the Shoot

Location Equipment
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This image was taken at the very end of our session with this couple. Before starting the photoshoot, we had a mood board created with all the inspirations and visions we were going for and it helped a lot to achieve the look we wanted.

For this photo specifically, we asked them to embrace each other, close their eyes and leave only their faces out of water. We posed them in the most shallow part of the pool to help them float and went on adjusting little details in order to find the best composition.

The most difficult part was to communicate with them during this time, cause they had their eyes shut and drowned ears, but like sculptors, my wife and I were moving and adjusting them from outside.
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Location Name

Hacienda 21

Location aDDRESS

Tulum, Quintana Roo



Location TYPE




Canon 5D Mark III




Sigma ART 35mm f/1.4

Lens Filter


Other Equipment
No additional equipment was used.

the Shoot

Directions Composition Focus Light & Exposure
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Calm Gentle Holding Each other Natural Lying Down


We asked them to embrace each other with their eyes closed and leave only their faces out of water. The hands were very important as well, so we told them to hold each other with one hand and the other should caress the other’s face.

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What was said

Ale, I want you to lean your head on her belly and hold her left hand. And Samm, you will hug his head with your body and gently caress his face with your right hand.

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Why I composed the way I did

We wanted the image to feel simple and balanced, so we kept their heads centered in one of the thirds and showed a lit bit of what was happening in the immediate surrounding. I like how her arms and the pool limits frame them in the middle of the image. The other thing here is that we took this picture from above so we had to keep it the most leveled possible to some weird perspective that would make the shot less simple.

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Rule of Thirds Leading Lines Mid Range High Angle


Focus mode

Single point auto focus

Focus Technology

Live View Single Shot

Focused on

The girl's face

Focus description

Our main concern was for both of their faces to be completely in focus, so I shot it in f2 to help us have a wider focus range. It was a bit tricky to focus cause I was leaning forward with the camera trying not to capture my own feet, so I put the focus point somewhere in her face and took three shots in sequence to make sure I had it right.

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Shutter Speed






White Balance


Other Light Sources
No additional light sources were used.
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Light &

How the light was used

It was close to 2PM and the light on site was still very harsh, so we chose to pose them under the shade of a tree that was covering that entire area to have the soft/flat look we were going for. You can even see a light leak that goes thru the tree leaves and hits Ale’s eyes, totally accidental but magical.

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Soft Light Natural Light Shade

the Shoot

Editing & Presets
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Editing &

Editing Software used
Preset Used
How I edited this image

To edit this image I applied one of our base Presets called Luna from ‘The Cool Preset Pack’ and gave it a little bit of warmth. The idea was to have a very simple, neutral toned image that would focus more in the emotion of it, so we reduced a lot of the contrast pumping the shadows. We removed some distractions from the bottom of the pool, added grain and that’s basically it.

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Challenges Solutions Advice

Challenges & Solutions

Events that were challenging during the shoot

Communicating with them was very difficult cause they were underwater with their eyes shut.

Solutions I found

I had the help of Carla moving their arms and heads, by touching them from outside the pool.


Make sure you are on top of what you want to create by curating lots of inspirations before getting there to shoot. If needed, have a copy of the moodboard with you and take a look at it if you feel stuck.
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Photographed by

Gabri Palmieri

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