Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

After spending the day traveling on scooters in Sri Lanka, and having found this awesome little beach bar on the coast to end the day off, we thought we’d sneak in a cheeky little couple shoot of our friends.

Not only was it so much fun shooting in the ocean and on the beach, but it was also a beautiful chance to take advantage of the blue hour that we were given. It’s that point of the day where the sun has set completely and the last remnants of light linger until they fade.

This image certainly had its technical challenges in terms of nailing a sharp focus, but even if we missed this – a moment matters more.
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Directions

Holding Each otherNaturalAlmost KissCarry

Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
We asked our guy to pick up his girl and have her legs wrap right around his body. While holding her up, we then encouraged them to move in close, and bring their foreheads together, and to really snuggle. To let their hands move along their bodies and completely “be” in that moment.
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“”[once being held up] Bring your foreheads together and let yourselves snuggle. Close your eyes, and just love each other. Feel each other. And forget everything else, and just be with each other right now in this moment”.”
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Composition

Center FramedMid RangeIntimate Framing

We wanted to capture a feeling of intimacy for this photo as the moment they shared was honestly very true, and very beautiful. We simply moved up close enough to fill the frame almost entirely with them. We also kept each subject on either side of the frame as to help balance the overall composition.
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For intimacy, moving up close and filling the frame with your subject really brings the viewers right into the moment. Don’t worry about cutting parts of your subject off; so long as it looks intentional.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The Girls smile Live View Single Shot
Focusing in such low light definitely has challenges as the camera starts to struggle to detect contrasts and points to lock on to. This particular shot is not perfectly in focus. In fact, the focus landed on our guy’s shoulder. It’s not technically perfect, but the moment & story it tells is worth more than a perfectly crisp photo. Moments matter more than technicality.
Light & Weather

Soft LightMoodyNatural LightCloudySunset

This was taken at the end of the blue hour. The sun had set and the very last little bits of light were all that we had left. At this point, we were shooting until we simply couldn’t shoot anymore and since the light was so soft and so gentle – we didn’t really need to pay attention to where it was coming from.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/320 f/1.6 ISO 1000 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
Focusing in such low light certainly was the hardest thing we had to deal with, along with fading light. It got to a point where it was so dark that our camera’s simply stopped focusing altogether.

Location

Beach / Coastal Sri Lanka

The Frog Rock

624, Dallawella, A2, Unawatuna 80600, Sri Lanka

Final tips & Advice

A photo doesn’t always have to be technically perfect. In the end, what matters most is the moment & the story that it can tell. Especially if it’s something close to your couple.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t aim to get things right in camera, it’s only to allow yourself the freedom to be creative and try new things out. Do everything with intention and it’s much easier to see the art in it than to just take an “accident” and dress it up nicely.
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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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