JZ06042021

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This photo was an incredible challenge. I took it as part of a workshop in which I was teaching the importance of thinking through intimate photos. That’s why I couldn’t shoot more than three times. This was one of those three photos. We were inside a log cabin, and I noticed that there was a little ray of light coming through the window. I adjusted the couple so that the beam was shining right in their faces, to create a more interesting composition with them.

I was incredibly happy to know that even if we take very few photos, we can still get quality material. When we slow down and focus on looking around us, new opportunities always arise and creativity soars.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

In intimate sessions, I try to talk a lot more. Few photos and a lot of communication. There were always two other photographers trying to learn from this process. So it was extremely important that there was trust and respect. I played music they liked and told them to imagine they were the only ones there. Enjoying each other, a kiss at dawn in the nude. And the magic appeared.

What did you say?

Guys, forget about all of us here and just embrace each other. Hold each other gently, listen to the music and go in for a kiss when you feel you want to. This is a moment of just you two alone.

How did you compose your image?

I composed the whole image thinking about the diagonal that would form the line of light coming through the window. It was clear that I wanted to divide the photo into two parts and that the line of light would be the separation. For me, the whole point of this photo was to get as much intimacy and naturalness as possible. A simple but sensitive moment.

How and what did you focus on?

I used a single point for the focus of this photograph. Looking for it to stay in the eye and the point of light separating the two models.

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How did you use the light in your image?

The light was dim inside the cabin. So I knew that the light coming in from my back was going to be the focal point. So I tried to always make it my reference point for the image. The hardest part was knowing that I could only shoot three images because it was a challenge within the workshop. I was happy with the result considering all the difficulties.

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

1/320

Aperture

f/2

ISO

1000

White Balance

5500

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

I used my “Draco” preset. Then I tried to lift the shadows a bit and adjust the highlights so that the line separating them didn’t burn out. I tried to give a golden tone to the skins with the HSL always looking for an orange hue. I lowered the contrast so that there was not too much difference between the dark and lighter areas of the image.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

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What challenges did you face?

As I said before. The biggest challenge was knowing that I only had one chance to get the photo right, to compose and expose it correctly. Still, I think it’s interesting that we often put ourselves in this situation of thinking twice and thrice about the photo before shooting. Think about the settings and parameters and give ourselves that time to digest everything well.

How did you solve them?

I had to realize that being calm and taking a bit of time to really think about what shot i wanted was the best way to go about it.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

My biggest tip for doing these types of photos is to get the intimacy and connection with the couple so they don’t worry about being naked in front of you. To achieve that, we are the ones who have to “get naked”. Open up to them and be completely honest to get a unique result.

Joy Zamora

Shooting since

2014

Current Home

Spain

Website

Instagram

Telling stories of love, has to be the most beautiful job in the world and I feel so fortunate that I get to work closely with couples who invite me into such an intimate and emotional part of their lives. I’m a destination wedding photographer that loves the human connection.

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