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I shot the engagement of Y&J in Barcelona in 2018, and in 2019 they decided to cancel their big wedding in California and make one of their dreams become a reality. They brought an intimate circle of family with them to Paris and flew me out to document their beautiful celebration.

This shot was done on the day after the wedding, in the historical hotel Shangri-La located in the heart of the city overlooking the Eiffel tower. Can there be anything more romantic than this?!

The only challenge I had with this shot was the slight difference between the interior and exterior, that’s why I had to shoot it quite underexposed in order not to lose the Eiffel tower in the background, which is one of the key elements of this composition.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

I asked the couple to curl up comfortably on that huge windowsill, listen to the music that was being played in the room and be present with one another in that “hidden” place of their own, away from the people, noise, and chaos.

What did you say?

Let’s have you sit on the windowsill, looking in the same direction. Please make it comfortable and effortless; listen to the music: you can “dance” with your hands, sway from side to side, interact with one another if you want, or just relax, breathe in, and be present with right here right now in this wonderful moment as you are living the dream.

How did you compose your image?

I wanted to capture them, some hotel decorations, and naturally, the view. This was basically the major reason why they booked this exact room in Shangri-La: to enjoy the beautiful symbol of Paris and love peeking into their window when they wake up in the mornings and fall asleep at night. There was not enough space in the room to go too further away and capture the entire corner, but I feel like a closer frame looks even more intimate.

How and what did you focus on?

This was a fairly simple image to focus on and I simply moved the continuos focus points over the couple and let it lock on. There was nothing special or challenging about the focus here.

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How did you use the light in your image?

It was morning, but the light was already becoming harsher quickly and we were pretty lucky that the sun was rising from the left side, so the face of the bride is lightened up naturally, although bright highlights on the white dress had to be reduced. I didn’t use any additional artificial light sources inside the room as I try to keep things as natural as possible.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Camera

Nikon Z6

Lens

Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4

Filter

None

Other

None

Shutter Speed

1/2500

Aperture

f/2.8

ISO

200

White Balance

Auto

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

This one was a little tricky. I loved the feeling and the way the couple is in this photograph, but at the same time, I felt like there’s not enough “ambiance” included, especially on the left side. As I always shoot multiple takes of one scene (from various distances), I decided to simply take some details (part of the window+curtain) from a shot done from a greater distance and add it to the original picture. As for the colors, I kept them quite natural to the original + added some warmth and desaturated greens and blues.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Preset

My own, unpublished

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What challenges did you face?

There was a risk to get an overexposed background due to the strong sunlight, which would result in the Eiffel tower not being seen plus another challenge was editing in the background details.

How did you solve them?

To solve the problem of keeping the Eiffel tower exposed, I had to underexpose this shot quite a bit. I knew that I could recover more details from shadows than I could recover details from highlights.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

One piece of advice is to shoot a little wider so that you can capture more ambiance in the frame. If needed, you can always crop in a bit closer as the resolution of digital photos these days are so big that it really won’t be noticeable. Another tip is to not be afraid to take your shot into photoshop and tweak things there;as in the end, you are creating art.

Ginger's Eyes Photography

Shooting since

2017

Current Home

Spain

Website

Instagram

Hey hi, I am Anna. I do slow life, meditations, poetry, healthy food and lots of cuddling with my maltese Pushkin; and oh – I also do wedding & editorial photography. :) My style style is a mixture of editorial + documentary, focused on the authentic moments captured in artful and timeless way. Bringing out more than meets the eye and finding beauty in simplicity is the core of my photography. So thrilled to be sharing my knowledge and experience with you on here. x

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