Focus & Composition Tips for the Perfect Ring Shot

Details are an important part of an elopement or engagement session, and shots of the ring(s) are a must-have to complete these galleries! My sessions are all outside using natural light, and it’s so fun to get creative and use whatever is available for your composition. Here’s what I’ve learned to create gorgeous ring shots – I hope it will be helpful!

  1. This is a given, but use a macro lens  – mine is the Canon 100mm 2.8. It does not have image stabilization, so I have to have an extremely steady hand and can’t always rely on auto focus. If needed, adjust manually and try moving toward and away from the ring until it is sharp.
  2. Focus on the prong of the ring that is closest to you. It may feel natural to focus on the diamond, but if the prong is in focus, everything will appear to be in focus as well. If you are still struggling, increase your aperture.
  3. Place all of your rings on the same plane in line with the prongs of the diamond ring. The macro lens is SO sensitive and if they aren’t lined up on the same plane, some elements will be out of focus.
  4. Depending on the time you have, set up 3 different compositions and remember, simplicity is key. I love the look of natural stone or rock with some greenery. You can stay with the same color scheme for consistency, such as different shades of green (grass, leaves, ferns, etc), or have 3 completely different looks. Try different arrangements – all in the middle, rule of thirds, lined up, stacked, etc.

Here are a few I took of mine and Brent’s rings – yes the gold is scratched, that’s because we have been wearing them for 25 years!! I never had photos of our rings when we got married, but now I do! 🙂


Hello, I’m Sarah! Nothing would make me happier than documenting your authentic, real moments in beautiful evening light in the Virginia mountains.