• Blue Hour
  • Cloudy
  • Dark
  • Field
  • Low angle
  • Mountains
  • Movement
  • Natural
  • Natural Light
  • off center
  • Rule of thirds
  • Soft Light
  • Walking

The story behind the image

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This moment was captured at Scotland’s famous Glencoe region on a dark and cloudy day not too far from the venue.
I’d scouted the area the day prior and picked out 3-4 backdrops for the portrait shoot so, after the ceremony, we jumped in the car and this was the 2nd location we drove to.

This photo was actually taken while we were walking downhill to a river location I’d scouted earlier. While we were walking and chatting away I noticed a beautiful backdrop behind them so I had to politely interrupt and set up the shot. I always pre-plan for portrait shoots but at the same time I’m always on the lookout for those ‘happy accidents’. Sometimes they can be the best shots!
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I wanted this photo to have a sense of adventure and discovery so after spotting a beautiful backdrop I positioned myself and asked the couple to walk from point A to point B while looking up at the mountains that were also located behind me. I asked the bride to take the groom’s hand and lead him down the hill while taking in the amazing scenery. I asked them to do this twice so I had more of a chance to capture the perfect shot.

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What did you say?

Can you take his hand and slowly walk from ‘here’ to ‘there’. As you’re walking pretend I’m not here and every few seconds can you look up at the mountains behind me. That was perfect! if we could do the exact same thing one more time, that would be awesome!

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I wanted the couple to play a prominent role in the photo so I composed the shot so that they were larger than the mountains behind them. As they were walking I positioned myself a bit lower down the hill and kneeled on the ground to shoot in an upwards direction and doing so gave them dominance in the image.

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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Single point continuous autofocus (center frame) with the viewfinder, focused on the bride’s face, locked the focus, and then quickly recomposed the shot.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Brides face

Equipment &

Nikon D750
Nikkor 35mm f/1.4
1/1600 @ f/2.0 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

By this time of the day the sun was low and some cloud set in so the light was soft and diffused. This kind of light can be really great if you’re trying to achieve a more ‘painterly’ look. This kind of light can also be very flattering so it’s always a pleasure to shoot in.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day

Blue Hour



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

Firstly our color preset was applied. Then white balance and exposure were corrected and the image was cropped and straightened slightly. I used the exposure brush tool to brighten the couple a little bit.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


When photographing outdoor elopements in rugged landscapes the safety of the couple is really important. On the particular shot, it had rained a bit earlier so the terrain was very slippery. We had to be sure to walk slowly, especially as the bride was wearing a long dress.

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Before each outdoor elopement or wedding, it’s wise to communicate with the couple the possible challenges and unpredictable nature of the landscape. I always recommend appropriate footwear (leather boots) and suggest to them to bring an extra layer of clothing that could be worn on top of the dress (a shawl, cardigan, or dress coat for example).

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Location Name

Glen Etive

Location aDDRESS

Gualachulain Ballachulish PH49 4JA UK

Loation Type



United Kingdom

Have a plan ready in place for your portrait shoot but always be ready for any unexpected opportunities that can come along. Some of the nicest photos we’ve taken were the ones that would have been impossible to setup.

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