Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

Along with getting the formal group photos where everyone looks into the camera; we are also big big fans of capturing a great moment between the people in the group. Especially when it comes to close friends like the bridal party or the groomsmen. It makes the whole “event” of the group photos so much more fun, not only for your couple but for you as the photographers. Nobody ever said you couldn’t bring in some high energy stuff to add a few dynamics to the whole session. For this particular shot, we knew all the girls were very close to each other as the chemistry was so clearly visible. We wanted to get them laughing & having a good time with each other, and so we had them move towards us and pretty much squish each other. The most important thing though was that we kept our energy up. Your subjects reflect you, and so in this case – we had to be “full of energy” to get “full of energy”.
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Directions

EnergeticFunnyLaughingPlayfulWalking

Once we positioned our girls next to each other, we asked them to link arms and walk towards us. While walking, we encouraged the girls to squish close and even lightly bump into one another; all while moving forward.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Alright, girls, walk towards us and when you do, get real close. So close! Squish up into each other and even bounce off yourselves.”
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Composition

Center FramedMiddle ThirdsMid Range

After getting a few full-body shots, we let the girls move closer to us so we could then focus on their laughter and utter joy. We kept the most important part of the composition in the center of the image; their expressions & faces. This allowed some “breathing room” above them as well as have them close up enough in the frame to really capture their enjoyment.
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Once you’ve got wide shots showing the full-bodies, let them get closer to you by not moving backwards as they walk towards you. That way, you can focus on framing them as they get closer and while still being able to give out fun directions.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The Brides face Single Shot Autofocus
Our focus point was directly on the face of our bride. Since all the girls were on the same line, we didn’t worry too much about one of them falling out of focus; especially with a wide-open aperture. As they moved towards us, we kept refocusing between shots. We did this simply because we felt that the continuous autofocus of the 5DIV wasn’t at its prime.
Light & Weather

Soft LightNatural LightShadeAfternoon

We were fortunate enough to have worked with an overcast sky at this moment so the light was fairly simple to work with. That being said, we still keep an eye out as to where the sun “was”. The sun was slightly behind us and to our left which meant that even though the light was soft, we still had the girls illuminated from the front which highlighted their expressions.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/1000 f/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:

 

Adobe Lightroom

I applied my Protea Preset to the image and adjusted the white balance, exposure, shadows & highlights to get the overall tones I was after. I wanted something warm, for sure, but didn’t encroach too much onto the whites of the bridal dress. I then also reduced a bit of the texture just to make the skin feel a bit smoother. Then, adding a bit of grain to complete the image with texture.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The main challenge one would face in a group photo like this is keeping the energy and motivation up high enough for everyone to be genuinely having a good time. It’s not always easy but it’s also not impossible either.

Location

Wedding / Event Venue Italy

The Lazy Olive

LOC. FINERRI, 7, 53041 ASCIANO SI, ITALY

Final tips & Advice

When it comes to movement in group photos, it’s best done with groups no larger than 6 – 8. Any larger and things start to become a bit more chaotic and may actually not look good at all.

Regardless of how many people you have in your group photo, don’t forget to be encouraging and to compliment the group once you’re done. It makes a world of a difference when the people hear you say “Damn, you guys look great!”. They start to genuinely have a good time in front of your camera.

Finally, try and convince your couple to do the group photos before your couple shoot as this could push your couple shoot later on into the afternoon / evening which is, obviously, a much nicer time to be taking their photos.
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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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