• Blue Hour
  • Center Framed
  • Dancing
  • Energetic
  • Evening
  • full body
  • lower thirds
  • minimal
  • Minimalistic
  • moon
  • Natural Light
  • Playful
  • Soft Light
  • Wide

The story behind the image

Show more
Have you ever had so much fun photographing a couple that you don’t want to stop? This image was a result of that feeling. We had used up every ounce of light that night. As we were walking back to the car, I noticed the moon shinning through the last bit of sunset. I had that huge serge of excitement us photographers get and told my clients I had one last idea. This idea ended up turning into one of my favorite sets of portraits I’ve ever taken.
Show more


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I asked Hayley and Brad to walk up the hills to the top. Once they were there, I asked them to casually dance together and I instructed Hayley to make sure she really moved her dress to create extra movement in camera.

Show more
What did you say?

I am LOVING the moon right now so I want to create a silhouette of you two on the top of that hill. Once you are up there, I want you two to just start dancing. Brad, twirl her a few times and Hayley, make sure to really get your dress flowing. Just have fun with it!

Show more


I really wanted to give off a “dancing under the moon” vibe. To achieve that, I positioned them above myself by having them stand on a hill further in the distance. I also positioned them directly under the moon so that both elements were the center of attention. I did 1/3 of the photo being the shadow/ground and 2/3 of the photo being the sky. The purpose of this was to really show off the sunset and let the moon make a statement.

Show more

Lower Thirds


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I used single point autofocus and positioned it on Brad because he was standing still as Hayley was twirling. I took the image through the viewfinder in order to really pay attention to my composition.

Show more
Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Guy

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 35mm F/1.4 L II
1/200 @ f/3.2 ISO640 WB-6100K

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 exactly 14 minutes after the official sunset time, so we had hardly any light left. We were 100% in “blue hour”. The last bit of light that was there was coming from the right.

Show more
Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day

Blue Hour

Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I used a version of a preset I had purchased years ago called LKO. The image was shot very “cool” due to being blue hour, so I warmed up the image significantly. In doing so, it brought back the pink colors of the last glimpse of sunset. I wanted the ground to be shadowed as much as possible, so I added vignetting. I did bright the orange saturation down while bringing the orange luminance up to help their skin look less orange and stand out more. Other than that, a simple exposure increase and added a little grain!

Show more
Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


My main challenge was how little of light I had to work with. I did not want the image to turn out very grainy by upping my ISO too high.

Show more


I knew I wanted them to be silhouetted, so I focused more on exposing for the sky/moon and not worrying about exposing for the couple. Being able to bring back detail in the couple’s faces was a huge bonus in editing.

Show more


Location Name

Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest

Location aDDRESS

450 W 100 N, Valparaiso, IN 46385

Loation Type

Garden / Field


United States

Don’t be afraid to act on your impulse ideas! I almost walked away from this shoot because we had no sunlight left. Challenging yourself to shoot in less ideal situations always creates the most unique images.

Read More

Login to your account

Oh no :(

This content has been marked as Premium and requires an active subscription in order to access it. We’re so sorry about that. But hey, here’s what you can do:

Join the

Get access to everything on the site as well as a ton of perks & benefits.

Have an account?

Well then, let’s get you logged in and hide this annoying thingy-ma-jig.