Nothing makes a bride feel more spoiled than a gorgeous shot of her ring. And nothing makes a groom puff out his chest and feel more like a man than a macro shot of one of his most expensive purchases.

But what if there is no light for photos?

During last Saturday’s reception I borrowed the rings from my bride and groom just like I always do. I went to find an uninterrupted space to take gorgeous photos when I realized that there was NO good lighting. Like, none. I knew I was going to use my macro lenses, so the background didn’t matter too much, but I wanted to find an indoor space that had nice, yummy, glowy light. 

(Instead of having a traditional sign-in book, this couple had their guests sign vinyl records! This was important to them, so you will see the bouquet and the vinyl as part of the ring set up here.)

Enter the scene. I found a classroom with a window. Believe it or not, but this window had the best lighting in the entire building! I set up the ring on the ledge (hallelujah, it was beautiful light marble) but when it faced toward the room, the diamond was too dark!  (It’s important to keep light bouncing into the diamond so that the facets are defined and blingalicious!) I turned the ring set up sideways so that half of the ring was lit by the window. I squeezed my elbow, camera and head into the other half of the window ledge so I could see through the viewfinder and compose my shot, barely fitting. #anythingfortheshot Aaaaaaaand, click! Bummer, the shot was super dark. The side of the ring closest to the window was lit well, but the dark room was reflecting nothing back to the ring, and the shot was just too flat.

Unfortunately, I left my reflector in the car and I didn’t have time to get it. Time to think outside the box. Although I have used my own hand as a reflector before (I am super white), that wouldn’t work well enough in this situation. I found a random piece of white 8.5″x11″ paper and used it as a reflector. Because it wasn’t super big, I had to hold it really close to the camera and ring for the desired reflection. (I kept the light in the classroom off so that the blue light from outside wouldn’t compete with the yellow or green light from the kelvin bulb.)

Without the “reflector”                                                                             

With the “reflector”

Here is the final edited shot, after a magic makeover in Adobe Lightroom.

Here is another example straight out of camera.


… and after