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This bride and the groom traveled all the way from Poland to elope in the rugged and romantic Scottish. After their emotional ceremony that was held in the exact same spot, we noticed that the sun was slowly beginning to descend behind the mountains so after quickly knocking off a few formal/group photos we used the time we had left to take a few portrait shot of the bride in her dress with the breathtaking backdrop of Glencoe that was right in front of us.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

I took a few different variations of the bride standing in the one spot (positioned sideways, facing the camera and facing the mountains as pictured) and I usually do this to give more flexibility when selecting photos in the culling process. I wanted to capture some movement in the photo and I noticed that the bride was already lifting her dress so I asked her to keep doing it for a minute. I probably took 50-or-so photos and this turned out to be the best one.

What did you say?

Ok could we try facing the mountains now and if you could look at the mountains and then to each side and then back to the camera that would be awesome. (Bride starts lifting her dress) actually if you could keep doing that for 1 minute that would be amazing!

How did you compose your image?

When shooting in landscapes I’m always looking for leading lines. The valley of Glencoe with it’s lines that lead the eye straight towards the subject was the obvious choice of backdrop in this situation
90% of the time for the ‘hero shots’ such as this one I position the subject in the middle of the frame. I just personally find that the shot is much more powerful this way as the viewer’s eye automatically lands in the middle of the shot on the subject and then moves around. The subject’s head usually always lands on the ‘rule of thirds’ top horizontal line.

How and what did you focus on?

Single point continuous autofocus with the top middle focus point was used with the viewfinder, I focused on the bride’s head/face.


How did you use the light in your image?

The position of the sun at the end of the valley couldn’t have worked out more perfectly! I shot directly into the sun and as a result the bride has a slight outline around her body and dress which add a bit of three dimensionality and separates her from the background.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Nikon Z6


Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 G





Shutter Speed






White Balance


How did you edit your image & what did you use?

Edited with The Kitcheners ‘Emotive’ color preset. Preset base was applied and I then raised the exposure a little bit and used various brushes on the bride to bring out some more detail on her body. I then used the saturation brush to make her hair slightly more saturated as I wanted the viewers eye to catch the attention of the bride first. Lastly the white balance was corrected to make the image warmer and giving it more life.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

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What challenges did you face?

The biggest challenge was time. It was the evening time and the sun was setting behind the so I had to work quickly.

How did you solve them?

I was able to work quickly to get what I needed using two camera bodies with a different focal length on each one (35mm and 85mm). This simply meant that I could capture more variety of different photos (both wide and close up) in a short amount of time without having to switch lenses or move from my position too much.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

Watch and communicate with your coupes during the photo shoot. If they start doing something that looks great tell them and ask them to keep doing it! Some of the best natural ‘poses’ I’ve captured were actually initiated by the couple without my direction.

The Kitcheners

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We’re Dylan and Joanna and we’ve been photographing weddings and elopements since 2011. Lovers of the great outdoors, an adventure and meeting new people, it was our passion for all of these things that led us to find one another in Australia 11 years ago. We didn’t waste time, we got engaged after 3 months and tied the knot pretty soon after. It all happened pretty quickly but sometimes you just know when you know! For a long time we were both looking for a way to express ourselves creatively and after searching high and low we discovered that photographing people in love and their stories was what made our hearts race. We’re passionate about the real emotions, the honest moments and capturing how it all really felt. To us that’s what it’s all about! Today we live in Edinburgh, Scotland documenting elopements and weddings around the UK, Europe and further abroad.

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