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It was a special day for us. Priscilla and David (the couple in the photo) were very committed to making things look beautiful and happen at their own slow rhythm. Although they were getting married in mid-September and the evenings were already cool then, they spent most of the evening outside their hall. They played and danced under garlands on patterned carpets, surrounded by their friends who genuinely rejoiced at their wedding. We caught this frame watching them on the dance floor.

We took this photo completely spontaneously. Back then, we photographed open-air dances. At one point, friends surrounded the bride and groom and started swinging with them during the slow song. We always ask our couples not to pay attention to us during the coverage and we advise them not to look into the lens and instead focus on themselves, on celebrating and enjoying an important event that is the wedding. This is universal advice that allows us to catch natural emotions in such moments.

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How did you compose your image?

We were close to the guests and the newlyweds the whole time. When we enter the dance floor and mingle with the people, we often photograph with a 35mm lens to be up close to interesting situations. This was also the case here. When the guests surrounded the Bride and Groom, we opted for a central composition to fit as many guests as possible into the frame. We also left some space at the top of the frame to show the garlands that created a magical atmosphere.

How and what did you focus on?

On the dance floor, we always shoot in servo mode. We want to make sure the camera is ready to shoot whenever the opportunity presents itself. Oftentimes, ordinary and unique frames are only separated by a fraction of a second. The camera was constantly tracking the newly married couple as they slowly whirled in dance. When their faces appeared on the viewfinder, I pressed the shutter button and took several photos in series.

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How did you use the light in your image?

We used the available light. People were lit only by the garlands that hung outside. We did not use flashes so as not to spoil the intimate atmosphere and the harsh light created by the flash would not match such a quiet and intimate moment. Since we didn’t have control over where the light was coming from, we had to control ourselves and found a position where we would include some of the lights in our frame to add more atmosphere and impact to the image.

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

1/125

Aperture

f/1.6

ISO

2500

White Balance

Auto

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

We process each frame with our own presets. The original photo was quite dark, so we raised the exposure and lights a bit and lowered the whites to avoid blowing out the bulbs. We’ve added some warm tones to the shadows to even out the colors and give the skin a pleasant tone. Most of the wedding guests wore brown, red and orange clothes. We emphasized them because they perfectly suited the atmosphere of the evening.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom CC Classic

Preset

Custom Preset

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What challenges did you face?

The biggest problem was getting a sufficiently bright and sharp photo, in very low light. The Canon 5DIII is not famous for its extremely high, usable ISO, so we balanced the settings until we found the best compromises.

Another problem was the big difference in brightness between the hall and the backyard. We were constantly changing places to find interesting shots, so changing the settings quickly was very important to us.

How did you solve them?

We’ve already looked around the area before and found a few spots that were bright enough to take good pictures there. While walking around, we had them in mind and we kept checking if there was something interesting going on there. When the opportunity arose, we were prepared.

We also used our own shooting modes (C1, C2…). We were able to save settings in the camera that were suitable for outdoor, indoor, and flash photography. This allowed us to change the settings almost instantly without thinking about it.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

We love natural situations, but they often require shooting without drawing attention to ourselves. When we try to blend in with the crowd of guests, we often don’t use flashes so as not to distract people around us. We could spoil many romantic moments by doing so. Not every photo has to be technically perfect. High noise or small imperfections are compensated by the unique atmosphere and memories they bring back for the couple.

While being at a wedding, it is useful to find places in advance that will be suitable, for example, as background for photos. It’s a good idea to pay attention to them while you work. Sometimes nothing interesting happens there, but the interesting moment may come later. Weddings are very unpredictable, but you can prepare to get the most out of them.

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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