Photographed by Melli & Shayne


One of the things we love the most about taking our couples out for their shoot is to create authentic moments between them. One of the best ways that we learnt how to do that was to simply give them things to do with each other.

Let them climb, walk, dance, tease and even tickle each other. Basically, let them focus more on what they’re doing than you with the camera. Finally, don’t put your camera down.

Some of the best shots happen just after you asked them to do something – so our biggest tip for you is to always keep your camera up and ready.
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Holding HandsIntimateNaturalPosed

Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
This was a very spontaneous moment between our couple, as we had just asked them to climb up on the rock and help each other find their balance. Sometimes, simply giving them something to do where they focus less on you, but on each other can bring out some really beautiful moments.
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“Guys, go climb up that rock there and help each other get there. Be safe though! Don’t fall or loose your balance”
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Center FramedMiddle ThirdsMid Range

We got into position just off to the side so we could we could firstly use the light directionally (off to the right), and secondly, to frame them within the mountain in the background. As we had quite harsh sun at this time, using the mountain at the background helped avoid filling the frame with a blown out sky.
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Don’t forget to move around your couple. There could be really great compositions just from a different angle.


Single Point Focused on The girls face Single Shot Autofocus
Focusing here was no challenge since the light was creating enough contrasts on our couple for our cameras to be able to lock on to. We simply moved our focus point over our couple and locked it down.
Light & Weather

Soft LightDirectional LightNatural LightCloudySunset

The sun was still quite high at this point of the shoot, and so we chose to position ourselves just off to the side so that we could capture the light from a different angle (and not directly behind them). By moving to the side, we were able to capture a rim light which really helped separate our couple from the background.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/320 f/1.4 ISO 100 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark III


Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II


Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:


Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Photoshop

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 here was trying to communicate with our couple from such a distance without ruining or interfering with their moment. If we were to shout & yell directions to them, they would have likely been taken out of their moment and thus removing the chances of capturing something truly genuine.


Lake Austria


Vorderer Langbathsee 4802 Ebensee, Austria

Final tips & Advice

When using harsher light off to the side (like this image), keep your eyes open for shadows being casted. In our case, in the wrong
position, our guy could have cast a shadow across our girl.

Let your couple “be” from time to time. Give them space to be themselves by asking them simple things to do. Especially when you want to move from one spot to the next.

Don’t stop shooting. Even after they’ve “completed” what you asked, keep shooting. You can talk to them from behind your camera if necessary, but again – some of the best moments happen directly afterwards.
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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.

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