• candid moments
  • Center Framed
  • Cloudy
  • Getting ready
  • Mountains
  • nature
  • Outdoor
  • Rain
  • Rainy
  • Same Sex
  • Soft Light
  • Unposed
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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I documented an anniversary session for Clancey + David in the hills of Malibu in the spring of 2018. They rented this beautiful airstream airbnb (which is no longer there due to the Malibu fires later that year :( ) to shoot at and it had this little shower stall setup about 30 yards from the trailer. Clancey mentioned doing some kind of photo incorporating it. We ventured over to it and I hiked up the hill behind it to get a higher vantage of them while they stripped down and each stood in front of the sinks. This was my very last photo of the session and it ended up being one of my favorites.
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For this image, I knew I wanted to shoot in center-framed to keep the symmetrical theme going with the sinks being symmetrical in the stall. I chose to shoot it from a higher vantage so you could see a bit of the water though it was pretty hazy at that time so it’s tough to see where the horizon line is. I also chose to shoot it in a way where the stall was below the horizon line of the hills. For the final image, I did crop out a portion of the sky to bring more emphasis to the couple.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I focused on the couple and because I was shooting a very center-weighted image, I did not have to recompose at all. I shot through the viewfinder using the center focus point.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Couple

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II
1/320 @ f/2.2 ISO2000 WB-10000K

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

The sun had set by this time which resulted in a bit of a dusky glow during blue hour. Because the sun had set in front of them (and off to the right a bit), the light on them is not the best which meant I needed to use a bit of higher ISO to get a clean exposure. However, since we were higher up on the hills, we had a bit longer to shoot than if we had been down at sea level.

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Light Type

Natural Light



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I love the old VSCO presets and used an Agfa Portrait preset in Adobe Camera RAW on this image. Due to the dusky light, even with a 10000K white balance, I still needed to warm the image a bit. After a white balance, exposure and contrast adjustment, I brought the photo into Photoshop. From there I add various curves, hue/saturation & color balance layers to polish off the image.

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Editing Software
Adobe Photoshop


There weren’t many challenges faced in this image other than dealing with the light fading quickly. I knew I didn’t have a ton of time to experiment and needed to make the most of my time. We probably only shot these images for a minute or two before calling it a wrap. I wish we would have walked over to this location a tad earlier so we could have shot more.

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By giving them minimal direction and shooting from a bit further away, I was able to get the image I wanted more quickly.

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Location Name

Malibu, CA

Location aDDRESS

Malibu Hills California 90265 USA

Loation Type



United States

It’s important to always be talking with your couples about what they want out of the shoot and if they have any ideas. It was Clancey + David’s idea to walk over there and I’m so glad they suggested it because I don’t know if I would have. There’s always time to try something and if it doesn’t work, you move on and if it does, well, you may get one of your favorite images from the shoot. :)

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