the Shoot

Location Equipment
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This spot is in a sort of “cave” of a wedding venue where they keep all kinds of things in storage. We discovered this place a couple of years ago and whenever we had a wedding there we always took the couple to that cave because it has some nice spots with good light coming from the window. But because we go there often we always try and do something different every time and for that we look for stuff lying around to use as part of the scenario. This time, Paula ( my wife and second shooter ) found these baskets with dead flowers from previous weddings and an old mirror so we took a minute to think about what we could do with this and this is what we came up with.
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Location Name

basement / Garage of the wedding venue

Location aDDRESS

Quinta da Concha - Portugal



Location TYPE

basement / garage



Sony a7Riii




Sony 35mm f/1.8

Lens Filter


Other Equipment
No additional equipment was used.

the Shoot

Directions Composition Focus Light & Exposure
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Calm Holding Each other Posed Serious


First I explained to the couple that my idea was to shoot them in the mirror. I then put them in position against the wall facing the window where the light was coming from and asked them to hold that position for a while so that I could try different shots with the mirror.

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What was said

Ok guys… I’m going to try something here that may or may not work. I’m going to try to make a portrait of you shooting through that mirror so I will just ask you for a couple of minutes to stand still and not move until I’m finished. You are both going to stand here facing the window with your eyes closed and don’t move or talk for a couple of minutes. You can take this time to relax for a while :)

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Why I composed the way I did

The composition was quite simple. I wanted the main subjects in the center of the frame and then used the baskets with flowers to complete the composition placing them strategically where I could take advantage of the rule of thirds.

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Rule of Thirds Center Framed Leading Lines Close Up


Focus mode

Single point auto focus

Focus Technology

Live View Single Shot

Focused on

Mirror frame

Focus description

On my first shot, I was focusing on the bride and groom and although I was quite happy with the shot it seemed that something was missing and already thinking about how I would edit it I thought it wouldn’t be “moody” enough. So I gave it a second try and this time I focused on the mirror… and there it was. I knew I had to make a couple of adjustments, but I would definitely focus on the mirror and not the bride and groom.

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Shutter Speed






White Balance


Other Light Sources
No additional light sources were used.
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Light &

How the light was used

I only used the natural light that was coming from a window directly to the couple. I had to move their bodies a bit more towards the window in order to catch the light on them. I wanted them to turn and face where the light was coming from because it would mean that their faces were lit. But because this was also at a slight angle, I managed to capture the shadows as well – which is great since it brings dimensions to the subject.

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Harsh Light Directional Light Dark Moody Window Light Natural Light Indoor

the Shoot

Editing & Presets
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Editing &

Editing Software used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Preset Used
How I edited this image

First I applied the Nomad preset in Lightroom with a few teaks and then used the brush to bring the exposure up on the baskets and flowers and on the wood frame. I also added a little more grain to the image although it wasn’t much because I already had some natural grain from the high ISO used. And then I took the image to photoshop to clone out some table legs that were showing on top of the image. I could have moved them before shooting but I already knew that there would be no problem because I would edit them out later.

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Challenges Solutions Advice

Challenges & Solutions

Events that were challenging during the shoot

The only challenge we had was to come up with a different idea for that same spot where we go often. We don’t like to repeat photos/ideas with different couples so that was the main challenge.

Solutions I found

Once we saw all those props there I knew exactly what I wanted and everything was very easy to do. Sometimes it’s just a matter of looking around the environment for inspiration.


I don’t think I would have done anything different… maybe if I had more time I could look at the scene a little longer and maybe improve it but time is not on our side. We usually have around 15 to 20 minutes to do the couple’s photoshoot so we can’t spend too much time thinking and testing. But I was very happy with the result this time.

If you go to the same spot often always try to do something different every time. Look around, take a walk around to explore new angles, search for things to include in your picture. Don’t just go there and to the same or similar picture with every couple. If you go find yourself going to the same spot and doing the same exact thing, then just move on and find a different spot and don’t go back to that one. This photo I made I will never make another one again with a different couple. This is this couple’s photo. Next time I go there if nothing new comes up I’ll just go somewhere else. Always create something new.
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