• Artificial Light
  • Bokeh
  • Center Framed
  • Dinner
  • Evening
  • Mid range
  • night
  • Rule of thirds
  • String Lights
  • Unposed

The story behind the image

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Lauren & Edmond had an epic reception with a ton of stringed lighting hanging overhead all of the tables that guests were seated at. For toasts, the layout of the tables worked out in my favour as I had Lauren & Edmond turn their seats around and put their backs to all the tables so they could face the toaster. This then allowed all the stringed lighting to be behind them in the background. I was shooting with an 85L and 35L but I particularly liked how the 85L images turned out due to the bokeh created with stringed lights.
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I shot a bit wider but cropped into the image you see now in order to crop a groomsman out so the focus would solely be on the couple. Since I was off to Lauren’s right, I wanted to make her the main focus of the image. I shot from a low angle in order to capture more of the stringed lighting hung above them. I also did this in order to have their heads in front of the stringed lighting to add more separation between them and the background.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I used AF and used a single AF point to focus on Lauren’s face. Since she was pretty much in the center of the frame, I did not have to focus and recompose.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Bride's face

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 85mm f/1.2 L
Core SWX TorchLED Bolt 300 Light
1/250 @ f/f/2.5 ISOISO 5000 WB-5500K

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 a single LED light with a warm temp set to about 1/2-3/4 power. I tried to keep the light as far off to the side as I could (so it wouldn’t be distracting) without creating shadows on Edmond’s face. This helped a ton as the stringed lighting was behind them so there was really no light falling on their face except our light.

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Light Type

Artificial Light

Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I mostly did white balance and contrast adjustments in ACR before then bringing it into Photoshop and adding a couple Hue/Sat & Curves layers. The exposure SOOC was pretty on point so it made editing very minimal.

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Editing Software
Adobe Photoshop


The main challenge was the lack of light provided by the ambient light at the venue.

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Thankfully I was able to make use of an LED light to add some light to Lauren + Edmond’s face which helped properly expose the photo.

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Location Name

Hummingbird Nest Ranch

Location aDDRESS

2940 Kuehner Dr, Santa Susana, CA 93063

Loation Type

Wedding / Event Venue


United States

Don’t be afraid to push your ISO to create interesting images during the reception. Even with a 5d Mark II, I was still able to shoot at ISO 5000 and get some pretty clean looking images. Also, every photographer should have LED lights in their kit. It’s so helpful to add just a pop of light in dim situations.

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