Photographed by Melli & Shayne


We took our couple to a pretty special place down in the Alps for their little vow renewal and we got to spend the entire afternoon evening with them. They were one of the sweetest couples, shy, but so incredibly sweet and kind. We had finished off taking pictures on top of a mountain and found ourselves down in an open field in the late afternoon.

While there, we decided to take a little break and wait for the sun to drop a bit more so we could shoot in much softer light (there was not a cloud in the sky that day, and it was full-on bright and sunny). While we hung out and started chatting, we noticed that up on top of this hill was a wall of trees that let out a bit of shade.

We climbed on up and enjoyed the fantastic few from on top. We then had this idea, why not capture our couple as they were – chilling. We had never shot from this top-down angle of a couple before and thought we didn’t really have much to lose besides a bit of time. So, we just went for it. It turned out to be pretty cool in the end.
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We had our couple lie in the grass opposite to each other (from their heads). We got them as close as we could without it looking like they were on top of each other and we simply asked them to tuck one of their hands under their head to form a pillow and to close their eyes. Just to breathe, take in the sounds, the feelings, and the moments.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Guys, we got this cool idea. If you [Guy] lie down here and tuck your hand under your head, and you [Girl], lie next to his head like this with your hand tucked too. Perfect. Now, just close your eyes. Take in the moment. Forget about us, and just imagine you were here with each other relaxing. “
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Center FramedBroken RulesClose Up

Since it was a pretty interesting way to pose a couple, we decided to keep it simple. We shot directly top-down over the couple and framed them equally in the picture. We also had to be careful to shoot too wide as that would have meant our legs would have been in the shoot too.
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For these types of shots, live view is an absolute godsend. Being able to compose an image without your eye pressed against the viewfinder opens up so much flexibility.


Single Point Focused on The Brides face Live View Single Shot
The focusing of this shot was very easy. We moved the focus box to the Bride and let it lock on. Since both of them were on the exact same level, we just needed to pick one of them to focus on as the other would 100% be focused too.
Light & Weather

Soft LightNatural LightShade

Since we had found this spot in the shade, the light was really soft. But literally 2 meters away the sun was scorching bright and way too harsh. We had our couple lie in the shaded area to help us create these beautifully soft and smooth skin tones while also keeping a little play of highlights and shadows.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/1250 f/1.6 ISO 100 WB Auto


Canon 5D mark IV


Canon 50mm f/1.2 L


Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:


To edit this shot, we applied our Protea preset and adjusted the exposure, white balance and colour saturations to get the overall tones that we wanted. We then added a manual vignette by inserting a radial filter and darkening the edges. We finally ended off by adding in some gentle dodging and burning to help make our couple pop a little more.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The biggest challenge was getting our couple comfortable in this position as any sign of discomfort became quite visible.


Garden / Field Germany


Geroldsee, Germany

Final tips & Advice

If you end up having plenty of time to kill while waiting for better light, try out new ideas with your couple and don’t be afraid to tell them that you’re actually experimenting. Tell them that you’re just trying something out and it may or may not work – most of the time they’d totally be keen but by mentioning that it “may not work” means they won’t necessarily ask about those shots if they aren’t delivered.
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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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