• almost kiss
  • Haze
  • Moody
  • minimal
  • light streaks
  • Light Beam
  • intimate
  • Indoor
  • fog
  • Artificial Light
  • Dark
  • creative lighting
  • Creative
  • Close up
  • Center Framed
  • Backlit
  • Back light
  • streaks

The story behind the image

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I often shoot in natural light. And by often, I mean 99% of the time. I’ve made the golden hour and backlighting my signature style. Knowing that I do like artificial lights, (coming from a photography studio background ), I don’t know why I don’t ask my couple if they would like to try something different. So for this shoot, I wanted to go the opposite of my usual photos.

I had ideas in mind I wanted to try. I was inspired by the retro mood we find lately in films, tv shows or music videos. So I asked my couple if they’d be keen to experiment with me and they were keen.

I felt super excited to go out of my comfort zone, and now shooting in artificial lights is definitely an option I give to my couples.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

After I set up my light, my initial plan was to have the couple walk and cross in front of the light but when they did this, I noticed how the light affected them and so I changed the concept. I had them go for a more posed shot where I had them stand close to each other, so close as if they were about to kiss and to just keep it there while I got my shot.

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What did you say?

Can you stand face to face very close? Arthur stay on the left side please, and Angela can you go on the other side. I’d like the ray of light to be between you. Now get your mouths very close as you’re about to kiss.

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Tone of Directions



I wanted to use the light as a wall between the couple. While Arthur is in the dark, we can see Angela taking him like she was from another world, brighter and invites him to join with a kiss. It’s a representation of how a couple can support each other when needed. I used the light as a leading line almost in the middle to seperate the frame into two stories.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

As I was standing on Arthur’s side, and it was his story I wanted to tell, I focused on him. I used single spot and continuous autofocus. I moved the focus spot to be on his eye.

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Focus Mode

Continuous Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

the boy's eye

Equipment &

Sony A1
Sony 50mm f/1.2 GM
1/125 @ f/1.2 ISO800 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 put the room into complete darkness and I used an artificial light behind the couple. To get the wall effect, barn doors were used to help control the spill of the light and the direction it was falling. I really like backlighting my subjects because it creates this image of mystery as a lot of the details are cast in shadow. It creates wonder for the viewer.

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Light Type

Artificial Light

Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I used my own preset and tweaked it to be more contrasty and colorful.I saturated the red a little bit because my base preset is usually set up for desaturated reds and oranges. In this image, as red is the main color, I had to bring it back. I also brightened up the highlight to get a more vibrant mood.

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Editing Software
Preset Used
Own personal preset


The biggest challenge was to start from a completely dark room and build the lighting set up from scratch. As mainly a natural light photographer, it was a challenge to use a technique I didn’t have much experience in.

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Test, shoot, test, shoot, test and shoot again. The only way to get to a perfect image was to move the light, change my angles and repeat until I got the results I wanted.

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Location Name


Location aDDRESS

57 cours d'Albret 33000,Bordeaux, France

Loation Type

Sport studio



The biggest challenge was to use the light to get the result I had in my mind. After years of shooting natural lights, I found it pleasant to compose and shaping the story around a light.

Also, finding the perfect studio that can be completely dark was very useful. The best advice I could give to someone who would like to work with artificial light is to try and try again. Test different sources of lights, brighter or darker, change angles, and see the effects for a better understanding of how to use it.

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