wedding photography education . how to photograph a stunning bridal portrait

1/2000 . f/1.8 . ISO 100 . WB AUTO . Nikon Z6 . Nikkor 35mm f/1.8

Photographed by

Photographed by


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.

Education for Wedding Photographers . how to pose a couple


Into what the directions were like & how they were given to the couple.

Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural


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.
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!


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.

Wedding Photography tips . how to compose

When composing a ‘hero shot’ like this one be sure to make sure that the subject is smack-bang in the middle of the photo. You might have to crop in Lightroom afterwards to do this. When the subject is a little off centre it can look distracting so making sure everything is centred to create a more effective and powerful shot.


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

Focus point

Single Point

focused on

The Brides face

focusing technology

Single Shot Autofocus

1/2000 . f/1.8 . ISO 100 . WB AUTO


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.
Nikon Z6
Nikkor 35mm f/1.8
Other equipment
Pro-Mist Filter

How to edit like The Kitcheners

Swipe to see before & after

Editing software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used
The Kitcheners ‘Emotive’ presets
local adjustments
External edits
Exposure X6


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.

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Location Name
Area / Address
A82, Ballachulish PH49 4HX, United Kingdom
Location Type
Website / Instagram / Explore Tag


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


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.

How to improve in wedding photography

Final Tips & 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.


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Comments & Questions.

How do you pose your couples? Do you control every detail or let things evolve naturally?

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The Kitcheners.

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.

active since


main body

Nikon D780

favorite lens

Nikkor 85mm f/1.8

current home

Edinburgh, Scotland

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” —Michael Jordan

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