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Moments between a couple don’t always happen because you created them. Sometimes, it happens naturally – by itself. As if you were not even there. This is exactly the story behind this image.

While waiting for one of the photographers to come back from picking up something he left behind (a monopod), our couple sat down next to each other and just… relaxed. Without any directions on how to sit or cuddle each other, they just did their thing.

By having one eye on them the whole time, we were able to silently turn ourselves into position to capture this moment. 100% real. 100% them. And that is the trick – is to always be aware of what is going on around you. Even when you think nothing of it. It’s always worth being vigilant.

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How did you compose your image?

We were fortunate to have our wide-angle lens on and ready to go as the composition we saw worked perfectly with this lens. We placed our couple in the lower middle as we wanted to keep a bit of the sky visible (even though it was blown out – it just adds a bit of breathing room) and to capture even more of those leading lines. Check out the walls – see how some of them converge towards our couple? That’s directing the viewer’s eyes and attention straight to our couple. The subjects. The highlight of the image.

How and what did you focus on?

Our focus was immediately on our couple for this shot. We simply moved our focus point over them (we didn’t mind who) and let it lock on. Because this was a wide lens, it’s a lot more forgiving with the unintended depth of field and focus.


How did you use the light in your image?

For the last part of the couple shoot, we moved to the top of these roofs to catch the last bits of the sunset before it vanished. Our couple just so happened to sit in an area that was shaded from the sunset, meaning the light was soft. Regardless of what position they would have been in.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L II





Shutter Speed






White Balance


How did you edit your image & what did you use?

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.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

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What challenges did you face?

The main challenge we faced here was not disturbing our couple. This moment was delicate, and we didn’t want them to suddenly realize we had a camera on them causing them to stiffen up or lose that connection they had.

How did you solve them?

We stayed absolutely silent. We didn’t say anything at all. We just raised the camera, exposed, focused and then fired away. Of course, they heard the camera’s shutter and looked up at us, but we had the shot already. We just gave them a huge smile and a big thumbs up to let them know we just nailed a killer shot. Needless to say, they were just as stoked as we were.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

The main piece of advice we keep giving people when it comes to capturing moments is to always be on the lookout. Is to keep your eyes open because the moment you look away, that’s when something happens that you miss and wish you could have been ready for.

Another tip and piece of advice is that you can always tell your couple to take a few minutes break just by themselves (you can say you need to gather your thoughts or visions). This works in a lot of ways since being photographed can be quite tiring. Your couple may even be relieved to have a few moments to just breathe. Take that opportunity to be a ninja and pay attention for a sweet little gesture from either of them to capture.


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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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