Christmas engagement ring

How to Photograph Your Engagement Ring for Instagram

Posted by Sean Alder on Jan 10, 2018 8:00:00 AM

In Engagement Rings

Who doesn’t want to show off their beautiful new engagement ring on social media for all their friends to see? Today’s technology lets us snap a photo whenever we want and post it to social media, anytime, anywhere. But getting that perfect engagement ring Instagram shot is trickier than you might think.

Jewelry is notoriously hard to take a good picture of without some preparation. So if you want the best photo you can make to show off, here are some tricks of the trade for jewelry photography:

Clean Your Ring

The first thing to do is to clean the piece. Due to the high resolution of modern digital photography, smudges from skin oils will show up in the enlarged photo. Pro photographers use cotton gloves to handle cleaned pieces before a photoshoot. If you’re going to show the ring on your hand, put it on just before the shoot.

Avoid Complicated Backgrounds

There are several reasons for this. First, a complicated background or props can distract the eye from the jewelry. Second, surrounding colors can reflect off the metal in the ring and cause it to change color. Remember the viral image about the color of a dress a few years back? Black and blue on a yellow background made the dress look white and gold. The same thing can happen with your jewelry. A simple white background is best. You don’t have to sheet the whole area with white cloth like a pro does. Even plain white copier paper will work.

Go for Natural Light

Next, consider the lighting. Don’t use a flash with jewelry. The bright reflections will bounce off the ring and cause bright spots to appear on the ring. Instead, you need to use natural light. Try to use two gentle light sources coming in from opposite sides to reduce reflections. If you can raise them above the piece, the better the photo will come out.

Use a Tripod

If you have a tripod, use it. Jewelry pieces are so small that even the tiniest handshake or focus issue will cause it to blur. A tripod will also make it much easier to take multiple photos because you can move around without worrying about the camera. The more photos you have to choose from, the greater the chance you’ll find that perfect shot to show off. Try different angles and show off all parts of the ring.

Play with Focus

If you are using a fancier digital camera rather than a smartphone, you can experiment with the focus. Pro photographers use anywhere from f/8 to f/16 for taking jewelry photos, with f/11 being the most common. This lets the photographer get a very clean view of the piece without blurring the edges. Most smartphones and digital cameras will autofocus the aperture, but if you are able to set the focus manually, then give it a try.

Don't Over-Edit 

Finally, unless you know what you’re doing, don’t try touching up your photo with image editing software. It’s way too easy to screw up an image. Stick with cropping the image to the size you want and reducing the file size so you can upload it to Instagram or wherever you’re posting it.

These simple tricks will help you create the best photo of your jewelry so you can show it off to everyone! If you have more jewelry photography questions, our jewelers may be able to assist. Visit one of our stores for more information.