Do you find it bizarre why so much attention is given to photographing wedding rings? Did you have a meeting with your photographer and they were really passionate about it or because you've been trawling through page after page of wedding photography ideas on Pinterest and they always come up? Then this post is for you. Here are five of my reasons why wedding ring photography should be an essential on your must-have-wedding-photo-list. It's certainly on mine!
1. I give you this ring.
At some point or another we have all heard these words associated with the exchanging of rings and the unending bond that they represent. Let's just remind ourselves of them whilst we're here:
"I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage, and as a symbol of our love. I promise to care for you, to respect and cherish you, throughout our lives together."
In fact we may be so accustomed to hearing those words as we grow older that we begin to overlook the significance they hold. Wedding rings remain one of the greatest symbols of love and commitment two people can share together. They are one of the first things fiancés buy together and in reality will be one of the few surviving momentos of your wedding day, other than your wedding photos and dress (unless you 'trash the dress' of course - more to come on that in the future). So a keepsake that's so constant in your life together has to be worth including in the memories captured in your photos, right?
2. More than a memory.
Introducing the notion of your wedding rings being a keepsake was no accident. Your wedding rings are a symbol of your love and commitment to each other but they will eventually develop into a much deeper symbol of your identity and your family. Their value will grow as your history does and you may end up offering them to your children for their own wedding proposals or they may inevitably be passed down as an heirloom. In any case, the journey of your rings starts on your wedding day and that's also when they will look their best - that's something your family will want to look back on as well as you.
3. Let's celebrate!
Literally! Your wedding is a day long celebration just for you. It's full of smiles, laughter and probably a tear or two. There's confetti to throw, glasses to raise and ridiculous dance moves to break out as the night goes on. Everything you have planned and brought for months and months plays some part in your wedding day, whether big or small, and all those things get photographed. So why not your rings?
You may be thinking - "let's not get reckless here! These are our wedding rings not a box of confetti". And I value why you'd feel cautious handing your rings over to someone to take them around different spots to photograph them.
I remember buying my camera, it was brilliant and when it arrived I was super excited to unbox it. Once I was holding it I found myself feeling nervous, not wanting to scratch it, protecting it almost. This sounds reasonable but I found that it was somehow stopping me from being immersed in shooting with it, finding safer, less risky perspectives to shoot from, not resting it on the ground or on a wall. When I broke out of the habit and started shooting the images I wanted to begin with, the whole experience changed and was way more fulfilling. My point being (yes there was a point to that) you should dive in to your wedding day and immerse yourself in the experience and the photography, and when you dive in - take your rings with you. You may regret it later.
If you browse wedding photography looking for inspiration you may find yourself amazed by the sheer amount of ideas that photographers come up with. I know I do. The creativity and desire to integrate different details and items into new and interesting photographs is something that drives the passion of all photographers, particularly those who specialise in weddings. Wedding rings provide a fantastic opportunity to embed your theme, colours, flowers, even your cake into your photographs. It's also a brilliant element to use when getting the photographs of just the two of you. The scope for creativity is as endless as the infinite bond they represent and within it is a chance to create truly personal and original photos.
5. The icing on the cake.
Photographing people is a fantastic experience, especially on their wedding day. As a photographer you look for those little glances and small moments of someones personality coming through. You use the elements you have around you to bring that out as much as possible, to make it unique and to make it an experience for the people you are shooting. The experience continues when they view the images and when they exhibit them - whether online or in a frame in their home. That continued experience is something I try to hold in my mind whilst I'm shooting - how would this look as an album or as a series of framed prints?
Giving attention to the details and accenting the wider shots of two people together with the intimacy and scale of their wedding rings resting together really helps bestow an identity and a story to the images as a collection, they thread context and meaning to an album and they encourage that feeling of 'us' for the people who see them every day. The small details really can be the icing on the cake of your collection of images.