Before
the Shoot

Location Equipment
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I am not a landscape photographer. Don’t get me wrong, nature can be beautiful and breathtaking but I would always choose people over stills. I like the visual aesthetics of pictures but I fall in love with an image when it moves me. This happens most of the times when I get to know the beauty of the people in the picture.

Nati and Jose are outstanding humans full of energy. They are constantly smiling, loving life and each other. This frame is so extremely peaceful to me. Every time I look at it, it takes me back to an early morning on a black sand beach where Nati and Jose were dancing on top of stone.

I wouldn’t change anything specific in this picture but I would make sure to hold the shutter down and to be able to create a gif afterwards. I would love to see the dress fly and the waves coming in.
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Location

Location Name

Playa de Benijo

Location aDDRESS

Playa de Benijo. Almaciga, 10 38129 Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Country

Spain

Location TYPE

Beach / Coastal

Equipment

Camera

Canon 5D Mark IV

Flash

None

Lens

Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4

Lens Filter

None

Other Equipment
No additional equipment was used.

During
the Shoot

Directions Composition Focus Light & Exposure
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Directions

Tags

Energetic Holding Each other Natural Playful Dancing Movement

Description

Dancing is such an incredible way of moving. Everyone dances in a unique way and joining forces on the dance floor can be magical to me. Lots of my couples sadly wouldn’t feel comfortable in front of the camera if I would ask them to dance. And feeling comfortable is the most important to me.

If I know that one of the two is a dancer before the shoot I can’t let this go. First thing that came to my mind was the last lifting figure in dirty dancing. I asked Nati to step on a stone so Jose could pick her up and lift her. Totally did not work! So they climbed the stone together and made their own movie scene.

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What was said

Jose I heard you are a breakdancer. I don’t think breakdancing on the beach would work – especially with the cloths you are wearing – but I would love you two to dance. Could I ask you to lift Nati up once she climbs on the stone. And Nati can you jump a little to make it easier for him.

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Composition

Why I composed the way I did

I have a thing for putting my couples in the center-center of images but there was more thought to this composition.

Since they were standing on a stone I naturally had to shoot from a lower angle. I wanted them to be in sync with the mountains behind them while being the “highest” one. Their dark hair slightly sticking out while their white cloths keep flowing with the water.

Besides Nati and Jose the stone and sand were important parts of the composition. I wanted the stone to be seen as well as the remaining footprints in the black sand. Telling a side story of how they got to this stone in first place.

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Tags

Rule of Thirds Center Framed Wide Full Body

Focus

Focus mode

Single point auto focus

Focus Technology

Single Shot Autofocus

Focused on

the bride's hair

Focus description

I focused on the Natalias Hair using Autofocus. I always shoot Single Point Autofocus with my Canon 5D Mark IV but it always surprises me. It rarely is 100% where I wanted it to be but thats the charming thing about not being a machine.

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Shutter Speed

1/2000

Aperture

f/2

ISO

200

White Balance

Auto

Other Light Sources
No additional light sources were used.
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Light &
Exposure

How the light was used

This was meant to be a sunrise session but unfortunately our transportation didn’t show up and we couldn’t get to the location soon enough – this is a reminder that things can go wrong. So in the end it was a morning session on a cloudy day, leaving us with soft light through the clouds and reflected light from the sea. In this light you can easily shoot from any direction and any angle without risking to over- or underexpose. I was hoping the light would enhance the foreground intimacy as much as the stunning surroundings and the light didn’t let me down.

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Tags

Soft Light Bright Natural Light Morning

After
the Shoot

Editing & Presets
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Editing &
Presets

Editing Software used
Preset Used
How I edited this image

I used my “own” preset — which is not fully true since I didn’t make it from scratch but it evolved with me over the years. The base was from Julia and Gil’s Film Collection back in 2018. Colors in Spain are in general a little warmer than the colors in Germany and I wanted that to be seen in the pictures I took on Teneriffa, which is why I increased the overall warmth. It was important to me though that I wouldn’t color in the black sand instead I wanted to desaturate it. I also gave the bottom of the picture a dark gradient to darken the sand putting the focus on the couple.

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Conclusion

Challenges Solutions Advice

Challenges & Solutions

Events that were challenging during the shoot

Shooting at the beach is beautiful but also a little scary for my equipment. Most Sessions I shoot with two cameras. One I am absolutely aware of since it is in front of my face and one which is tangling around my hip. Sometimes I get so caught up in the moment that I forget about the second camera and slowly walk into the water – deeper and deeper. Be cautious about your technical belongings. Also watch the couples cloths you can go in the water at the end but you don’t want them soaked within minutes.

Solutions I found

When you shoot at the beach start away from the water, put your couple on little high tops and concentrate on standing prompts and the longer you shoot the closer you get to the water. Maybe even end in the water – but please only take the camera in your hand.

Advice

I learned to be more cautious about my surroundings. Scanning the given playground a little more careful before starting to shoot. And if I would’ve had more time, I would have loved to get them a little more sandy and steamy. Maybe even take an underwater camera.
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Photographed by

Alissa Katharina Beer

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