Watch on YouTube – Wedding Ring Photography Tutorial
Reflective subjects are difficult to work with. Anyone that has tried to shoot jewellery or rings will know the struggle of reflections and the loss of detail from having the wrong lighting available. In our latest shoot, we used the Adaptalux Studio to capture an engagement ring and it got us thinking about how wedding and jewellery photographers light their shots…
Wedding Ring Photography
An important shot on every wedding photographer’s list is the ring shot. Probably the most fiddly part of the photographer’s day. Wedding ring photography requires a dedicated lens, a carefully considered constructed image and unique lighting to cater to small objects rather than the people and landscapes that dominate the rest of the day.
In the shot above, London based wedding photographer Kari Bellamy uses the lights of the venue to create amazing bokeh effects in the background. In the foreground, the Adaptalux Studio lights the rings themselves. The addition of coloured lighting arms creates subtle coloured bokeh on the backs of the rings too.
Studio Ring & Jewellery photography
Shooting your collection of gold trinkets for posterity.
Cataloguing artefacts like Simon Norfolk for National Geographic.
Working with an e-commerce team to display products in an online store.
Advertising those products with feature images.
…all of this studio work requires precise control over the light that falls on a reflective subject like a ring. Photographing jewellery and rings in the studio requires a different set of skills to working in the field. Creativity need not be abandoned, but the purpose of the images is often different. When representing the artistry of the ring it’s self, the focus shifts from the emotion and beauty of the day to accuracy and the detail of the piece.
Ring Flash for Rings?
Short answer… No
Be it wedding ring photography or studio based jewellery shoots… The key component with both of these scenarios is control. Being able to control the light falling on a reflective surface is the key to a stand out image.
A ring light (flash or continuous) can be used for consistency across a lot of subjects, but for jewellery, it will hold you back. Using natural light from a window on-location works well for a lot of wedding photograpers. However, with an extra bit of help, those rings could really catch the eye. Simply bringing in a subtle colour (or not so subtle) can make those rings stand out. Even a little extra white light in the right place can make all the difference.
Flexibility and scaling the light down to match the size of the subject preserves details for representative shots. Shooting with a huge softbox will give nice diffused light, but you will see that softbox reflected in every surface. If there is too much light or the source is too large, the details of the ring will be lost.
It doesn’t need to be complex…
Our top tip for shooting rings and jewellery? Take control over the light you introduce to your shots. Think outside the box when it comes to those reflections and the bokeh you could create.
It doesn’t need to be complex. Nobody wants their wedding photographer to spend an hour getting a single shot of the rings. However, bring in some simple, creative and easily adjustable artificial light and it can make getting an amazing shot quick and easy.
In the studio, getting through your list of products fast just means taking control. Precise and flexible continuous light means being able to make adjustments quickly for each new product. Trying to blast everything with a softbox is fast… however, each subject will lose a little something in the process.
Using the Adaptalux Studio, it’s flexible Lighting Arms and adjustable brightness settings makes shooting subjects like our engagement ring an absolute treat. Try to exploit colour and texture. An interesting surface like slate or stone can be easily taken into a studio or wedding venue. Remember, you have to press the shutter eventually, don’t get carried away with the creative options!
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