Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

Location scouting is one of the most important things you can do; especially when it’s a destination project and you have no clue about what’s around and how things work.

For this after wedding shoot in Portugal, we made sure to spend a day driving and finding the perfect spot to take our couple. It’s a fun experience and one that is crucial to make the shoot go smoothly.

We found this awesome beach that ticked off a few boxes for us: Great sunset light, easy to access and not too far away from civilization. It did take us almost an entire day to find though – as we did try other spots.

When the time came to shoot, we actually arrived a little too early. Which meant we hung out with our couple and had a beer at the nearby restaurant as we waited for the light to get better.

This whole “arriving early” is an absolute godsend since it gives you the chance to break the ice with your couple and it minimizes the whole stress of “rushing to chase the light”. Rather early than late. Always.
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Directions

CalmHolding Each otherWalking

Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
We always tell our couples that we are constantly shooting. Even if we’re moving from point A to point B. That’s exactly what we did here. We moved from the first point to the next, and we encouraged our couple to forget about us and to just have their arms around each other and walk as they would after a fantastic date night together.
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“While we’re walking, put your arms over her shoulder and really cuddle her. Forget about us and just imagine you’re walking home after an awesome night out together. Don’t forget to look at each other and even flirt a little bit”
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Composition

Center FramedFull BodyNatural Frames

With walking shots, we always move around our couple. Very rarely do we stay in one spot. We moved into a position to frame our couple in the center of the frame while also lining them up with the rock feature in the distance. This brings all the elements of interest inside the middle of the composition. We chose to shoot this portrait too since it would help with keeping the frame balanced by limiting what else was included.
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Learn to shoot both in landscape & portrait orientation for the same shot. You’ll have the choice, later on, to determine which composition is best; especially if it wasn’t 100% obvious to you at that very moment you shot it.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The couple Single Shot Autofocus
Our focus was on the couple in this shot and not so much about capturing all the details in the landscape. We had our focus point over our couple and tried to match their walking speed. This just helps ensure that your shots are tack sharp.
Light & Weather

Soft LightDirectional LightNatural LightSunset

We waited with our couple until the sun was just about to set on the horizon. As we had seen how the light looked the day before, we knew this was going to be the best time to shoot. We positioned ourselves just behind them and framed it so the sunlight was just out of the frame on the left. This resulted in a beautiful side rim-light that separates them from the background.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/1600 f/1.2 ISO 100 WB Auto

Camera

Canon 5D Mark IV

Lens

Canon 50mm f/1.2 L

Editing

Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:

 

The edits are made to be warmer with a big focus on skin tones and light play with shadows and highlights. A few minor local adjustments were made (Gradient and Brush) as well as finishing off with a fine layer of grain. The whites are not blown out nor are the blacks 100% crunched.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The biggest challenge was actually finding the location that would be suitable to bring our bride and groom to. There are a ton of stunning wild beaches in Portugal, but most of them require quite a serious hike down (and if you stay till sunset, you’ll be hiking up in the dark!). We obviously wanted to avoid any potential risk of our couple hurting themselves while out with us.

Location

Beach / Coastal Portugal

Praia Da Adraga

Praia da Adraga, Portugal

Final tips & Advice

If you’re not sure about the exact perfect time to start shooting at your location, always arrive earlier. We have never had any complaints from our couples where we got there a half-hour early and just hung out while we waited for the light.

When your couple is walking together, it’s a perfect opportunity to vary up your shots; you could have them cuddle & flirt, as well as be a bit playful and pretend to be “tipsy” and gently bump into each other. All of which yields some really beautiful, hilarious and authentic moments for you to capture. Have fun with it, and let your couple have just as much fun too!
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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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