Before
the Shoot

Location Equipment
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This moment was captured on one of the most emotional elopement days I’ve had the pleasure of photographing. The couple (also mega-amazing photographers) flew in from Poland to elope in the Scottish highlands in Fall with their closest friends. The groom happened to also be a really talented musician and on the morning of their elopement (before their ‘first look’) the groom surprised the bride with a song played on acoustic guitar.
It was a moment I remember vividly and a moment that I knew I had to capture properly to do it justice.
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Location

Location Name

Glencoe

Location aDDRESS

Glencoe scotland

Country

United Kingdom

Location TYPE

Private Home / AirBnB / Apartment

Equipment

Camera

Nikon D750

Flash

None

Lens

Nikkor 85mm f/1.8

Lens Filter

None

Other Equipment
No additional equipment was used.

During
the Shoot

Directions Composition Focus Light & Exposure
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Directions

Tags

Calm Gentle Intimate

Description

A lot of thought went into how this moment would unravel successfully. The groom mentioned that he would like to surprise the bride with a song however it would be before their ‘first look’ so it had to be orchestrated in a way that they wouldn’t see one another while he was playing. I scouted the house earlier in the morning when I arrived and found a way to position them that would work. I asked the bride to stand against a wall in the bedroom and the groom to stand just outside the door facing away from the bride.

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What was said

If you (bride) could position yourself here against this wall and look towards the window that would be great and if you (groom) could stand just outside the room here to the right of the door that would be awesome. Ok guys, whenever you feel ready!:)

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Composition

Why I composed the way I did

I wanted to compose this shot in a way that I could quickly switch focus between the bride and also the groom as he was playing the guitar without having to move my position too much. Having shots focused on the Bride’s emotional reaction with the groom in the foreground of the photo like this also gave context to what was happening when viewed as a whole story on a blog post or in an album. Using the 85mm lens I was able to stand just outside the doorway but still be physically close enough to capture the Bride’s emotional response.

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Tags

Rule of Thirds Leading Lines Mid Range Off Center

Focus

Focus mode

Single point continuous focus.

Focus Technology

Single Shot Autofocus

Focused on

The Brides face

Focus description

Single point autofocus (centre frame) with the viewfinder, I focused on the bride’s face, locked the focus and then recomposed the shot (focus and recomposing).

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Shutter Speed

1/400

Aperture

f/2.0

ISO

4000

White Balance

AUTO

Other Light Sources
No additional light sources were used.
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Light &
Exposure

How the light was used

It was a dark and cloudy day in Scotland so the light coming through the window was very minimal. When scouting for a location in the house for the bride to stand in I knew that she would have to be facing a window so that her face and body would be illuminated and her reaction could be clearly seen. You can see from the shadow behind her that the window is directly in front of her (about 3 meters away) out of frame. The groom was also slightly illuminated from another window to my right.

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Tags

Soft Light Directional Light Window Light Natural Light Indoor

After
the Shoot

Editing & Presets
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Editing &
Presets

Editing Software used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Preset Used
How I edited this image

Edited with The Kitcheners ‘Emotive’ presets as a base. White balance and exposure corrected and the image cropped and straightened.

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Conclusion

Challenges Solutions Advice

Challenges & Solutions

Events that were challenging during the shoot

The biggest challenge was having enough natural light in the house to shoot with! I never use speed light / flash as I personally feel the artificial flash / speed light would strip away the mood and natural tones from the photo. In an intimate moment like this using flash / speed light would also be very distracting too.

Solutions I found

To overcome this I pushed the camera exposure settings to it’s near upper limits. I kept the aperture at f2.0 to let as much light in as possible, used a slow enough shutter speed to let in light but be able to be ready any sudden movement and set the ISO to 4000.

Advice

Take time to get to know the exposure limits and capabilities of your camera! For instance I know that with the Nikon D750 I can bump the ISO to 6400 and still have a clean, useable image with pleasant film-like grain. Anything above ISO6400 and things start to break down a bit.
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Photographed by

The Kitcheners

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