If you’ve just gotten engaged, your brain is likely going a mile a minute thinking of all the excitement ahead. After you call your loved ones but before you start scouting venues and planning color palettes, you can’t forget about one very important step in your engagement journey: posting an engagement ring selfie.
An engagement ring selfie is a photo you take of your new ring on *that* finger. Many people post engagement ring selfies to share the good news with their extended friends and family all at once rather than one at a time. Those closest to you will call you up to congratulate you and hear all the juicy deets, but the engagement ring selfie is basically a modern-day engagement announcement—no postage stamp required.
Snapping the perfect engagement ring selfie has its own challenges. We called on Austin-based wedding photographer and videographer Jonathan Perkins to offer his best tips for taking the perfect engagement ring selfie.
Meet the Expert
Jonathan Perkins is the owner and operator of Film & Frame, a wedding photography and videography company based in Austin, Texas. He has a passion for people and those things that make them unique and enjoys documenting a love story as it unfolds both through filmmaking and photography.
How to Take an Engagement Ring Selfie
“A great way to think about any engagement announcement is to think about using visuals to create context, setting, and mood,” Perkins says. “When snapping photos for a post, think in sequences of three to five images: wide, medium, and close-up.” He recommends creating a story with the photos to capture the full picture of the moment it happened. Taking a picture of the sunset or landscape (wide), the two of you together (medium), an engagement ring selfie (close-up), and supporting images like your picnic lunch, hiking boots, or you two walking together (B-roll) will help craft this story for both your loved ones and you to look back on later.
Take the Photo Outdoors in Natural Light
It’s best to take an engagement ring selfie outdoors in natural light. If you’re taking the pic right after the proposal, try to capture the setting in the background. If your fiancé proposed to you on the beach, include the waves or sand behind you. You may even ask your fiancé to be in the background smiling at the camera or jumping for joy with their feet off the ground. Try a bunch of different backgrounds so you have plenty of options to choose from when you post it.
Pay Attention to the Focus
Use the auto exposure and focus lock feature on your phone’s camera to get the photo just right. Most cameras focus on faces by default, so if you want to focus the attention on your ring, just touch where you want the camera to focus and hold down for a second or two to get the focus and exposure to lock in place. If you have your fiancé in the background, this trick will blur their face and show off the new rock on your finger.
Avoid using the zoom feature. This can make the photo and your ring appear pixel-y and grainy.
Take Advantage of Lighting
Lighting is the most important factor if you want your ring to sparkle. According to Perkins, the trick for getting jewelry and gems to sparkle is utilizing both soft and harsh lighting to get the reflects in the stone to stand out. “A gem/diamond has many facets (cuts), which are all facing different directions,” he says. “If you only have one light, then any facets facing away from the light will not shine as bright. The trick is to have many lights all around reflecting through the gem.”
This lighting trick explains why rings at the jewelers look so sparkly on display—they have lots of little lights in their ring cases to show off every facet! Luckily, you don’t need to be a jeweler to make your ring sparkle. Perkins recommends using a combination of your phone’s light and natural light from multiple windows to show off your new bling. Use multiple phones to really make it shine.
Experiment With Angles
To make the ring appear bigger, remove all other jewelry so that the focus is on the ring. A large watch face in the frame could make the ring look smaller in comparison. Experiment with angles, but generally, the closer the object to the camera, the larger it appears to be in photos. Relax your fingers and even bend them a little to bring some dimension to the photo instead of a flat hand. This also helps bring the ring even a little closer to the camera, tricking the eyes to make it appear bigger.
Engagement Ring Selfie Etiquette
Now that you know how to take the perfect engagement ring selfie using the tips above, keep these engagement ring selfie etiquette rules in mind.
Don’t Post It Until You’ve Told Your Closest Friends and Family
Anyone you communicate with regularly should be the first to hear about your engagement. Some people might be hurt if they learn about it from social media like everyone else, so go down your list of the people you text the most to let them know before you post it publicly.
Feature Your Fiancé
While the engagement ring selfie is all about the ring, the engagement is about both of you. Make sure to feature your fiancé in your post, whether that’s thanking them in the caption or including a photo of them or the two of you in the gallery.
Avoid Gratuitous Bragging
Show off your ring, but do so without mentioning how many carats it is or how much it cost. Of course, you can discuss the things with friends personally but only if they ask and if you’re comfortable disclosing.
Remember to Tag Anyone Who Helped Make the Proposal Happen
If your fiancé purchased your ring from a local or small jeweler, make sure to tag them in your post. The same goes for the restaurant or hotel where you got engaged, especially if they helped orchestrate the event. All businesses appreciate seeing happy customers, and you likely have friends who are currently or in the near future planning to get engaged. Word of mouth and/or social media recommendations are the best type of reviews.