• arch
  • back to back
  • Bright
  • Center Framed
  • full body
  • Home
  • house
  • natural frames
  • Shade
  • Soft Light
  • symmetry
  • vows

The story behind the image

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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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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.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

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.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Brides face

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L
1/800 @ f/2.0 ISO200 WB-7122K

The way the EXIF is written out follows the common photographic method (with the inclusion of White Balance at the end). Here it is broken down:

Shutter Speed @ Aperture ISO White Balance.

Light & Weather

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.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

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.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


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.

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

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Location Name

Santa Barbara, California

Location aDDRESS

Santa Barbara, CA

Loation Type

Private Home / AirBnB / Apartment


United States

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!

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