• afternoon
  • Back lit
  • Bright
  • broken rules
  • calm
  • Center Framed
  • Cloudy
  • holding each other
  • Low angle
  • lower thirds
  • Minimalistic
  • Natural
  • Natural Light
  • negative space
  • Soft Light
  • Wide

The story behind the image

Show more
I’ve been to this location multiple times on the Isle of Skye, but this was my first time taking a couple – it’s full of these small hills and is a popular tourist attraction because of it.

The elopement was in late August and this was shot in the middle of the afternoon, with the harsh summer sun beaming down on us. The sky was completely covered in a blanket of grey clouds, so it presented the perfect opportunity to create a dramatic, minimal image using lots of negative space.

I always try to pre-visualize images as I visit new locations and often location-scout the day before an elopement to see where the photographic opportunities are. Chelsea and Hunter’s elopement was incredibly beautiful and their ceremony was very emotional – we’d chatted a lot in the months leading up to their day, building a rapport and friendship, so, when their day came, I had a good sense of who they were as a couple.

I knew they shared quite an intense connection and an adventurous streak, so wanted their images to reflect that. I learned that often the best images you make are the easiest ones to create – to keep things simple and let the day flow naturally.
Show more


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

This was quite a simple one – I knew I wanted to take the couple up this small hill which has impressive views from the top. So, I just told them to walk ahead of me to the top of the hill. There was quite a cool breeze as the mist was starting to roll in, so I told them to hug each other tightly.

Show more
What did you say?

Okay, guys, I want you to walk to the top of the hill here and hug in tightly when you get there – Hunter, it’s getting a little chilly, so just hold Chelsea nice and tightly to warm her up

Show more
Tone of Directions



I chose to frame the hill in the lower third of the frame, with the couple dead center, meaning the sky took up the majority of the frame. Images with lots of negative space like this simplify an image and ensure there’s nothing to distract the viewer’s eye from the main subject – the couple.

With such a minimal image, finding elements that have a bit of texture helps add depth, so the grassy hill added that element here. In terms of perspective, I was beneath the hill, which meant the couple was framed against the sky. I tried the same shot when I was up on another hill, but it didn’t have the same impact. The goal was to create an intimate portrait that evoked a sense of peace and adventure.

Show more

Lower Thirds


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

This was nice and easy – I always shoot in aperture priority with auto ISO and continuous autofocus. Once I had focussed on the couple, I took the shot.

Show more
Focus Mode

Continuous Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The couple

Equipment &

Nikon D750
Sigma Art 85mm f/1.4
1/4000 @ f/2.5 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 blanket of grey clouds in the sky helped to diffuse the light, but the sky was still quite bright. So, I needed to underexpose the image a bit. If I could have decided when to shoot this for the best light, I would have taken it nearer sunset so the sky wasn’t as bright. I’ll definitely return to this location and try this shot in different lighting conditions again. The Isle of Skye is known for dramatic weather conditions and moody skies, so the image I see in my mind is of a dark sky, with lots of textured clouds and the couple lit softly.

Show more
Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I shot this image underexposed because the sky was quite bright. Once I added the preset, I increased the exposure slightly and cropped it just a tiny bit to make the sure couple were completely centred. Then, once I had found the natural white balance, I added a little more warmth.

Show more
Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


The main challenge here was making sure the sky wasn’t blown out and that the couple were centred on the hill.

Show more


I underexposed the image to help with the bright sky. For the couple to be in the perfect position, I moved around quite a bit and tried a few positions, but this was the one I ended up using. I also tried using my 35mm lens, but it didn’t work because of too many distracting elements beneath the hill.

Show more


Location Name

The Fairy Glen

Location aDDRESS

Fairy Glen Car Park, IV51 9XX, UK.

Loation Type



United Kingdom

The main lesson I learned from this was to try the same shot with multiple angles and lenses so you’ve got options in post-production. I tried the same technique on a couple of other hills in the area, but it just didn’t look right. Don’t be afraid to explore with different perspectives because the best image might end up being the one you didn’t expect.

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.