• broken rules
  • Learn to work in direct sunlight to become more free in your work. A closed aperture is not always "old-fashioned"
  • top down
  • sunny
  • Shadows
  • Moody
  • Mid range
  • lying down
  • Leading lines
  • but allows you many options during the day in strong sunlight.
  • intimate
  • Indoor
  • High Angle
  • Harsh Light
  • Front Lit
  • Dark
  • Window Light

The story behind the image

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This photo was taken during a paid photoshoot. The couple saw the photos from our indoor workshops and wanted photos at the same location. This location is perfect if you like playing with light. It was the couple’s first couple shoot too, so that was exciting for everyone. I advised the couple about clothing and colors and how that plays a big role in the overall feel of the images. They stuck to wearing something that matched the color of the location.

The challenge was to create an atmosphere in which the couple could let themselves go and be completely at ease. I saw the light on the floor and wanted to include it in the shoot.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I asked the couple to lie down in the spot of light on the floor, cheek to cheek, close their eyes and enjoy the moment (breath in and out deeply, with help from music).

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What did you say?

“Lie on the floor in the ‘window light’, cheek to cheek, close your eyes, take your hand and place it on your partner’s face/head, listen to the calm music, take deep breaths in and out and let yourself go for one little moment”.

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Tone of Directions

Quiet, Calm


Photographed from an overhead angle, the couple was positioned to be in the play of light, deliberately using f/9 to “black out” the shadows completely (focus to be on the couple, the play of light, and emotions). Having this top-down perspective, it not only creates interest in the series but also helps to accentuate the leading lines created by the harsh shadows.

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Compositional Rules

Broken RulesLeading Lines


Center FramedMiddle ThirdsClose UpIntimate FramingTop down


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I used Autofocus in the Live View Mode with the folding display (since I’m short and held the camera up to have more distance between them) and also had to make sure that my feet are not in the picture.

It was difficult to make the decision from which angle and with which composition I photographed but ultimately I decided that the two should be framed diagonally in the image as it just felt more balanced.

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Focus Mode

Live View Single Shot

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Her eyes

Equipment &

Canon R6
Sigma ART 35mm 1.4
1/250 @ f/9 ISO100 WB-5500

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 room was dark and the couple was only illuminated by direct sunlight.
The closed aperture creates the strong contrasts I wanted to achieve, in order to fully focus on the couple, the pose and the emotions through the play of light.

As I had them lie in the spot of light on the ground, I purposely then exposed for the light as to create these contrasts mentioned just above. Here, the light plays one of the biggest roles in the entire image.

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Light Type

Natural LightWindow Lighting

Light Quality


Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I use my presets, which I usually only have to adjust for temperature, brightness, and blacks. I added grain and added sharpening as an adjustment. I use Adobe Lightroom Classic for all my photo editing.

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Editing Software
Preset Used
own custom preset


Finding the right angle for taking photos so that the image composition remains exciting. Any other angle and the image no longer has the impact I was trying to achieve.

I tried different perspectives, completely shading the couple, I also shot wide open, but it didn’t look as “on point” as I had imagined.

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I tried different perspectives, completely shading the couple, I also shot wide open, but I didn’t like it until they were in the light and I chose the perspective and settings as used in the picture. Sometimes you just have to try different settings until you create the WOW effect and that’s totally fine.

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Location Name

Old House

Location aDDRESS

Nümbrecht, Germany

Loation Type

Old House



Learn to work in direct sunlight to become freer in your work. A closed aperture is not always “old-fashioned”, but allows you many options during the day in strong sunlight.

Read More

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