Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

There are many benefits to working with a partner or a second shooter, and one of them is that you can find different angles while the main shooter has the prime composition. Of course you can do this as a solo shooter too, you just have to be a bit more mobile.

In this case, while one of us was shooting our couple from the front, the other slipped to the side and wanted to capture the back of the dress of our bride. The whole composition turned out great and we loved the way the couple were “not” paying attention to us in this photo at all.
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Directions

CalmHolding HandsSitting

Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
We asked our groom to sit on the bonnet of the jeep while his bride stood next to him. They really wanted to have a shot like this, and while the other one of us was photographing from the front; the other slipped behind to get this frame.
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“(Groom) Take a seat on the bonnet and totally relax. Keep your legs up and sit like you’re chilling. (Bride) Hang out at the front there and lean against the bars. Hold hands and look out in X direction”
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Composition

Center FramedBroken RulesMid Range

Framing this shot in portrait and at a slightly higher angle meant we had a very flattering look on our brides’ shoulders. We wanted the first attention to go straight to the design of her dress and then follow their hands up to the rest of the image and what was happening.
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When going for a shot where the bride’s back is the center of attention, try shoot from a slightly higher angle and point downwards. By doing this, you capture both shoulders and it forms a much more flattering image of her. Also, don’t shoot from the exact side angle or back angle since you will loose dimensions. Have your bride turn her body slightly so it all forms & looks natural.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The back of the bride Single Shot Autofocus
When focusing with a single point, sometimes you’ll have bad luck if you’re putting it over an even part of skin or a flat surface. The easiest way to solve this is to simply move it to a contrasty part of the subject, such as where the dress meets the skin.
Light & Weather

Soft LightBack litDirectional LightNatural LightSunset

The sun was covered by the storm clouds while we were taking these photos; and even while the light was soft, we still had some directional light coming. When shooting this image, we tried to hide the sun as it was still quite a bright spot in the sky and we felt it didn’t add to the image that we were going for.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/320 f/2.2 ISO 125 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
Our challenge here was actually finding a composition that worked nicely. It was a good play between going to far to an angle and too little.

Location

Safari Tanzania

Sasakwa Lodge

Grumeti Game Reserve, Tanzania

Final tips & Advice

If you’re working with a second shooter, try have one of you move around your couple while the other is being the main photographer. Sometimes you find really beautiful angles and moments simply from seeing it from a different side.

Just be careful when moving around your couple when someone else is photographing – you need to have a good communication and to let the main photographer know when you may be crossing their line-of-sight.
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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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