How to Take Perfect Engagement Ring Photos

With millions of couples getting engaged, you can expect your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to be flooded with proposal pictures and engagement ring selfies. This recent phenomenon of ring photos has become many couples’ preferred method for sharing the news of their engagement with family and friends. A sparkling snap of the engagement ring, paired with a cute caption and posted to social media, seems to have replaced the traditional good news phone call.

Of course, with any fad comes a lot of competition and over-saturation. I’ve seen some entirely un-friendly conversations go on between friends over how big the ring looks in person vs. how it looked in a ring selfie.

Some hand lotion and a manicure can go a long way in making your hands look their best for engagement ring photos. Otherwise, there is no reason to use any photography trickery to make a diamond engagement ring look larger or different than it appears in person. There are plenty of ways to enhance the natural beauty of your diamond to achieve a gorgeous, true-to-life engagement ring selfie.

What will make your ring sparkle the most?

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Two words: natural light. Nothing will show off your engagement ring’s sparkle quite like sunlight. If you live near the ocean, lake, or even a river, a beach scene is ideal for letting your diamond sparkle in natural light. In addition to being a popular proposal spot, the beach presents a unique photo op. This is because both the sun’s light and the reflection of the sun on the water will enhance the center diamond’s brilliance.

On the other hand, stay away from taking engagement ring photos in dim, yellow-toned light. In person, a reading light definitely gives diamonds a soft, romantic look. Unfortunately, this look does not translate well to photos, especially when it comes to yellow gold diamond engagement rings. At best the center stone will look blurry, and at worst it will look like it has a very low color grade.

What will make your diamond look bigger (and smaller)?

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No matter how large or small your ring’s center diamond actually is, certain angles and setups can change the appearance of its size. First and foremost, make sure to take a top-down shot of your ring. This is also called a “table view”, and it will give the most accurate impression of the diamond’s size. Depending on which diamond cuts and ring settings are used, side-view photos of an engagement ring can be totally misleading. For example, a large diamond set in an engagement ring that sits low on the finger will look tiny in a side-view image.

Another way to get an accurate picture of the diamond’s size is to remove all other jewelry and accessories from your hand and wrist before snapping a selfie. The shapes and sizes of your other jewelry can skew how big the center stone appears. This is especially true for watches; large watch faces are still in right now, so by comparison the diamond will seem much smaller than it actually is.

When to Share Ring Details

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There has been debate about this topic since long before the era of the selfie. Nowadays, with social media being such a huge part of our everyday lives, awkward conversations and subjects like this one run the risk of being broadcast to friends, family, coworkers, and even random acquaintances.

My recommendation is to not share the finer details of your ring, especially carat weight and price. It could lead to comparisons, jealousy, criticism, and a whole mess of other bad social situations.

What are the right details to share? Any unique touches that enhance the ring’s meaning. For example, sharing the inscriptions from engraved engagement rings is sweet and definitely not too much information. Calling out your sister-in-law for having a smaller diamond? Not as sweet.

Some Quick Do’s and Don’ts: 

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  • DON’T shy way from using your own hand. First off, it isn’t technically a “selfie” if you don’t have any of yourself in the photo, is it? Second, who cares if your nails or skin are perfect? Your friends and family shouldn’t; they should care about your happy announcement first and foremost. If you have a particularly critical audience, you can always crop the photo so that it includes only your fingers and not the nails.
  • DON’T use flash on a diamond close-up. The stone’s brilliance will reflect back in a very unflattering way.
  • DON’T rely on zoom at all. It is extremely difficult to get a high-quality photo of an engagement ring if you zoom in on the center diamond. A zoomed-in photo will almost always come out blurry.
  • DON’T take a close-up of the table if you have an Asscher or emerald cut diamond. These shapes have sizable, open tables, so inclusions will appear more obvious. I would stay away from top-down close-ups of emerald and Asscher cuts, unless you want to answer a lot of questions about the “scratches” on your stone.

Source: Josh Marion