stash of wedding invitations that we’ve received over the years. I found this one with green swirls on the back (right).

Two ring shots side-by-side

This is a red vase with a sparkly pinwheel behind it!

Wedding rings on the edge of a red vase with a pinwheel in the background

Eddie and I have been to Korea twice, both since we got married. Had we known how special the country would become to us, we would’ve incorporated something Korean into our wedding day. I thought our Korean tea set would suit the occasion well.

Wedding rings on a Korean celadon teacup

Wedding rings on a Korean celadon teacup with teapot beside them; rings inside the teacup

Oops, the one on the left was from another day, when our Christmas tree was still up. On the right, I placed the rings on a mirror. The red and green is a reflection of a bouquet of flowers that Eddie bought me for our anniversary. It was on the kitchen table already, so I went with it. Unfortunately, the flowers were too small and delicate to hold the rings. Plus they spread little black pollen bits everywhere.

One shot of colored lights behind wedding rings, the other of a vase of flowers reflected in a mirror

While I was shooting our rings, I also photographed some other jewelry. These are the earrings I wore in our wedding, on the same sparkly pinwheel a few pictures back.

Pearl and diamond fishhook earrings on a pinwheel

And on the left is the necklace I wore in our wedding.

Pearl and diamond necklace with teapot in background; rings surrounded by red sparkly things

Wedding rings and jewelry on a white sparkly background

RED!!! AAAAH, I love red so much!!!!

Two wedding ring shots with red bokeh

Wedding rings on an upside down Korean celadon teacup; diamond and pearl necklace on a bamboo mat

Look how scratched our rings are! It’s only been seven years! I suppose rings symbolize a marriage in several ways, except that in real life, our trials and hardships can enhance the beauty of a marriage (if we let them). By now you’re probably noticing that there aren’t that many “poses” possible with rings, especially given my chevron-shaped wedding band. Most of the creativity is in the background choices and the overall composition. But once in a while you can do some different set ups.

Two horizontal pictures of wedding rings on patterned wedding stationery

Here are the anniversary flowers! Just balancing these dainty little earrings was a challenge.

Pearl and diamond earrings on red flowers

Pearl and diamond necklace on a bamboo mat; pearl earrings on a teacup

Wedding rings on a rainbow-colored pinwheel

Wedding rings with other jewelry blurred out in the background

Rings on a mirror; pearl and diamond necklace with Korean celadon teapot in the background

Rings on stationery, rings with pinwheel in the background

Wedding rings and red bokehRings on a bamboo mat; rings on a teapot lid


Macro shot of wedding ringsEarrings on a Korean celadon teacup; rings on dark background


Pearl and diamond earrings on a pinwheel

Wedding rings in a Korean celadon teacup

Wedding jewelry on a white sparkly backdrop

Since the lens I was using was so long, I had to stand on our kitchen table (not sure if that was a good decision or not) and hold the camera up higher than I could even look through. For those of you who are curious, the lens I shot all of these with is the Canon f/2.8L 100mm macro on my Canon 7D. That camera’s crop sensor means it’s an equivalent of a 160mm lens. Basically that means I had to back up a LOT for this shot.

Pearl and diamond fishhook earrings and necklace on a bamboo mat with a teacup

Lastly, a Coke bottle cap. I spotted it on the kitchen counter and couldn’t resist. We had three drink choices available at our wedding: water, iced coffee, and Coke. It’s kind of our thing. Well, my thing. The one food/drink I just can’t give up completely.

Wedding rings next to a Coke bottlecap



Ring Shots from Recent Weddings

Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I also wanted to share some ring shots I’ve taken at actual weddings. This first one was a pretty cool idea, I think: the weights are the date for the wedding: August 15, 2015. Although the concept was pretty clever [pats herself on the back], I feel like the composition could’ve been a lot more interesting. If I had the chance to do it again, I have quite a few ideas of things I would try.

Rings on barbells, the weights spelling out the wedding date: August 8, 2015

This next one is a prettier shot, and you can see more of the rings themselves. However I wish I’d thought more about how to use all three weights in a closeup like this.

Wedding rings on a 15 lb barbell; the wedding was in 2015

These are from Justin and Annie’s wedding in October. I borrowed their rings during the reception, so I didn’t want to be gone long. What if a wedding guest wanted to take a picture with them? I’ll bet they’d like to have their shiny new rings on in that picture. I know I would. Anyway, I found some wooden hearts on a glass-top table outside the church sanctuary. Guests were to sign their name on a heart when they came in. I spread a few out, placed the rings, and used my left hand to hold a piece of purple paper underneath the table while shooting with my right hand. This allowed me to use one of their wedding colors as well as the wooden hearts, which had significance to the couple.
I also took the more dramatic picture for fun. It will be obvious to Justin and Annie that I brought my own paper and beads for that picture, but I thought it might be nice to give them a more unusual picture of their rings, too. Besides, that’s what I had been working on during the summer and I was excited to use out that technique for someone else.

Three shots of wedding rings on a purple sparkly background, two including wooden hearts


I really enjoyed my ring shot practice last week, but let me tell you, I’m tired of looking at the same rings! Anyone want to let me borrow theirs? 😀


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