• almost kiss
  • Center Framed
  • drinks
  • full body
  • Harsh Light
  • Home
  • Indoor
  • Interracial
  • intimate
  • Leading lines
  • models
  • Moody
  • Shadows
  • Warm
  • Window Light

The story behind the image

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Back in August, I attended photographer, Cara Mia’s EARTH Workshop out in Moab. It was a workshop I had been waiting for almost over a year for. We spent our first few nights nestled in the mountains just a little outside of Salt Lake at Sundance and eventually made our way over to Moab for the remaining part of the workshop.

We did 6 sessions in total and the one that stuck out to me the most and had me completely at AWE and fully inspired was our session with Kerry and Max, a couple from Boston who flew all the way out of Utah to model for us. They were absolutely true naturals in front of the camera. There was no denying how strong their bond was and they way held one another.

This session was done out at the Under Canvas site in the middle of the Moab desert. It was super hot and dry that morning and the light that we got to work with that morning was beyond our expectations. I felt 100% creatively pursued by this session as not only the light and the location, but how Kerry and Max perfectly showed off their love so naturally even when prompted.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

We prompted them to sit closely with each other, hold their martini glasses like normal, and then tease with a slow kiss. The rest was up to them and how they wanted to interact with one another after being prompted.

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What did you say?

Kerry sit shoulder-to-shoulder with Max horizontally with your legs over his and get really close and go in for a very slow kiss – tease each other bit.

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Tone of Directions



We were in groups so it was slightly tough to move around others without ruining their shot, but I immediately knew I wanted my shot to be more at an angle in order to create a more moody and journalistic feel, but still properly composed to achieve the entire emotion within the photo itself.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I found myself very “in” the moment with this session, I wanted to take my time to fully understand where I was standing and what my subject was before capturing each image + the light was pretty harsh that day so I had to really pay attention to my settings and where I was when taking each photo. However, this moment was definitely more prompted at a slower pace and allowed me to really focus in on what I wanted to focus on and that was Kerry and Max’s upper body to create a clear and intimate setting.

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Focus Mode

Continuous Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Upper body, between the couple's head and shoulders

Equipment &

Canon Mark IV
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L
500 @ f/11 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

We were working with clear skies and harsh sunlight so it made it a little difficult with figuring out the best settings that would photograph and edit well after the session. I decided to under expose in order to keep most of the details sharp and lighting soft.

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Light Type

Natural Light



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

The editing process was very simple, as the scene already related well to my normal editing style. I mostly tweaked the exposure a bit and adjusted my shadows and highlights to appear just as natural as they were when photographed. I also used the “Radial” tool to soften the shadows above Max’s head to create a less intense background.

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Editing Software
Preset Used


The direct light. Yes it was hard, but I knew what I was getting myself into and that I was going to have to underexpose in order to get the photos I wanted …but other than that it was a very calm atmosphere!

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Under expose and angle subjects out of any weird shadows that would conflict with the hard light and camera settings.

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Location Name

Under Canvas Moab

Location aDDRESS

Under Canvas Moab, 13784 US-191, Moab, UT 84532, United States

Loation Type



United States

Don’t be afraid of harsh light! Yes, it’s not the most preferred light situation, but when you get a moment to think creatively and take your time playing around with your settings (*another don’t be afraid to underexpose your photos) …Hash light can also gift in disguise

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