• Artificial Light
  • calm
  • Center Framed
  • Dark
  • intimate
  • Leading lines
  • lights
  • lying down
  • Moody
  • natural frames
  • Neon
  • night
  • Posed
  • Same Sex
  • symmetry

The story behind the image

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This was a bridal editorial session where we wanted to propose something a little different and relaxed. Two girls eloping on their own at this secluded villa in Tulum, having dinner and eding the day jumping in the pool and having fun. The neon was a big part of this styled shoot and I loved how it looked glowing inside the pool in the evening. We shot from before sunset till the evening so the final style of the editorial would mainly reflect on the moodiness and glow of the neon.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

To accomplish directions given from outside the water is not easy. I wanted them in certain positions that came up in my mind but of course, trying to do them while floating inside the pool wasn’t easy haha
For this shot I asked them to position their bodies in opposite directions, so their head would be one next to each other, almost like resting on each other’s shoulder.
I told them to close their eyes to make the shoot look more relaxed and comfortable, which actually wasn’t the reality, their bodies were leaning on a step from the pool, but partially trying to float, so their bodies were moving and it was difficult to stay in position for too long, and having their eyes open not knowing where to actually focus the look wouldn’t make the shoot look too natural.

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What did you say?

Girls, please position your bodies in opposite directions while being horizontal, so it looks like you are floating. Put your heads very close together, leaning on each other, close your eyes to look relaxed, and lean your head towards the outside a little, so I can see your profiles partially.

Very important, I asked one of them to touch the other girl’s head, because since they were’t looking at each other, I didn’t wan’t to reflect distance or coldness, the touch of the hand would bring that loving touch that it was missing.

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Tone of Directions



The framing here was quite important. I wanted both of them to be protagonists, and finding the right framing wasn’t easy from an overhead point of view, standing at the edge of the pool, so I decided to position them at an angle on a vertical framing, trying to still make the shoot look somehow symmetrical.

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Compositional Rules

None / SimpleLeading Lines


Center FramedClose UpIntimate FramingTop down


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I focused on one of the girl’s faces hoping the other girl would catch some of the focus as well. This was a difficult but quick decision because light conditions were very poor and I had to have my aperture as open as possible to compensate for the lack of light, making the focus field much smaller.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

one of the girl's eyes

Equipment &

Sony A7iii
Sigma 35mm 1.4
160 @ f/1.4 ISO1600 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 main source of light was the pink neon light plus a little extra light from a phone’s lantern. Since the lights formed an element of the image, I made sure to keep them in frame. What was important to achieve this overall look was to make sure that we had complete control of the light – meaning, we could work in a dark area and only illuminate lights that we wanted/needed.

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Light Type

Artificial Light

Light Quality


Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I used my own preset and tweaks. I had to add brightness and warmth to it. And them more sectorized light with the gradient tools of Lightroom.

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Editing Software
Preset Used
own custom preset


The challenges as mentioned above were to keep the composition somehow symmetrical and to reflect a natural and loving mood while the models were in an uncomfortable position.
They also had to stay still, as the light was very poor and my shutter speed was lower than ideal, and very easily I could have had a moved subject.

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There is credit to the models who managed follow directions while inside the water and stayed still for a few minutes while looking amazing.

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Location Name

Kima Tulum

Location aDDRESS

Public address not available

Loation Type

Private Villa



I didn’t learn anything special from this shoot. But what I can say is, I did this evening-editorial while in the middle of a chaotic high season, I had no time or energy for anymore booking or personal projects, but I said yes and it was great.
I recommend knowing when to say no, and when to say yes, and to always have at least a little time for a personal project that’s not a job and adds no more pressure to you, to keep your creativity flowing.

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