jump to

Hailey was giving Jake eye kisses, it’s what they did to honor the little boy they lost. Instead of eye kisses, they call them “Ivar kisses”. Hailey had told me this was something they did every morning and night together so I wanted to make sure to get a photo of them doing this with the sunshine coming through, another huge representation for the couple of their little boy’s spirit!

Join the newsletter & be notified of new content

How did you direct your subject(s)?

I asked them to lay down however was comfortable in the grass and for her to lay on top of him like they would on the couch. I told them that I wanted them to do keep their faces close together, I kept my tone really calm so I could get an intimate moment for them while still being so close! I told her to kiss his face all over which lead to the ivar eye kisses.

What did you say?

Lay down together like you would lay in bed, however is comfortable. Hailey I want you to lay across Jake’s chest and give him the eye “ivar” kisses you do together.

How did you compose your image?

I wanted this to feel close and intimate, so I shot it close up and cropped it in even closer filling the frame with just them. I wanted emphasis on the “ivar” eye kisses more than anything.

How and what did you focus on?

Since I was shooting into the sun, focusing was incredibly challenging. The flare caused by the sun made the camera really struggle to find a place to lock on to, but I wanted to keep this flare in the shot. So, what I did was use my hand and create a “temporary shield/hood” over the lens, blocking the sun slightly and then with one hand, found the focus. Immediately afterwards, I removed my hand (while keeping the shutter half-pressed) and took the shots.


How did you use the light in your image?

For this shot, I wanted to capture the couple being backlit as it would be a beautiful representation of their late little boy, with the golden light streaming over them. I was sure to bring in as many light flares and pockets of golden light as I could to help bring this idea to life.

What was the gear & settings you used?

*Links may contain affiliate links


Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L





Shutter Speed






White Balance


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

I pulled the vibrance back to make sure the skin tones didnt appear too red or orange, and then I added majority of the warmth in this image using the shadows of the split toning module. I also bumped the exposure up quite a bit and used chunkier grain.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic


*Links may contain affiliate links

What challenges did you face?

The light was coming in from overhead and I wanted to make sure not to lose any detail to flares/light leaks, and it also makes it challenging to nail the focus when sunlight is coming directly into your lens.

How did you solve them?

I covered the top of my lens with my hand to block the light! that way I was able to lock focus exactly where I wanted and kept depth and detail in the image.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

Give your subjects time to move through the directions you give them. This was at least a minute after I gave them the direction to give ivar kisses, they had relaxed so much more and the image turned out less forced and more natural than if I would have just stopped at the first shot I got of them doing this!

India Earl

Shooting since


Current Home

United States of America



I’m a photographer focusing on documenting love stories of all kinds. Photographing couple’s connections is something so special and close to my heart, capturing who they really are and what their love looks like means the world to me. I’ve never wanted to just be another photographer that can put a couple in front of a pretty sunset and call it good, I’ve always wanted to take things a step further for my clients and make sure they walk away with photos that capture more than just a scene. I have been a photographer for 11 years now and am based in Utah with my two pups and flock of chickens.

Join the newsletter & be notified of new content

Keep on exploring

Kreativ Wedding
Valerie Thompson
Kreativ Wedding
Authentik weddings

Want to be a part of
How I Shot This?


Login to your account