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Instead of doing a first look, Hannah + Lucas wanted to save that magical moment when they first see each other for the walk down the aisle. But they also wanted a little moment to themselves to exchange vows and feel each other’s presence. So they chose to do something I absolutely love capturing every time- a “first touch”! I placed them on either side of this pillar where they could just reach back and touch hands without seeing each other. They then read the most beautiful, heartfelt vows to each other and had everyone (even me) teary-eyed.

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How did you compose your image?

I really wanted to use the beautiful architecture of the house we were at that had a very Santa Barbara feel to it and felt like these archways were perfect for this moment. It also allowed me to create some perfect symmetry (and I love a flawless rule of thirds moment)- which I felt really portrayed the feeling of the couple being so close to one another but just far away enough to stay out of sight.

How and what did you focus on?

The focus here was pretty simple! I just chose to focus on the bride’s body (arm, head, etc) and it was super easy for the camera to capture the whole scene since I was standing a ways away.


How did you use the light in your image?

This shot was taken in pretty even, open-shaded light. I purposely chose somewhere I knew they both would have plenty of even light on them. It was mid-day so the shade of the house worked perfectly here and all of the white created a lovely balanced setup.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L II





Shutter Speed






White Balance


How did you edit your image & what did you use?

This edit was super simple! I applied my custom preset, increased the contrast and temperature just a tad. I also tweaked the saturation of the oranges a bit for richer skin tones.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

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What challenges did you face?

The only challenge we really had with this was not having a ton of time! There was a lot to get done before the ceremony.

How did you solve them?

I made sure I had a clear timeline and looked around the house beforehand to find the perfect spot for this moment.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

When creating a moment like this you sometimes have to really get creative! I don’t always have gorgeous, perfectly sized, well-lit outdoor archways to stand my couple in. Take a look around the venue and use other people (if you can) to set up the shot and make sure it works. You can use outdoor corners, doors/doorways, even trees!

Autumn Nicole

Shooting since


Current Home

United States of America



Hi friends! My name is Autumn. I’m a wedding and elopement photographer based in beautiful Utah. I soak up as much inspiration as I can from the beautiful nature I’m so lucky to live near. Photography has such a huge place in my heart. I love capturing that magical connection between two people and taking photos that capture them and their relationship in the truest form. So excited to be here and help you guys learn!

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