2013 Best Of: 70 Creative Wedding Ring Photos

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I’m sure there will be many marriage proposals happening today, and in the spirit of that love, I’ve got a special article for you all.

Last year about this time I wrote “80 Inspiring and Creative Wedding Ring Photos” – and it was so popular, I decided to try and make it an annual thing. I absolutely love the challenge of taking this tiny, expensive, little sparkly things and doing something creative with them – either at the end of a couple’s engagement shoot, or at some point on their wedding day. Do I always knock it out of the park? Hell no. But I try, and the photos below are the fruits of that labor. My hope is that maybe a couple of these will inspire other photographers challenged with shooting wedding rings.

On a technical note, these were all shot using a 60mm macro lens on a Nikon D800 camera. Most of them are lit by an off-camera soft box powered by 7 speed lights. These can all be accomplished with less speed lights of course, but natural light alone isn’t gonna cut it if you’re going for the type of look you see in these photos. Some of the indoor photos were probably just one on-camera flash bouncing off a nearby white wall. I’m generally shooting in the F8-F22 range for ring photos – even with those settings the depth of field can get really shallow.

Feel free to comment below, I’d love to hear from ya!

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

I love finding nooks in rocks – usually at a beach – something that will provide some shadow, depth and texture to the shot.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

Sometimes I’ll task the couple to find interesting “found objects” in the area we’re shooting, with my goal to creatively implement them somehow. They feel good that they’re actively participating in the end result, which I think is cool.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

Setting the rings in the context of the wedding venue creates a solid visual memory and sense of place. I just love North Block Hotel’s coasters, they’re very graphically interesting (in Yountville, California)

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

I remember setting up this shot took FOREVER. Everything was round and slippery – as soon as one object was set up, something else would slip and everything would come crashing down. I just love the shapes, the depth and simplicity of this shot – and the fact that I actually got everything to stay without using superglue!

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

If you do nothing else with a couples’ rings, use the flowers in the bouquet. I know it’s not original, and this won’t win any awards, but the bride will love it.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

The last thing I want to do is have a ring slip off the table and roll around on the ground. The few times it’s happened, I practically had a heart attack. Capturing motion with the rings is really hard, and lt.’s face it – pretty stupid to attempt. I felt pretty confident working with the groom’s ring here, though, and spinning it with a flick, like you’d do with a coin. I dragged the shutter after the flash a bit to try and capture the movement, which I did (a little) I would like it better if it was closer to the other rings, but if you’ve ever flick-spun coins you know there’s quite a bit of chaos theory involved, so I consider myself lucky to capture what I did.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

I am pretty sure that’s asparagus and peacock feathers. I don’t remember if this was part of the bride’s bouquet – but you can’t pass up that kind of color and texture. This is a little busy, but still kinda neat.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

I saw this spotted rock on the beach and I had to use it somehow. Using a small, weathered shell propped up the ring, making for a more interesting composition than just putting the ring flat on the rock.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

Apparently the Ice Plant is an invasive species along our California coasts, but its thick, succulent-like structure and semi-translucent skin can make for some pretty cool ring photos. I believe this was shot at Carmel River State Beach.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

Another ice plant shot, this time with an empty mussel shell the the couple found.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

I usually like my ring shots really close in and tight, but sometimes you need to pull back a little. Feel the zen?

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

Getting real close here, I liked the crystalline structure of the quartz rock these rings are placed on – nice contrast and texture, and the background is blurred sufficiently to not distract.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

I’m using the splinters of this redwood (?) log in order to prop the ring in a vertical position. The different colors of the wood and the bokeh really add to this shot.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

I’m using the creative wedding favor origami the bride and groom made to complement the rings – which take a back seat in this shot.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

I couldn’t resist using the fun / realistic bride and groom cake toppers in this shot.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

This is an interesting perspective for joining the two rings – I think it only worked because of the ridges pin the groom’s ring and the sharp angles of the engagement ring – usually this joining wouldn’t be possible. Just when you think there’s only so many ways to lay out rings, some new opportunity presents itself.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

These seaweed bulb-things are often the perfect size for doing this. Any time you can keep the ring from laying flat on a surface, there’s interesting and creative opportunities.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

The shape and color of the lemons dominate this shot, but are out of focus enough to ensure the ring gets most of your attention.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

The side-lighting of this shot is critical to bringing out the texture and variety of greens in this leafy stem. Even though it’s shot straight-on, it has a wonderful depth.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

This is another arrangement of rings that is only possible because of the “ribbed” texture of the bands – they “stick” in place, where smooth bands would just fall flat. Amazing engagement ring too!

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

Can you tell what this is? Spoiler alert – it’s a vintage fan. I loved the bold color and circular rings, echoing the shape of the rings. Nice.

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

I was hesitant to do this – but you know how I like found objects. The bride’s retainer was sitting on the side of the bed, so I just moved it around a tad and placed the rings in the middle. At first glance it looks like an x-ray image or something. I just love the texture and simple composition – even if it is kinda gross.

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Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

Creative Wedding Ring Photos - 2013

 

Looking for a creative and talented wedding photographer? San Francisco / Bay Area Wedding and Engagement Photographer Chris Schmauch makes you look simply amazing! Call (831) 216-6210 or fill out this nifty contact form (for serious inquiries only). 

If you haven’t already, feel free to review our portfolio site, browse past real weddings, follow our business on Facebook (like us while you’re at it!), or read our awesome Yelp reviews.
 

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