• Backlit
  • Cool
  • depth
  • foggy
  • Forest
  • nature
  • off center
  • Outdoor
  • Posed
  • Still
  • Trees
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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Forest Fanal in Madeira has been a dream of mine for a long time! As well as Madeira itself. Ultimately, it is our beloved place on Earth, as we got married there ourselves under a cliff! During our honeymoon (:P) our bride and groom flew to the island for a session and my dream came true!

But the Fanal forest is a chimerical place! It was very cold during the shoot, barely a few minutes after the start of the session it started to rain. A freezing wind was blowing. On top of that, the fog was moving quite fast, which also meant that you had to catch a moment, because the next moment, the fog could already be 10 metres behind you! At other times, it could suddenly appear between us and the bride and groom, creating a thick layer that blurred the image.

The session lasted less than…. an hour! Despite these unfavourable conditions, we got loads of great shots! The whole thing is on our blog:
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I showed the couple the best spot among the trees. I gave instructions to the bride to lean her back against her husband and turn her body to the right towards the light. I told the groom to look into my lens. I spoke with an energetic voice, excited because I could already see that it would be a beautiful photo! Besides, it was really cold, the bride’s dress was already wet and I knew that my energy in my voice would give them the needed encouragement, that it would be worth it!

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What did you say?

[Bride] Can you lean against [Groom] and turn your body towards the light. [Groom], Look into my lens.

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Tone of Directions

Excited, Energetic


I wanted to highlight and expose the branches of the tree, so I went lower. Then I chose a spot for the couple next to this tree, so they were between two trees. I tried out a few ideas and in the end I liked the last one best, where I used a third tree with a spreading root close to me to create a frame for the whole photo. I also liked the fact that the tree is in the same rhythm as the tree on the right edge of the frame. At the end I asked the groom to look into my lens.

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Natural Frames


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I focused on a couple, I used one tree in the foreground to create a feeling of depth.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot

Focus POints

Single Focus Point

Focused on


Equipment &

Sony A7 III
Sony 55mm F1.8
1/125 @ f/3.5 ISO250 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

I used natural light, diffused by fog. I told the bride to position her body to the right towards the light. The light was coming from behind the couple which also helped to illuminate the fog.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Light Quality


Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I worked on the color and tone, saturation and luminance. I lowered the texture in foggy parts of the photo, to give the photo a softer effect, enhancing the haziness. I also used some dodge&burn to highlight the light on the trees.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom CC, Adobe Photoshop
Preset Used
custom preset


The place is demanding for the bride and groom and the photographer. If we want foggy weather, it usually means lower temperatures (we had about 9 degrees during the session) as well as the possibility of rain and frosty wind. The litter is often very wet, which makes the grass slippery and acts like a sponge with water.

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We took photos in blocks: the couple put on jackets – to warm up – we looked for an interesting frame (although there were moments when I could barely see anything through the viewfinder because of the rain) – a moment for photos – and the jacket again, etc. However, the effect is worth the effort!

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Location Name

Fanal forest

Location aDDRESS

Fanal forest, Madeira, Portugal

Loation Type




I do not recommend wearing high heels or other shoes that you will regret throwing away if they get too muddy or wet!

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