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21 Ring Light Photography Ideas to Get You Inspired

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taking photos through ring light

Ring Lights have become a popular tool in the photography industry, especially when creating social media content. They can easily make any subject look amazing by distributing a soft, illuminating light and emphasizing details in photographs. They are great tools for capturing detail in macro and close-up photography, providing even light for portraits,  and capturing the mood in wedding photography. 

If you have recently added a ring light to your tool kit or are thinking about doing so, you may be looking for some inspiration to capture creative and compelling images. Have a look at the great ideas we found to get you inspired, or skip to the different sections that interest you most:

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The 21 Ring Light Photography Ideas

Macro Photography

A ring light is very helpful and effective in macro photography. They are easy to use, lightweight and transportable, and affordable.

1. Eye of The Needle

multiple threads through the eye of a needle
Photo Credit: Myriams-Fotos, Pixabay

Challenge yourself creatively by creating an interesting and abstract image using a simple object like a needle and thread. The evenly distributed light from a light ring attached to the camera’s lens clearly captures and illuminates fine details.

2. Macro Eye

close up of the human eye
Photo Credit: coyot_Pixabay

Eyes are a doorway to emotion, and you can gauge a person’s feelings with just a moment of eye contact. With the amazing use of macro photography, you get up close and personal and highlight incredible details of the iris and pupil. The eye is fascinating, and with the help of a ring light, you can capture a captivating image that leaves anyone who views it in awe.

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Portrait Photography

A ring light in portrait photography helps eliminate shadows by producing a soft, direct, and evenly distributed light on your subject.

3. Black and White Portraiture

a black and white portrait of a beautiful woman
Photo Credit: MoonRid3r, Pixabay

Monochrome images can portray a mood that color portraits can’t quite capture. They are powerful and dramatic, and the use of a ring light creates beautiful and soft highlights, illuminating the face while providing a stunning contrast.

4. Self Portrait

portrait of a young woman
Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

Step out of your comfort zone and get in front of the camera for a change. Light output is constant when using a ring light for a self-portrait, and the pupils become constricted. This helps to capture the color of the eyes more, making any self-portrait look amazing.

5. Creative portrait


Color gels can be used to produce effects and be more creative with portrait photography. Intentionally placed color gives the image mood and extra intensity.

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Beauty Photography

Ring lights are perfect for beauty photography. They help to capture finer details and close-ups and provide a pleasing glow to showcase makeup looks for glamor and high fashion images.

6. Close Up

close up of a young girl's face
Image Credit: elijahssong, Pixabay

Ring lights are the best option for close-up photography. They provide a flattering illumination while emphasizing detail for a flawless result. Take advantage of the lights to capture detailed sections of your model’s face.

7. Makeup Detail

beautiful woman with make up
Image Credit: houseoflegacy, Pixabay

The ability to capture close-up details with a soft and even light makes ring lights particularly useful for makeup artists. This type of photography provides creative freedom for both the photographer and the makeup artist, and it’s an excellent opportunity to play with bold color pallets.

8. High Fashion

portrait of a beautiful woman
Image Credit: Eriscolors, Pixabay

There are no limits to high fashion, and this form of photography allows you to get creative and push the boundaries. Opting for a monochrome color pallet can be visually pleasing, especially a bright hue like red that makes a statement. Play with the composition to make your image more interesting.

9. Glamor


Create glamor portraits that would rival those from a New York fashion show. This glamorous portrait uses strategic lighting to create a moody feel. A ring light provides a soft, even glow that illuminates the face, and the low saturation creates soft contrasts.

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Product Photography

10. Social Media Content

man going through social media
Image Credit: Erik_Lucatero, Pixabay

Ring lights are often used for creating social media content, and if this is your niche, there are a variety of unique and creative ideas. Your subject could include capturing action shots of smartphones and popular platforms such as Instagram to create content for personal branding.

11. Creative Advertising

product photography of a watch
Image Credit: mattyphotographyy, Pixabay

In product photography, a ring light can provide the critical light source. Use the product to inspire you and use key elements of the product to design your concept, like this photo, where they have used the color and flavor to inspire the theme of the image.

12. Play with Shadows


Get smart with your ideas and concepts to make your product photography unique. The clever play with shadows in this image is captivating to its audience, and its concept makes it memorable, which is clever advertising.

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Creative Photography

13. Silhouette

umbrella and woman silhouette
Image Credit: Ivica, Pixabay

Creating a silhouette is one of the most interesting photographic techniques. It provides a sense of mystery in your image and allows the viewer to create their own story.

14. Light and Shadows


Black and white photography is so effective, especially because you get to play around with light and shadows.

15. Specific/creative light


The use of a ring light allows you to focus the illumination on a specific area, creating dramatic and contrasting lighting. Its ability to pick up fine details enables you to showcase texture and highlight specific portions of the subject.

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Wedding Photography

16. Capture Details

close up of a diamond ring
Image Credit: Engin_Akyurt, Pixabay

Ring lights are popular for capturing details for wedding photography because they allow you to get close to the subject and capture the details with ease. You can eliminate unwanted shadows while creating a soft glow around the item you photograph.

17. Moody Wedding lighting


You can create a moody and romantic image by using your ring light as a backlight. By using it in this way, you can provide your clients with some unique images they will love. As a backlight, it illuminates the subject from behind and provides a soft but bright illumination to a specific area.

18. Creative Wedding Prop


Using your ring light as a prop is another way to get creative with wedding photography. The light illuminates the face but is present in the image. This idea is unique and can inspire you to think of other creative ways to include your ring light as part of your subject.

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Ring Light as a Prop

Ring lights don’t need to stay behind the scenes. You can have fun with your photography by incorporating your ring light as a prop.

19. Luminous Frame


You can use your ring light as a luminous frame around your subject’s face; the key is having darker surroundings and the ring light as your only light source. It will provide a soft light on your model’s face and create a beautiful contrast. This technique is very effective for black and white photography.

20. Smoke Effect


Incorporate a smoky effect along with your ring light prop for something more abstract. Place the light behind your subject to create shadows on their face. This provides a mysterious and dramatic result, and the smoke gives the image an exciting and eerie feel.

21. Ring Light Portal


Your ring light can be used as a creative frame by placing your camera behind the light  and creating a bright white circle around your subject. In this image, the use of the ring light creates the illusion of the subject looking through a portal.

Why Use a Ring Light?

The beautiful soft light produced from a ring light is reason enough to use one, but there are many more benefits to adding this tool to your photography kit.

One of the unique effects of using a ring light is the catch light it creates in your subjects’ eyes. It also makes an amazing prop, as you can see by the ideas we have shown you, offering a cool and creative element to your photography portfolio. The light it provides for close-ups is hard to beat and gives you a stunning, easy result.

A ring light is also useful for vlogs and YouTube videos and is highly popular among influencers today. It is a brilliant tool for creating beautifully lit social media content.

Purchasing a Ring Light

When purchasing a ring light, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • If your photography sessions require you to move locations, make sure your ring light is lightweight and easily portable. It should be easy to pack up and have a case to keep it safe.
  • Check the battery life on your ring light and ensure it will last long enough. You don’t want your battery to fail you when your creative juices are flowing.
  • Consider the size you will need. Ring lights come in different sizes ranging from 8–20 inches.
  • Be sure to purchase a ring light made with high-quality materials, especially if you plan to transport it to different locations.
  • Do your research and find a ring light that suits your budget. While you don’t want to go bankrupt, purchasing equipment that earns you money is a good investment.
  • A new ring light should come with a warranty.
  • Take time to read through customer reviews.

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Final Thoughts

A ring light is a valuable investment for your photo shoots. It lets you get creative while taking your work to the next level. We hope the ideas we have provided for you have given you the inspiration you need to create beautiful images.

Featured Image Credit: r.classen, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.