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Our couple wanted to have a session right in the late evening after the first dance and we were excited to do this because the light at this time was just fantastic. Right after the first dance, we all jumped into our car and drove to a clearing overlooking the Tatra mountains. It was just before sunset, the sky was a bit cloudy and the light was incredibly soft. We took a whole bunch of photos of the couple together and fell in love with the idea of using the veil of the bride for some solo portraits.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

It was easy for us to guide the bride. She felt very comfortable in front of the camera, especially since we photographed her with her husband before we took her solo portraits. After such a warm-up, it is easier to pose without a partner. We left her a lot of freedom and only briefly told her about the effect we wanted. We asked her to look to the left and brush the veil with her relaxed hands.

What did you say?

Now, turn your head to the left and lower it gently. We want you to slowly brush the veil. Take your time with this. Keep your hands moving all the time.

How did you compose your image?

The mountains in the background looked beautiful. Although we love majestic landscapes, this time we didn’t want the background to dominate the photo. We opted for a 35mm lens and a medium-framed image. Thanks to this, we brought the attention mainly to the figure, hands, and emotions. We framed the photo so that the hands were more or less at the strong points. We liked them very much and wanted them to play a bigger role. The Bride herself is positioned to the left side of the frame. When we framed the face in the center, the whole picture lost balance and the right side became too heavy. In this version, the photo is more balanced.

How and what did you focus on?

The camera was set to single-shot mode. We aimed at the Bride’s face, but we knew the veil would be the sharpest anyway. That’s what we were hoping for. When we use veils, the most important thing is the feeling of softness. Then we try to keep the face slightly beyond the depth of field. By using a small aperture, we further enhance this effect.

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How did you use the light in your image?

We photographed in an open clearing just before sunset. There were some clouds in the sky, so the light was very diffused. The sun was setting on the right side of the Bride, which is why her figure is not flat, and she feels more dimensional. The rays delicately underlined her face and figure with a harmonious play of highlights and shadows.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Camera

Canon 5D Mark III

Lens

Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4

Filter

None

Other

None

Shutter Speed

1/800

Aperture

f/1.6

ISO

160

White Balance

Auto

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

We used one of our black and white presets. We chose black and white because the colors only took attention away from the bride and introduced chaos to the photo. Strong green grass clashed with the cool sky and mountains. The lack of color made the photo harmonious, and the background became closer to neutral. When we want the soft photos, we lower the “clarity” and “dehaze” options. We use the second slider very often. Before it appeared in Lightroom, we used to lower the contrast or manipulate the curves, but the photos tended to turn gray. “Dehaze” makes the contrast decrease, and at the same time, the photo is more luminous and hazy.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Preset

Own personal Presets

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What challenges did you face?

The biggest problem of solo portraits is the placement of hands. When posing with a partner, it is easy to locate them somewhere – put them on your shoulder, hug the other person or grab each other hands. In this case, it wasn’t possible.

How did you solve them?

When the people we photograph have no experience in posing, we always try to keep their hands busy. Brides have many more options – they can catch a bouquet, a fragment of a dress or a veil. As a result, the photos become lighter and more natural.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

We love portraits, and brides are particularly rewarding subjects to photograph. It is always wise to take at least a few photos of her alone – during the wedding preparations or the couple session. It is always impressive and very often these are the photos that are used as new profile pictures on social media.

If the people you photograph have problems with the natural placement of their hands – use additional accessories or small tasks. Instead of asking your models to place their hands stiffly, ask them to pick up flowers, play with their clothes, or comb their hair.

Lightsome Studio

Shooting since

2013

Current Home

Poland

Website

Instagram

For years, we have been creating tender love stories. We are looking for beauty in everyday life and small gestures, we appreciate diversity and photograph with open minds. We live and work together. We love good stories about people. We photograph to tell our own – those about crazy expeditions and daily routine. About two people who found each other in this big world. About bare feet on the dance floor, tears on the cheeks, and whispered marriage vows.

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