Photographed by Helena and Laurent


We found this gorgeously colored wall in the alley right outside the venue, a restaurant in Downtown San Francisco. We had discussed going somewhere further for portraits but once we saw these bright seating nooks we know we’d find everything we needed right outside.

The problem was that even though the wall had been created as a photo opportunity for willing Instagramers, they had also placed a row of public bikes and parked cars in front of it. So as soon as I walked back far enough to get my shot, and capture more than one color in my frame the picture became messy and the composition fell apart.

So, I had them jump onto one of the little tables. Barely able to fit, they held hands back to back, leaning on each other to balance. I went back into the venue and borrowed a chair which I place right in the middle of the road. The increased height allowed me to crop out the messy cars and get a pulled-back shot of the entire space with all its fun colors and interesting shapes.

In post, we furthered the effect by brightening the colors and removing any messy and distracting objects, generally cleaning up the space.
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“do you guys mind standing on that table? wait here, I need to get a chair.”
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Center FramedLeading LinesWideFull Body

Think clean. Use the guidelines in your viewfinder to line things up in camera, focus on keeping your camera horizontally and vertically level. Move yourself and the subject until you find that clean composition in-camera (At least do your best and then you always remove some residual annoying object in post)


Single Point Focused on heads Live View Single Shot
Light & Weather

Soft LightNatural LightCloudyShade

Equipment & EXIF

250 f/3.5 ISO 560 WB Auto


Nikon D750


Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G


This image was edited with

H&L Presest (most likely a variation on C2)

Challenges & Solutions


City United States

Trou Normand

Trou Normand, 140 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105

Final tips & Advice

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Helena and Laurent

Photographer United States of America Nikon D850 50mm
We are Helena and Laurent, a documentary wedding photography team out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Really though, we’re just two crazy kids in love, with a passion for telling stories and playing with our cameras. Laurent is funny and talkative, loves his motorcycle, and he’s a magician with computers – so he handles all the clients and marketing. Helena is thoughtful, patient, passionate about plants, and British gardening shows. She is a perfectionist to a fault – so builds our H&L presets and she edits all the photos.
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“How many times have you noticed that it’s the little quiet moments in the midst of life that seem to give the rest extra-special meaning?” — Mr. Rogers

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