• calm
  • Center Framed
  • Crying
  • Directional Light
  • gentle
  • Indoor
  • intimate
  • Mid range
  • Natural Light
  • Quiet
  • Rule of thirds
  • Soft Light
  • tears
  • Unposed
  • Window Light

The story behind the image

Show more
This moment was taken on one of the most emotional elopement days I’ve had the pleasure of photographing. The couple (also talented wedding photographers) flew in from Poland to elope in the Scottish highlands in the 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.
Show more


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

The only direction that went into this moment was the positioning of the bride before the moment began. It was important that the light from the window was touching her face as the room was dark. Once the bride was in position, the moment started and I was quiet for the entire time.

Show more
What did you say?

If you (bride) could position yourself here against this wall and look towards the window in front of you as much as possible when the groom is playing the song that would be great. I’ll be discreet and keep my distance so please enjoy this moment for yourselves.

Show more
Tone of Directions



When I was taking this close up portrait of her crying I chose to shoot vertically as I wanted to make sure that her hands were also in the photo as well. It’s always a good idea to observe hands as I feel that they sometimes add to the overall emotion and intensity of the photo. I was also conscious of the picture and lamp on the far wall to her right so I framed the shot so they wouldn’t intersect with her face (and cause distraction).

Show more

Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

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

Show more
Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Brides face

Equipment &

Nikon D750
Nikkor 85mm f/1.8
1/640 @ f/2.0 ISO6400 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

It was a dark and cloudy day in Scotland so the light coming through the window was very small. When scouting for a location in the house for the bride to stand 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 captured. You can see from the shadow behind her that the window is directly in front of her (about 3 meters away) out of frame.

Show more
Light Type

Natural Light



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

Edited with The Kitcheners ‘Emotive’ color preset as a base. Some correction to exposure and white balance was made as well as a little bit of extra exposure on the bride’s face using the exposure brush tool.

Show more
Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


The main challenge was how to get a closer up shot of the emotion without being too physically close. The last thing I would want to do in a moment like this is be physically close to the bride causing distraction.

Show more


Lens choice can be very important on the wedding day and have lenses that cover a wide range of focal length is important. This this particular moment I chose to primarily use the Nikkor 85mm f1.8 as it allows me to be zoomed in enough to capture intimacy and emotion but I don’t have to be physically too close to the subject. Using this lens with a wide open aperture (f/1.8) meant that I could separate the bride from the background by throwing the background completely out of focus. This straight away allows the viewer’s eye to concentrate on what is important (the bride obvs).

Show more


Location Name


Location aDDRESS

Glencoe scotland

Loation Type

Private Home / AirBnB / Apartment


United Kingdom

If you can, always carry 2 or 3 lenses that span over a wide range of focal lengths so you’re ready for any situation. Sometimes space is limited (small rooms) so a wide angle lens such as a 24mm or 35mm would be beneficial. Other times you might find that you’re not able to be (or don’t want to be) physically close to the subject (eg. a church ceremony or emotional moment) so a lens such as an 85mm or 135mm could be more ideal for this. I personally carry a 35mm and 85mm lens to every wedding and 90% of the time that is all I need for every situation.

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.