Inanimate object:ive (our take on photographing rings) / by yunkin keophomma

Nikon 55mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor


We normally go for the older manual metal glass, which is the Nikon 55mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor lens. The precision is stronger in the manual because it has stiffer rings when it rotates. We choose it over the newer 60mm 1:2.8 because the 55mm has more micro precision and a certain character to it.

New | $409.95 (Amazon)

Used | $50 - $150 (Amazon)

Dimensional metal textures


When styling ring shots, find interesting textures around you throughout the day and keep your eyes on them. Even if something is rusted or beat up it can translate well with the beauty and flawlessness in the craftsmanship of the rings themselves. Remember, you don't need a large space because you're isolating everything in such a small scale that almost any texture comes to life.

For example, the metal base of a lamp with tarnished paint and signs of wear from scratches shows character. It's a great contrast because of its wear and age compared to the perfection of the rings. We like to use the philosophy Wabi-Sabi when we approach the search for textures. 

Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
— Richard Powell

If it's rusted, beat up or shows signs of wear, that's just the beauty of the transition of objects in life. There's no other pattern like this metal plate because of the certain wear it has received from time, giving it a specific character that almost talks to you. 


Take your time! Don't be afraid to play with and experiment with styling. Try not to recreate the same ring shots over and over again (we're guilty of it at times). Never think that the ring shot comes of small importance, since the pieces are small in scale. If you can make time for it, make it your priority to capture something special. Try different angles, lighting and materials/textures. 

Bend the light, use bokeh, find dynamic combinations, be abstract—just don't drop the rings into an open piano... (guilty).

If all else fails, use flowers! Most weddings will have a lot of arrangements, so you'll have a variety of options to choose from. It's not playing it safe—it's making sure you have a backup plan.

Some photographers or studios don't care for ring shots. We love these shots—they're a perfect opportunity to capture fine, splendid details, and to get creative with small scale. 

If you have any comments or questions just hit up the comment box below.

Thanks for reading and capture on!