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Behind the Lens: Wedding Ring Photography

On Day Five of our Week of Wedded Bliss, we spoke to wedding photographers about their inspiration for these five enticing ring photographs from our Real Pittsburgh Wedding Couples.



Photographer Alisa Milnthorp, who shot one of our Real Pittsburgh Weddings this spring, says it best when she identifies the wedding rings and accompanying photographs as “the tangible memories that you will look at every day.” We chose five of our favorite shots from the 15 Real Pittsburgh Weddings and delved into the significance behind them.



As Carmen Ogrodnik got ready for her wedding to David Mizer in her childhood home, her photographer looked for ways to incorporate that space into her work. Kristi Telnov of Kristi Telnov Photography ended up taking advantage of the property’s garden and all of the features that it had to offer.

After taking a more traditional shot of the rings surrounded by rose petals, Telnov says she thought she would try a different approach and take a detailed shot of the wedding rings being held by a statue of a frog in a raincoat. The theme of the photograph paired well with the couple’s wedding and reception venue — the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Read more about their wedding here.



For their wedding, Allie Jandrlich and Brock Belich were inspired by music, which later inspired photographer Meaghan Elliott of Meaghan Elliott Photography to incorporate it into a beautiful shot of their wedding rings.

“I try to shoot the details in a way that fits with the story of my couples, and the sheet music was the PERFECT place,” Elliott says. “[Music] was such a big piece of their celebration. There was live music at the barter prior to the ceremony, at the ceremony, post ceremony in the parking lot, cocktail hour and reception.”

Sheet music made an appearance at their reception beneath the centerpieces at each table. “My husband and I are both musicians — he’s actually a music teacher — so the sheet music was just an additional design element in our wedding that meant something personal to us,” says Allie.

Read more about their wedding here.



Alisa Milnthorp of Weddings by Alisa says she wanted to capture the significance of Alyia Smith-Parker’s engagement ring with the couples’ wedding bands in her photograph.

“The wedding rings symbolize the unity between the couple, so that’s why I think it’s imperative that I photograph all three and not just the engagement ring alone,” says Milnthorp.

Greg Gaskin’s wedding band is an unusual piece, and the stones are what initially caught Alyia’s attention. “Greg is extremely kind and generous, always willing to take care of others, but rarely does anything for himself,” she says. “I selected a ring with three stones; one to represent each of us and another to represent Christ at the center. The first time Greg saw the ring was when I placed it on his finger at the altar. He was very surprised and happy.”

Read more about their wedding here.



Photographer Michael Williams of MichaelWill Photography captured one particularly special picture of Julia Balacko’s ring during her wedding celebration to Jeffrey Knopes. The image includes Julia’s jewelry, her silver heels and a handkerchief that reads “For My Prince Charming,” with text and the wedding date embroidered.

“We love incorporating personal details with jewelry photos,” says Williams. “Especially with Julia’s wedding color being green, it was hard to resist using the handkerchief she was giving Jeff as the base for the photo. A little sparkle from her shoes and a few of the borrowed rings and you get the idea!”

The picture not only captured the personal details of the wedding day, but it also showed off the unique Moldavite gemstone in Julia’s ring. “Moldavite is my favorite gemstone. It can be found only in one place on earth — in the Czech Republic — where a meteor collided into a river bed,” says Julia. “Some religious groups believe moldavite has supernatural powers. For us, the rarity and unique history of the stone gave my ring a story all its own.”

Read more about their wedding here.



Photographer Melissa Lucci of Leeann Marie Photography wanted to capture as much as she could about the wedding of Ashley Cain to Ryan Burda in her photograph of Ashley’s engagement ring.

Lucci says she took advantage of the natural light that poured into the windows to get a crisp, simple shot of the ring on a wedding invitation.

“Photographing [Ashley’s] engagement ring with the wedding invitation was a great way to photograph the transition from ‘fiancee’ to ‘wife’ and their wedding day,” she says.

Ashley was pleased with both the ring and the photograph. “Because Ryan picked out my engagement ring entirely on his own, that makes it all the more special to me,” she says. “We absolutely loved the way Melissa was able to get creative and photograph the ring while also incorporating our invites.”

Read more about their wedding here.


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