Photographed by Heidi Kouvo


This was the only shoot I was able to do during the corona spring 2020 and I had a huge amount of repressed creativity, ideas and hunger for connection boiling inside me. The elopement was without a doubt a very personal, private and important occasion for the couple. I felt like there was a strong emotional charge from both sides and we were able to take advantage of it. I would describe it as a shared flow state.

The Suomenlinna sea fortress island is a 15 minute ferry ride away from the city, which really makes it feel like an adventure no matter how many times you make the journey. Being extremely versatile the island is one of my favourite photo locations with endless secret spots. We’d already been shooting for a couple of hours in the freezing February temperatures when I walked us to the furthest corner on the island. I had saved the spot for the sunset time really hoping the couple would still bear the cold for a couple more minutes. Playing with a prism is always a hit-or-miss game and knowing I didn’t have much time to pull it off, I was aware I could end up with nothing special. But in the end I was so happy I went for it because for this one shot all the elements just clicked together.
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“”For the last photos I’d like you to do a little dance. Spin each other around, pull away and then back close together. I will go shoot from down below, so just do your thing and be yourselves. I know you’re freezing and suffering but you can do this!!! You can spend the rest of the night – or your whole lives – curled up under a blanket or in a hot bath drinking red wine.””
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Center FramedWideFull Body

If you want to make dreamy photos that escape reality, always be in the lookout for unusual perspectives and vantage points. By framing out mundane elements you can direct the attention of the viewer to whatever you find to be interesting in the frame. Negative space is the most effective compositional tool I know!


Single Point Focused on The groom who stayed more still Single Shot Autofocus
Light & Weather

Soft LightBack litNatural LightCloudySunset

Equipment & EXIF

1/2500 f/2.0 ISO 200 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon 35mm f/1.4 L

Additional Equipment

Triangular prism held in front of lens


Adobe Lightroom Classic Personal

This image was edited with


Challenges & Solutions


Archipelago Finland

Suomenlinna sea fortress

Susisaari, Suomenlinna, Helsinki

Final tips & Advice

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Heidi Kouvo

Photographer Finland Canon R Canon 35mm f/1.4 L
Hi peeps! I’m a wedding, elopement and portrait photographer with a never-ending wanderlust. I live in the country of thousands of lakes, Finland, in the very north of Europe. I’m inspired by everything beautiful, poetic, subconscious and mysterious, as well as by nature (mountains though non-existent in Finland), good stories, soulful connection and silence. I’m a dreamer both in the awake and sleep world.
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“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” –Bob Marley

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