Ring Photo Tips – How to Photograph Rings for eCommerce

Ring Photo Tips – How to Photograph Rings for eCommerce

Ring photography is a subgenre of jewellery photography that focuses exclusively on rings. It is often used by photographers for product shoots, editorials and wedding shootings. Ring photos are always a challenge because metals are highly reflective.

20 Ring Photography Tips for Beginners

If you would like to add beautiful pictures of a ring to your photography portfolio, this guide will show you how to photograph jewelry. Make sure to read this article to learn more about equipment, skills, lighting and different ways of taking eye-catching pictures.

1. Clean the Ring Beforehand

ring photography cleaning

Cleaning and polishing the ring before shooting will prevent you from taking ugly jewelry photos. To avoid unnecessary editing, pay attention to the clarity of diamonds and other gemstones. If you want to get a beautiful ring picture, I recommend using gloves so that you won’t leave fingerprints on the jewelry pieces.

2. Use Wax or Putty to Make the Ring Stand

ring photography putty

Use wax or putty to make a ring stay where you need it to be. The wax is considered to be one of the best jewelry photography props, as it prevents a ring from falling and helps you bring your ring photography ideas to fruition. The only drawback of wax is that it can stain the surface, so consider in advance which background you will choose.

3. Manage Reflections

ring photography reflections

Metal and diamond photography can be challenging due to the highly reflective nature of these elements. To minimize the reflection effect, I recommend placing paper around and at the bottom of the camera lens. You will also need a professional ring light to take photos in the perfect conditions.

4. Avoid Distracting Backgrounds

ring photography background

Jewelry background is extremely important for taking a great shot. You need to choose a neutral background to place the focus on the ring. For your ring photography, choose the background color and texture that will complement the object.

5. Use Natural Light for Diamonds

ring photography diamonds

When shooting diamonds, lighting plays an important role. Daylight is great but you can also use the best ring light for photography. You can take pictures by the window or outdoors. Well-cut gemstones that display asterism and chatoyancy will become even more eye-catching under direct lighting.

6. Mind the Composition

ring photography rule of thirds

Don’t ignore the role of composition when taking a picture of a ring. If there is more than one ring in the photo, you should think about the placement of all objects in advance. You can make your photos more stunning by using the rule of thirds in photography. Try dividing your shot into 9 parts and placing interesting elements on the intersections or along the lines.

7. Retouch the Photos Properly

fixthephoto jewelry retouching before after fixthephoto jewelry retouching before after

I recommend taking photos in a consistent style using templates and alignment tools. After shooting, you will need to edit the image of a ring, as poorly retouched photos might undermine the credibility of your company and affect sales. If you are a beginner without any retouching skills, I recommend hiring a remote employee or contacting a post-production retouching service.

8. Use a Macro Lens

wedding ring macro photography

Due to the macro lens, the camera image sensor allows you to take life-sized photos. If you choose a macro lens, use the minimum focusing distance. The shorter the distance is, the more suitable it is for jewelry photography. The best cameras that I can think of are Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM and Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED.

9. Use a Lightbox

ring photography light box

A light box for jewelry photography is just as perfect as a studio ring light, with both of them being worthy alternatives to natural lighting. Thanks to the even distribution of light, you will take pictures of rings without shadows or reflections. You can use a DIY light box or buy a special light box, like HAVOX Photo Studio HPB-60D.

10. Use a Tripod

ring photography tripod

A tripod is a vital part of any jewelry photography kit as it stabilizes your camera and helps you take clear images. Using a tripod, you can keep objects in the frame and adjust the lighting. I advise you to use Vanguard Alta Pro 263AGH.

11. Use a Reflector

ring photography reflector

When taking photos by a window, you will need to use a reflector board or a mirror to reflect light at the ring on the opposite side. The reflector will provide you with even lighting.

12. Choose the Correct White Balance

ring photography white balance

In ring photography, it is very important to understand white balance settings to take perfect jewelry pictures without distortion. This plays a crucial role in sales, as you need to ensure that photos of gold rings won’t look like pictures of silver ones. To achieve true-to-life colors, make sure to manually adjust the white balance of the camera beforehand.

13. Use Deep Depth of Field

depth of field ring photography

An aperture of f2.8 or f4 is not suitable for ring photography. You need to use a small aperture that allows you to see all the details of the jewelry pieces. The best option is f/8, which is closed down enough to focus on all the details of the ring, but wide enough to create bokeh and blurred backgrounds.

14. Shoot with Manual Focus

ring photography manual focus

If you are interested in wedding rings photography, you need to rely on manual focus as autofocus is less accurate. By focusing manually, you can get sharper shots and the desired result. Make sure to take several photos and zoom in.

15. Use Complementary Colors

ring photography complementary colors
ring photography complementary colors

In ring photography, additional colors help your images look more interesting. Use complementary colors photography rules to place your rings on beautifully-colored surfaces.

A solid surface or color combination will help the rings look more attractive. The main thing is not to overdo with colors and leave the focus on a jewelry piece.

16. Work with Models

ring photography models

Although jewellery photography with model is costly, it’s a great value for money. Such pictures build your brand image and show clients how to wear your rings. For example, the Australian jewelry brand Bowerhaus prefers working with different models, depending on the style of the collection.

17. Look for Reflections

ring photography reflections

Use mirrors, glass surfaces and other reflective materials to create vertical symmetry and bring your creative jewellery photography ideas to life.

18. Create Bokeh

ring photography bokeh

Bokeh emphasizes the subject in the foreground, making it clear and blurring the background. Bokeh photography is a great solution if you want to use the blurred background to bring the subject into focus.

19. Use Flowers

ring photography flowers

When taking wedding ring photographs, don’t forget to use flowers. You can place jewelry pieces inside or on the top of flowers to create beautiful engagement ring photos.

20. Find Interesting Textures

ring photography texture

You can take rings anywhere to create amazing shots. Use natural textures and patterns for backgrounds, such as marble, pearl, granite and gray surfaces. When choosing a background, pick an option that complements the composition without taking all the attention from the ring.

Freebies for Ring Photography

Post-processing is one of the most important steps in ring photography. If you want to improve your shots, while maintaining their natural look, I recommend using these three freebies for Lightroom and Photoshop.


lightroom freebie for ring photography lightroom freebie for ring photography

This free Lightroom preset makes your white background brighter and all the details in your photo clearer. Colors will look richer and more saturated, without any signs of distortion. The preset also allows you to illuminate objects from all the sides as if there were a bright stream of light directed at each of them.


photoshop clarity freebie for ring photography photoshop clarity freebie for ring photography

The HDR effect helps you deal with pale images, making them brighter and more interesting. The colors in the photo become deeper, while the details acquire more volume and clarity, which will attract customers’ attention.

Light Streaks

photoshop light streak freebie for ring photography photoshop light streak freebie for ring photography

If you want to make your engagement ring photography stand out, use this light streak effect to bring the focus to your jewelry pieces.

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