• Bright
  • calm
  • Center Framed
  • Dinner Details
  • Dinner Setup
  • full body
  • holding hands
  • Leading lines
  • lower thirds
  • Soft Light
  • Sunset
  • Walking

The story behind the image

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Leslie + Ken were two of the sweetest, kindest, and shyest people I’d ever met. We talked about their wedding planning process and how for a long time they considered not even holding a big celebration because neither enjoyed being the center of attention. They didn’t even decide they wanted a photographer until only a couple of months before the big day in Lake Tahoe and I was beyond excited when they chose me to capture it. Since they loved more intimate moments with just the two of them, I wanted to make sure they had plenty of those throughout the day so they could soak in all of the love at every chance. After the sun had set over the lake and they had their first dances we took a moment outside for some portraits. The dinner set up on the dock was draped with hanging florals all the way down to the edge and I had to get some extra photos of the two with all the magic.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I asked them to hold hands and walk slowly away from me down the dock. Leslie had the most beautiful custom detailing on the back of her dress so I wanted to capture that as well. But I mostly wanted the photo to feel like a truly intimate, quiet moment with just the two of them after all the buzz of the day died down.

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What did you say?

Hold hands and take a minute to walk down toward the end of the dock together.

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Tone of Directions



I really wanted to highlight the leading lines of the hanging florals and lights heading down the dock with the gorgeous sunset in the background. I couldn’t frame the couple directly in the middle because of the table, so I put them just to the side keeping the rule of thirds in mind. I wanted to shoot fairly wide to get the whole set up in the shot.

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Lower Thirds


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Since the shot was wide and the couple was fairly far away I didn’t need to worry too much about the focus. I just set it on the couple to make it easy! I like doing wider shots like this in live mode so I can see exactly what the photo looks like.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The back of the bride

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II
1/640 @ f/1.8 ISO640 WB-9300K

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 was your very typical “blue hour” lighting. The sun had gone down past the horizon and the sky was beautifully pink and blue reflecting on the water. It was a tiny bit dark but mostly even lighting.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I loved the natural colors and lighting in this photo so I didn’t want to change much! All I did was apply my custom preset. The only adjustment I made was desaturating and increasing the luminance a tad in the oranges so the skin tones weren’t as dark and vibrant in comparison.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


Only having a short amount of time for portraits at sunset.

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Planned out shots I wanted in advance and made sure we started at the right time!

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Location Name

West Shore Cafe and Inn

Location aDDRESS

5160 W Lake Blvd, Homewood, CA 96141

Loation Type

Wedding / Event Venue


United States

When shooting in darker lighting situations like this I almost always use live view and the touch screen on my camera to make sure it’s focused. I have terrible vision at night so sometimes using the viewfinder doesn’t cut it for me and I find this a lot easier!

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