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Where do I even start with this one? This is probably one of my all-time favourite images, from an all-time wedding. As a creative, I felt this wedding broke a barrier in terms of what is possible to create at a wedding when things align, dare I say perfectly.

Amber & Farhad are genuine souls through and through, and as soon as you meet them it is so evident that they are deeply in love. Amber is a New York Times bestseller, speaker, and a creative at heart so their guest list was full of incredible and accomplished musicians, actors, entrepreneurs and the list goes on. All this to say that, as soon as the weekend started A&F’s qualities and character was truly reflected by their friends and family, which really set the tone for the weekend.

Usually, when covering weddings I have my own accommodation, but A&F were super kind to ensure I had a room at Kasbah Bab Ourika for the weekend, that very much meant that I was immersed in the vibe of the weekend from the first second.

This frame was taken a few hours after settling-in in the Ourika Valley. A&F was welcoming their guests who were trickling in from all corners of the world before a welcome dinner. The blue hour was upon us and this is one of my favorite types of light to play in as tones really show off in a beautiful. Itching to get started capturing some portraits of the day this was the first and only portrait shot of that day and I am so glad I was there to capture this beaut.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

Having scouted the venue extensively I knew this spot was the focal point of the weekend, after all, this was the ceremony spot and it being such a geometrical shape it just made sense. A few moments later we were golden!

What did you say?

At this stage everyone was elated at arriving at the Ourika Valley, seeing how amazing it is, (seriously I’m going back with my wife Zion just to experience it all again) guests congratulating A&F for the weekend that was about to happen and slightly in an intrusive way – these are the times that the couple is having a blast, but you know that there’s something extra special worth exploring somewhere else, so what do you do? – I suggested to A&F that “the valley and the Atlas mountains are looking incredible and we should capture a few frames of the two of you in front of them inside that circle”. They placed themselves inside the circle but they faced me, so I told them as a first lesson of my world “Unless I tell you so, whenever I capture portraits of the two of you, face each other and feel free to interact and love on each other”.

How did you compose your image?

This frame was truly given to me by the venue. I guess what helped it was scouting the venue thoroughly beforehand as I haven’t seen this perspective with a couple before at Ourika Valley, but once you see it, you can’t unseen it and I had to place A&F bang in the middle of that structure.

How and what did you focus on?

I shot this in live view mode as I had to lift my camera and stretch as high as possible to get that perspective with one hand and tap-shot with the other hand.

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How did you use the light in your image?

The thing about shooting in blue hour is that most light is gone and you are left with the remnants of light. Those remnants are gold for beautiful tones! It truly is one of my favorite types of light, but it doesn’t last for long at all, and depending on where you are in the world that will affect the results significantly.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Camera

Canon 5D Mark IV

Lens

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L II

Filter

None

Other

None

Shutter Speed

1/200

Aperture

f/1.4

ISO

2000

White Balance

Cloudy

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

This was an easy one! Knowing what I wanted, and this is how I shoot most of my images, I slightly underexposed the image, or better said, I shot for the highlights with +0.60 being added to the exposure in the edit.

Once again, the clarity is up significantly to bring those details to light (+0.60) and the highlights are down (-0.90)to make sure the last layer of the mountains is prominently visible. That was an important one for this edit.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Preset

Custom Presets

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What challenges did you face?

I was in my element during this perfect welcome vibing day, so the only challenge was to disrupt the vibe and direct the couple to something that was worth capturing outside of their schedule.

How did you solve them?

Whilst I disrupted the evening a bit by taking A&F aside for a few minutes, I’m sure they are incredibly grateful about this image as it is one of their favourites. Sometimes your best images are on the other side of fear.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

Presets are ace, incredible locations are ace but establishing trust with your clients is paramount to creating work that moves you and them!

Igor Demba

Shooting since

2020

Current Home

United Kingdom

Website

Instagram

Igor Demba has been in business for over 10 years and truly believes he has the best job in the world. Recently he was named top wedding photographer in the world by Harper’s Bazaar which really excited his mum. He’s currently based in Peterborough, England, he’s married to the wonderful Zion and they have beautiful daughter that keep their hands full.

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