• calm
  • Center Framed
  • Harsh Light
  • kissing
  • Mid range
  • Moody
  • Natural
  • Natural Light
  • Palm Tree
  • Palms
  • Rule of thirds
  • Shadows
  • sunny

The story behind the image

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The couple wanted to spend a weekend in a very nice guest house and have some images of their time spent there as well as them together. The venue was a beautiful place in the southwest of France, surrounded by nature. The perfect place for a relaxing time and to exchange their vows. The idea was to spend the day with them, documenting a slow day in their lives. This photo was taken during the couple session after the ceremony. It was a sunny day, and in the middle of the afternoon with harsh light.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I asked the bride to stand behind a palm tree, so she had the shadow of a leaf on her face, and then I asked the groom to be behind her and kiss her cheek.

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What did you say?

To the bride: can you stand few steps behind the branch?
To the groom: can you walk through her and kiss her cheek slowly?

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Tone of Directions



I was looking for a way to hide a little from the harsh light and add texture that shows the nature aspect of the venue. So I placed the couple literally in the garden and composed my frame based on the best way to get the shadow. Their faces are a little more on the center of the frame than I usually do because I could see my own shadow on them.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Using the viewfinder, I focused on the bride’s face as she was the most under the light. With her face a bit on the side, her right eye was perfectly lit.

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Focus Mode

Continuous Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Brides' eyes

Equipment &

Sony A7R IV
Sony 35mm f/1.4
1/5000 @ f/2.0 ISO100 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

The light was directly in front of the couple, meaning I had it on my back. I was looking to play with the shadow and texture, as the sun was super high and the light was harsh. This was a way to “break” the very contrasty look I could have had by just having the couple under the sun. I usually like to shoot backlight, but in this situation, it was better to play with direct light.

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Light Type

Natural Light



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

Based on my usual preset, I tweaked it to get more muted tones. I increased the temperature a little bit to get the warmth of the sun. I lowered the clarity just a bit to get a smoother skin texture. Then I dropped down the highlights. To get creamier muted tones, I changed the tone curve by lowering down the highlights and lights under the neutral line, creating a very slightly S curve. I desaturated the yellow and green and finally added some grain.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used
Own personal preset


The biggest difficulty was to find an idea to use the harsh light in a creative way when no nice background under the shadow is possible.

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I saw those palm trees that were on the side of the way, so I gave it a try. No shadow available, let’s create one!

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Location Name

Coco Barn Wood Lodge

Location aDDRESS

Chemin du Moulin de Sis, 40150 Angresse

Loation Type

Garden / Field



If you’re facing light conditions that you’re not used to, try to use objects or environments to get closer to what you want. And if nothing is possible, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Balance your light issue by unexpected composition, pose,s or movements.

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