• calm
  • Center Framed
  • Cool
  • Dark
  • Dark Background
  • Looking away
  • Mid range
  • Minimalistic
  • Moody
  • Natural Light
  • Posed
  • Same Sex
  • Serious
  • Soft Light
  • Strong pose

The story behind the image

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Ish and Dan, also talented photographers got legally married back home and felt the urge to elope somewhere remote, so they came to Mexico and I took them to one of my favorite natural cenotes near Tulum where they read their vows and connected with each other in front of me. We really enjoyed each other’s company, it was easy to connect and create together. We finished an afternoon of sessions between hugs and laughs at the beach by sunset.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

We were at a part of the cenote where it was partially a cave and it was pretty dark, so I asked the couple to stand in a spot where I saw the light was softly hitting. But since the background became pretty dark, I took a UV filter that I often use as a prop to play with reflections and I got to reflect on top of the image of the plants that were behind me so I wouldn’t have so much negative space, and also so the location would take part on the photo too.

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What did you say?

Ok, I want you to stand next to each other and hold hands, with your bodies facing straight to the camera, and your heads facing opposite ways (away from each other).

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Tone of Directions



Even though this image is not completely symmetrical, that’s kind of what I was going for, I love centering my couples, while leaving the sides of the frame for our surroundings, literally.

I was going for an intimate and moody vibe. I love creating a feeling of unity and individuality at the same time, which is why they were facing different directions while holding each other to avoid giving a feeling of coldness or distance.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

When shooting a portrait like this, I focused on the subject’s face and then recomposed it. In this case, my background was dark and they had some light so it was an easy choice going for autofocus =.

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Focus Mode

Continuous Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

the face

Equipment &

Sony A7 iii
Sigma 35mm f/1.4
200 @ f/1.8 ISO500 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

My couple was standing in a pretty dark spot, especially behind them. They had sunlight directed from above and this location had a lot of vegetation so that sunlight was diffused. This meant that the light hitting the couple was really, really soft which I felt works well against the harsh, dark background.

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Light Type

Natural Light



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I liked the moody and dramatic vibe of this spot and the contrast between their opposite color outfits so the only thing I had to do here is adding a little light on the left side of the image so Ish’s face, (on the dark suit) wasn’t so lost in the background. As for presets, from my own, I tried a couple and chose one that didn’t affect their skin a lot. I usually shoot on Auto white balance, in this case, I had to adjust the temperature to a warmer tone.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used
Own Custom Preset


The time of the day was perfect for certain spots of the location. However, this particular spot was dark and the sunlight was more diffused from the trees than what I would have preferred, details were missing on the shadows, while the whites looked perfect.

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I went with it, and I put my iso on 500, then I added brightness on post-production where it was needed.

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Location Name

Cenote Buho

Location aDDRESS

Cenote Buho, Tulum, Mexico

Loation Type




When the light conditions are not ideal but something on that spot attracted you; before you regret shooting there and move to a spot with “better lighting”, just go with it for a minute, a lot of it can come out on the edition part of the process, and you may end up getting your favorite image of your gallery.

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