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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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How did you direct your subject(s)?

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.

What did you say?

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.

How did you compose your image?

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.

How and what did you focus on?

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.


How did you use the light in your image?

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.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Canon 5D Mark III


Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4





Shutter Speed






White Balance


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

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.

Software Used

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What challenges did you face?

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

How did you solve them?

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

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

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.

Gabri Palmieri

Shooting since


Current Home




Hey y’all, we’re Carla and Gabri Palmieri and we shoot weddings for living. Being able to witness love in its many forms, day after day, it’s a real privilege and makes life colorful. Our mission is to show people that real love is not an old fashioned idea and is still alive! She is Mexican and he’s Brazilian and they call Mexico home (for now haha). We’re always traveling tho, that’s how our paths crossed and now we get to do it together.

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