• Back lit
  • calm
  • Center Framed
  • holding each other
  • Mid range
  • Natural Light
  • Posed
  • Rim Light
  • Rule of thirds
  • Soft Light
  • sunny
  • Sunset

The story behind the image

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When organizing this session, I knew from the start I wanted to shoot in sunset light. They both have gold and brown skin tones, so the idea was to highlight them with the most flattering light that I could find. The coolest thing about organizing a photoshoot outside of the wedding day is that we are able to talk more with the couple and explain our idea from both angles. We can build a personalized experience, by deciding on the time, place, and mood. I was completely free to choose for this one, so I picked that specific spot because it has a clear view so I knew we could enjoy the sunset for the longest time possible. And also because the idea behind this photoshoot was to show how close they are, and to completely be focused on them.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

At first, they were both looking away, but I thought it didn’t represent the tenderness I could see in their relationship. So I walked one step closer to them to get a feeling of intimacy, and by simply asking them to be even closer, especially their faces, Kelly then naturally grabbed Leila’s face.

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What did you say?

Girls, I really would love to have your faces very close, so close that you can touch each other softly.

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Tone of Directions



It was all about focusing on them. So I decided to have them equal in the frame, in the middle, and very close. I moved them a little bit so the sun wasn’t between them but on the side. By using this technique I still have enough sun, but the light is creating a haze which adds to the overall mood of the image.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I bent down a little bit to get more sky and fewer bushes in the background. Using the viewfinder, the focus was on the right bride because I always try to focus on the eyes. But since the two brides are on the same line, they’re both in focus. Continuous autofocus mode helps to focus on the point even more if the subject is moving a bit.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The face on the right

Equipment &

Sony A9 II
Sony Zeiss 35mm f/1.4
1/1250 @ f/f/1.4 ISO160 WB-Auto

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

I placed the couple to get the light slightly on their sides. By doing this, it created a softer light on their faces. It allows getting a graduated highlight (instead of one bright point) and more details in the shadows while keeping a good amount of contrast. Direct back light in the middle would have been too strong and probably too difficult to get the focus.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I do like warm tones. To accentuate the sunset mood, I’ve raised the temperature and tweaked down the oranges to balance the skin tones. I reduced the highlights and whites a bit, and played with the curve to get more contrast in the black.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom CC
Preset Used
Own personal Presets


As the scenery in the background was amazing, it would have been easy to always stay further back, and have a lot of wide amazing landscape images.

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I moved a lot, forcing myself to get wide, medium, and very close shots at all the spots we stopped at.

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Location Name

Parc national des Calanques

Location aDDRESS

Parc national des Calanques, Marseille, France

Loation Type




The lighting condition is the only thing we can’t control. It can be too harsh, too dark, too grey, or too orange. Don’t panic, and don’t be afraid to test different angles for your camera (lower, upper…), but also to move your subject in relation to the sun until you find the most flattering light. Also, having a mini reflector in your bag (some fits in a pocket when rolled), can really help to create shadows or ring light when needed.

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