• Back lit
  • Natural Light
  • Wide
  • Walking
  • symmetry
  • silhouette
  • Rule of thirds
  • Rim Light
  • natural frames
  • black & white
  • Natural
  • Movement
  • Moody
  • lower thirds
  • Dark
  • calm
  • Window Light

The story behind the image

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To be honest, this shoot was a tricky one. I’m not a big fan of hotels, especially hotels in Helsinki. We just don’t have those fancy or unique ones over here. This image was taken in one of the most popular hotels in downtown Helsinki, Kämp Hotel. I knew the place before the shoot, but it was important for me to have a throughout scouting prior to our shoot. As I was visiting the location, I was able to see many of the spaces available for us during the wedding day. This location was one of their biggest venues and often used for large events. On the wedding day, it was empty. Lucky us!

I knew instantly I would never want to use the space like I had seen tens of photographers use before. I wanted to create something unique and moody, something off the mainstream, and something unexpected.

I was inspired by the large windows and the possibility for me to move quite far away from those. I wanted to catch a movement of the couple walking forward, and with the help of strongly underexposing the image, I was able to catch the smooth silhouettes!
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I communicated my vision beforehand I simply told the couple to slowly walk forward. I advised the groom to walk slightly ahead of the bride and turn his head to “look back” every now and then. I asked the bride to keep her eyes forward as they were walking.

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What did you say?

“Okay, now let’s create some movement! Both of you walk forward in a straight line. You (groom) can walk one step in front of her (the bride). Take hands, groom you give your left hand to her, and you (bride) give your right hand to him. Then just walk, slowly. Every now and the you (groom) can just glance back at your wife.”

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Tone of Directions



I love when things come in three’s! I absolutely wanted all three windows to be shown as I love the repetition it creates. I also love when repetition is being interrupted. That’s when it works the best! Therefore, I wanted to have my couple visible in the window frames to break that rhythm.

I also love tension! I took several shots in this very same set up, but I think the most successful one was the one where the bride’s head was almost touching the middle window frame. There is just a slight gap between them and I love that awkward tension there! The unpredictability here!!

As the space allowed me to move quite far way, I was able to play with the composition. I had options. I specifically positioned the lower line of the windows and the top line of the windows following the “rule of third’s”. To me, it created enough space around the focal point (the couple), and gave a nice symmetrical balance to the image.

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Lower Thirds


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I used autofocus with the focus being on the couple.

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Focus Mode

Live View Single Shot

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The couple

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG
1/250 @ f/1.4 ISO200 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 only. Due to the fact that the location had these beautiful windows, I didn’t want to mix artificial light with the natural. And I’m also not a fan of artificial light. The windows also had a light see through curtains so the light was actually filtered beautifully.

The big windows are on the back of my subjects. It was fun to play with the silhouettes and I was pleased with the result. Next time I will definitely play around with long exposure to see what creative and cool stuff could come out of that!

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Light Type

Natural Light



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I used my own signature black-and-white preset called “Intimate BW”. I cropped the image and adjusted the exposure as I wanted. I wanted to create a silhouette in this edit as it allows the viewer to form their own sense of imagination and details.

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Editing Software
Preset Used


The biggest challenge definitely was on how to get creative with the space even more. We had a good chunk of time to use and as we started, I noticed quickly how my “before shoot research and planning” could have been even better. At the moment I felt like I was stuck with my ideas that I didn’t leave room for spontaneity and “happy accidents”.

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I learn’t from my mistakes and hesitation, and decided to plan even better my future shoots!

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Location Name

Kämp Hotel

Location aDDRESS

Pohjoisesplanadi 29, 00100 Helsinki

Loation Type




I learnt the importance of location scouting, light scouting and panning. I would love to go for this shoot again with a bit more in depth plan and ideas for the space and light.

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