Photographed by Melli & Shayne


We are an absolute sucker for that notorious golden hour. So much so that we’d rather take a 30-minute session in amazing light than an hour in ‘not so great light.’ Who wouldn’t? This day with our couple was spectacular right from the start – but as some weddings go, time can become a bit tight.

One thing that didn’t help the already short-time slot we had for the couple shoot was that we actually got a bit lost trying to navigate our way back out of a protected area of a tiny Italian city where the ceremony was held – which meant we got to the reception location a bit later than we had hoped. Needless to say, we were pretty stressed as we were losing sunlight with every minute, and we obviously didn’t want our couple to panic about where we were.

Fortunately, our couple was incredibly cool, and we took advantage of the last 30 minutes of light before it simply became a bit too dark to shoot. We didn’t venture too far from the reception location and did the most we could, and ended up having such a great time together.
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CalmHolding HandsLaughingWalking

Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
So what are you guys gonna do when you get to the party? [bride], you’re gonna drink, aren’t you? You’re going straight to the bar! [Groom], you know what we’re talking about, don’t you?
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“As we were closing up the shoot, we simply asked our couple to walk hand in hand with our groom taking lead. We encouraged our bride to look towards her groom and we threw in some lighthearted jokes to get them smiling & giggling. “
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Center FramedMiddle ThirdsFull Body

As we were on a driveway, we wanted to hide the fact that there were the guest’s parked cars just on the other side so we chose to frame this in portrait. We kept our subjects in the mid & lower sections of the image to give them more presence than the sky.
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Always keep your eyes open to not cut off parts of your couple when you’re doing a full-body shot while walking. It can easily happen if your speeds don’t match as they could walk a bit faster than you and step out of your frame. Don’t hesitate to ask them to slow it down a bit.


Single Point Focused on The Grooms face Live View Single Shot
We find that using our live view to focus on our couple while we’re doing walking shots is quite a bit easier than the conventional “through the viewfinder” approach. It helps us to see the composition more easily while also keeping our eyes open for our surroundings (to not trip for example). Once we’ve got our focus locked, we try and keep the same distance as much as possible. If we change, we refocus.
Light & Weather

Soft LightNatural LightCloudySunset

This was taken just after the sun had dropped below the horizon. It still gave off enough directional light but it wasn’t nearly as harsh as it would have been if it was above the horizon. The sun set just behind our couple and it worked to our advantage as it allowed us to backlight them as we walked back to the party. This backlight helps separate the two from the background.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/500 f/2.2 ISO 250 WB Auto


Canon 5D mark IV


Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II


Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:


We applied our Kilimanjaro preset, shifted the orange hues to the yellows slightly and added our grain & vignette edits. We also focused in and used quite a bit of local adjustments such as the radial filter to enhance the sun while also creating a more controlled vignette in certain areas.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The biggest challenge we had was not keeping our couple away from the party for too long. It’s so easy to get carried away but we always have to remember this day isn’t just about us and our portfolio – it’s entirely about our couple and while it’s fun to couple shoot, it’s also fun to hang out with friends & family and enjoy a party.


Private Home / AirBnB / Apartment Italy

Private Home

Via Turrita, 06081 Sterpeto PG, Italy

Final tips & Advice

There are a ton of stories behind a photo – even your most favorite wedding photographer out there could tell you a good tale or two. That’s the beauty of a photograph. It holds much more than just digital pixels & fancy colors.

If it ever happens that you end up being late somewhere, the first thing you need to do is try and reach your couple and let them know. Do whatever it takes, and try your absolute hardest to get there on time (but also safely – no use in a photographer who can’t shoot anymore).

During short couple shoots, don’t be afraid to move on from a certain shot or pose. It’s totally okay to change to something else if you think it’s just not working out for your couple.
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Melli & Shayne

Photographer Germany Canon 5D Mark IV Canon 50mm f/1.2 L
We are Melli & Shayne, a couple coming from vastly different worlds but have been inseparable ever since we met in Zanzibar. We have been passionately capturing love stories since 2014 and have loved every step of the way. We love to meet fellow photographers, to share our knowledge amongst a bottle (or two) of wine and support every one wherever we can.
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Everyone fails. It’s how you take it that will separate you from the rest. Failure is a lesson. And knowledge is a win.

Designed with love by Katharina + Katharina & Shayne Thomas. Background image by Adrián Vilanova

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