Step-by-Step tutorial on how to rock your next jewelry shots - macro style!

Maybe its the girl in me or the photographer, or both, but some glittery bokeh is to die for! I mean really, who doesn't want to be mesmerized by some buttery sparkly goodness?!  Boys, put your hands down I have a non-glittery tutorial coming up too.



Macro shots are a bit different than portrait photos.  Ok, a lot different.  In portrait photography I am a sucker for a low f-stop.  I shoot 1.4 normally for all senior sessions but when it comes to a macro lens forget-a-bout-it!  

The depth of field is so razor thin even at 4.5 that you have to come out of your shell and go to something higher to get more than just the face of the diamond.  Now of course I don't ever put myself into a box so I also suggest you macro at a lower f-stop to create other amazing photos but for this set-up crank that baby up.

This particular photo was shot at 4.5.  I know ... I know ... I said shoot higher if possible but I loved this so much I threw out the images that were shot at a higher f-stop.  

Normally though, I like something up around f11. With a higher f-stop you will need some light.  You can shoot with a window behind you so that the light is facing the front of the diamond or you can do something like I do which is an LED macro ring.

Shoot in RAW please!  I'm not kidding here.  Shooting in RAW allows you to bring out details you will have lost if you compress the image in-camera.  I will explain why later. Note:  Do not overexpose your shot.  

You will want every detail.  I air on the side of underexposed slightly rather than blowing out the image.



To setup the shot to create this dreamy bling'd-out look you will need something sparkly of course.  This can be anything because you are not even going to see the form of it (shirt, purse, shoes, etc.)  Boys, you won't appreciate this but here is my favorite pair of Jimmy Choo's that I photographed this ring macro shot with. .

.Step-by-Step tutorial on how to rock your next jewelry shots - macro style!

Lay your diamond ring on the glittery goodness but please make sure you have cleaned your ring.  Even if you do not see something with the naked eye your macro lens will pick it up. .



The angle is important.  You want to make sure that you are eye level with your diamond but also getting some of the glitter in your foreground.  To do this do not put the diamond right at the front of the object you have it laying on.  Somewhere in the middle is great (see image below for placement).  Move your camera around and pay close attention to the catch light in the diamond.  This angle will be important for picking up the details.  Do not rush this part. .



I find it easiest to use manual focus when shooting rings and macro in general.  I get my sharpest images this way.  For final sharpness I use the Gem Photoshop Action to pick up the details & sharpness that my camera didn't get and plus it takes the bling to the next level. .

Step-by-Step tutorial on how to rock your next jewelry shots - macro style!

Wedding ring macro photography




If you setup & shot this correctly and don't get down on yourself if it takes a 50 times to get it right, editing is fast and simple.  You are going to open your RAW image, yea remember I pimped you on this earlier.  There are a few things I like to do to my image every time I'm in RAW.

Open the image into Photoshop or Element and finish up with a little action love! Watch this video below to see the final steps taken to make this an ultra crisp and beautiful image.

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Link to original youtube video:   .


Behind The Scenes 

Create this look with some fun sparkly scrapbook paper and a Macro LED light (bought this on Amazon) .

Setup for wedding ring macro photography

.RAW Data

Other Samples of Stacie Jensen's Macro Jewelry Shots

Photo by Stacie Jensen
Photo by Stacie Jensen


  • Harper Shay

    Hey Stacie! In this article you wrote “I find it easiest to use manual focus when shooting rings and macro in general”. Do you normally use manual focus or auto focus?

  • Stacie Jensen

    In Macro Photography I use Manual Focus

  • Cynthi

    Great article! This is the next area of photography that I need to work on. What lens do you use to shoot macro with?

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