The location, the question and the moment were perfect. Now it’s time to share your big news with the perfect engagement ring snap! It might be tempting to upload a blurry shot with a screaming I SAID YES!! caption because you’re just so excited — you are engaged after all! — but why not pause to set up a photo you’ll love for years to come?
Try these ten simple tips to transform any cell phone picture into a hand-model approved image that’s worthy of your love — and brand new bling!
- Lighting. Lighting. The best thing you can do to improve the quality of any photo, is to bathe the subject in plenty of natural light. And that’s great news, because you don’t need any special equipment — just an average window at the right time of day. Oddly enough, cloudy days are the best for soft natural light, but even full-sun days are great if you shoot after 4 PM to avoid harsh shadows.
- Skip the flash. Closely linked to tip #1, utilizing the maximum amount of natural light means you won’t need a flash. More light doesn’t mean extra sparkle — just an added risk of overexposing with lots of blurry white.
- Put your best hand forward. When you’re taking a photo this close up, any small hang nail or corner of chipped nail polish will detract from the beauty of your ring. A fresh coat of polish, trimmed cuticles and hand lotion can make a world of difference. Don’t have time for a manicure? Don’t sweat it! Get creative by holding hands with your new fiancé (YAY!) or choosing an angle that creatively crops out the offending nail.
- Shine it up. If your ring is fresh out-of-the-box it’s probably already Instagram-ready, but consider giving it a quick cleaning just to be sure there aren’t any fingerprints or stray fibers connected to it.
- Think back. Obviously your ring will be front and center, but what’s behind it? Think about the perfect backdrop before you take your pic. Did your proposal happen somewhere unique? The ocean, a Christmas tree or a nature scene would look lovely in the background. But even if your proposal happened in the kitchen over a cozy Saturday morning brunch, make sure countertops are clean and distracting clutter is out of sight.
- Get a hand-le on things. Professional photographers recommend holding your hand in the air to the count of 12 before moving it to the perfect position. This makes your veins less noticeable, and gives your skin tone a moment to even out. Also, remove any other jewelry you may be wearing. Be sure to relax your fingers into a natural state, and don’t be afraid to add a small prop or rest your hands on something if they just feel too awkward posed in the air.
- Adjust the angle. Try various poses and angles. If your ring has a unique feature or detailing, be sure to play with specific angles that highlight it. Avoid shooting straight on as it will make the photo seem less dimensional, and take a lot of options so you have a variety to choose from.
- Focus on the features. Our phones are amazing little gadgets — just make sure you’re utilizing the features tastefully to get the best shot. For instance, be sure to physically move your phone closer or further away (rather than using the zoom) to avoid pixelation. Then once you have the shot squared up, tap the screen to focus. Use an editing app for cropping, contrast, sharpness — and don’t hesitate to throw on a filter if it ups the class and clarity. And choose just one photo to share rather than a collage. Give your sparkler center stage.
- Say what you feel. Once you’ve tweaked the photo to perfection, think about a caption that truly expresses how you feel. Elated? Grateful? Marrying your best friend? Don’t be afraid to say it!
- Be uniquely you. The biggest thing to remember about sharing your ring selfie is to do something that’s totally you. Do you wear Keds more than kitten heels? Always have a Starbucks cup in hand? Or maybe you’re pup-obsessed… think about incorporating something a little extra to make your shot one-of-a-kind and completely you. (Just be sure to strike a balance. You waited a long time for that ring — give it a chance to glow!)