There are a handful of dream Instagram posts on everyone’s list – the new job, buying a house, traveling to your dream location and, of course, introducing the world to your engagement ring. Clearly, the photo is about far more than the ring itself – it’s the iconic image that lets your friends and family that you and your partner are planning to tie the knot. Rarely do you scroll through your feed and simply see images just of someone’s hand without an exciting engagement announcement below.
So how do you take that perfect ring selfie that acts as your first wedding announcement? Such a specific image takes a little photography know-how, especially since you’ll probably take it at a highly emotional moment. The last thing you want is to fall down the rabbit hole of taking a million options, playing with every filter and causing yourself undue stress during a celebratory moment.
Let’s look at the top tips for how to take the perfect ring selfie with a little help from photographers and wedding professionals.
1. Take a Moment for You
Even if the proposal was expected and planned, adrenaline runs high right after your SO pops the question. Remember to take a moment to fully take in the excitement of the decision before announcing the engagements to waiting family and friends. This moment is all about you.
Waiting to post your ring selfie may also mean a better photo. Dim restaurants or evening strolls by the beach are not going to show off the light needed for a beautiful image. On the other hand, if the setup of your proposal is a great shot or in a scenic setting, you can always take the image in the moment and edit later.
Some couples choose to invite a friend or professional photographer to stay close by and come capture the moment. Professionals will know to sneak in to capture the moment and then allow you some space to process the moment together.
If you choose to have a highly public proposal with an immediate ring selfie, just be sure to plan some time to celebrate just the two of you soon after.
2. Natural Sunlight is Key
As we mentioned above, natural sunlight is always going to be the key to a great image. Indoor lighting is a close second, but fluorescent lighting can tint the image with a color that doesn’t show off the ring itself. Low selfie ring light will make the photo tricky to edit and could come out pixelated with a phone selfie camera.
If you’re taking a photo of the two of you in the setting sun, always be sure that you’re facing the direction of the sun, opposed to letting it hit your back. Natural light can create beautiful colors in the image if you’re in a shaded area such as a park, on a hike or by the ocean.
3. Increase Brightness in Editing
You can do wonders with the simple editing software in your smartphone or on your laptop. As a good place to start, increase the brightness on your image to get the most out of the color and shine of the ring. You can also play with contrast to differentiate the brightness from the shadows and clarify the ring a bit further.
Play with different filters to experiment with the light and how it can alter the look of your ring, hand and background.
4. Balance Your Content
Photography all comes down to knowing what to include in the shot. Create a balanced image by considering what’s in the foreground, the background and the choosing the focal point of the image.
Clearly, you want to focal point to be the ring, but what kind of story do you want to tell with the image? Is your ring-adorned hand draped around your fiancé’s shoulder? Are they in the background of the shot?
Think of yourself as the viewer of the image and find ways to tell a full story through this momentous image. You also don’t want to background to distract too much from your ring. If your hand is barely in the shot, it could take a while for anyone to spot the main message.
No matter the composition of the image, try to keep your hand and the ring the focal point of the image. You can achieve this through creative lighting, placing it around a pop of color or simply placing your hand right in the middle of the shot.
5. Prep Your Nails
If you know – or suspect – that a proposal is on its way, fancy up your nail design to ensure a beautiful ring photo. Either go with something soft and light to reduce distraction from the ring or show off your personal style with something extravagant. There are no rules about how to show off your new ring on Instagram or Facebook, it should be about you. If you’re looking to keep it simple, choose a simple French manicure or a neutral-toned polish.
Some brides may go as far as planning their nails with their outfit, especially if the clothing makes it in the shot. If you plan to lean your hand against your chest or knee, the color of your nails could play a role in pulling the image together. Add patterns or accents to your nails that add to the cohesive image.
6. Plan your backdrop
The backdrop of your ring image can play as much or as little a role in your image as you like. You can either show off your location, your fiancé or your outfit or remain neutral to shift all focus to your ring. Play with a few ideas when choosing how to frame your ring selfie with a beautiful backdrop.
Since many proposals happen in beautiful locations, consider holding your hand up against the backdrop of your location. The ocean, a mountain range or a setting sun across a vineyard tells a fuller story about how the proposal happened. Remember to skip this step if your indoors or late into the evening. Phone cameras are not great at picking up the subtle details of a ring in the dark, even if it’s catching the available light in person.
Pops of color in your outfit can also be a fun and eye-catching backdrop to your ring selfie image. Rest your hand on your lap against a floral dress or even wrap your arm around your fiancé if they’re wearing a fun pattern. The bright composition of the shot will stop your friends from scrolling past.
Never hesitate to turn this into a full selfie by flipping the camera around and making yourselves the backdrop. This can be a bit tricky to capture, so consider having a friend nearby snap the photo for you, using a selfie stick or a tripod stand. Consider this another opportunity to capture the beautiful scenery around you.
Looking for a simple way to show off your ring? Lay your hand on a natural wood table, on a marble countertop or even in the grass if you’re outdoors for a picnic. The fun textures of the natural materials below set a great contrast against your hand and ring. Remember to look for plenty of natural light, especially for simpler images.
7. Editing is Your Friend
Though it’s always possible to over-process a photo, there are some simple tools on most smart phones to spruce up an image. In addition to the brightness feature mentioned earlier, consider starting with the automatic magic wand option. Sometimes the simplest shift is all you need. You can also make an image pop by – delicately – playing with the saturation of the photo or by bringing out specific hues in the light. Also be sure to level your image, as taking a selfie can be tricky to straighten.
If you’re intimidated by the editing process, filters can make just as much as an impact. Keep a few filer-free images on your photo without posting. This way you can print them later without the fear of too much pixelation.
Tips for Posting Your Perfect Selfie
The beauty of social media is the ability to make life announcements to everyone all at once. On the other hand, be sure to check in with close family and friends about your wedding engagement before making it public online. In addition to acknowledging they deserved a personal check in, they can also help you celebrate online by sharing your post. Explore a few additional tips for making a big impact with your image:
If the proposal happened at the end of a romantic night, you may want to wait until the next day to post your ring selfie. Fewer people are social media late on a Friday night than on a Saturday morning. If you post the announcement too late, too early or on a major holiday, it could get lost in the shuffle of people spending time away from their phones.
Hashtags and Shout Outs
Did you get engaged at an iconic restaurant, at an amusement park or even a friend’s house? Tag the business or personal Instagram in their post to reach a wider audience. Remember to also include as little or as many hashtags to get the level of attention you’d like. If you want to branch out to larger communities on Instagram, include wedding and engagement-related tags that welcome outside views. Keep it more private by only posting on Facebook and changing your privacy setting to friends only.
Responding to Reactions
Loved ones from all over your life will flood you with notes of congratulations. If you’re enjoying the first day of the engagement, don’t feel obligated to respond to every note and every message. Loved ones will understand.
Family members and close friends may also begin asking about the details of your wedding. Take your time to enjoy your engagement and try not to feel pressured or rushed into the next step. Being engaged is a wonderful and exciting time for your relationship. Posting your ring selfie is just one of the first steps of wedding planning.
Thinking Past the Post
Only once the excitement truly sets in and you’ve had a chance to celebrate, begin brainstorming initial ideas about your wedding day. Perhaps you had a secret list of hopefully plans already going or maybe you’ve never given it one thought.
Finding the right wedding venue can significantly simplify the wedding planning process. At The Pavilion, a personal event coordinator will walk you through each step toward creating a beautiful wedding day. With a wide selection of ceremony and reception spaces, cater your day to your unique style and wedding theme. Our preferred vendor list makes choosing a photographer, DJ and officiant even simpler.
Your wedding planning experience is a time for celebration from the proposal to the final toast. Show off your ring to the world, take the time to celebrate and savor your engagement and then turn to planning your dream wedding day.