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Something that we always love to do during our couple shoots is to take a moment to capture our bride and groom individually; portraits if you will.

It can happen that you simply don’t have enough time to take your bride or groom out to a cool location for their portraits during the getting ready and by taking a moment during the couple shoot to take more portraits is always a huge plus.
It also serves as a break for your couple. It gives them a little “rest” from all the mega loving & cuddling together and can totally relax & allow themselves to get into the moment.

For this shot, we took refuge on a shaded path from the harsh sun and our goal here was to have our bride show how content she was. How happy, and relaxed she felt during her day.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

Being a relatively “still pose”, we had our bride stand just under 90 degrees (side profile) to us with her back towards the light / opening of the forest (where the light came from). We then asked her to cradle her flowers like a baby, and then to look over her right shoulder and down at the flowers. We threw in a bunch of jokes, compliments & goodness to get her feeling really good.

What did you say?

When you look over your shoulder, look down at your flowers and smile at them. Make your flowers feel loved! Smile at them! Do it! They can feel it!

How did you compose your image?

We composed this shot from her hips upwards as we wanted to capture more of her emotion & the “beauty” look of the portrait. As we had already taken full body shots of the same setup, we moved up closer and framed her in the direct center. Center framing your subject on a simple background is a sure way to create a balance in the frame and make it feel whole.

How and what did you focus on?

When doing portraits, we always try and focus on our eyes. If they are closed or are not part of the composition, then we’ll move it to the point of interest which we feel is the most important. It could be the smile, the flowers, the lips or even the hands & details.


How did you use the light in your image?

As we were not too deep into the shaded pathway amongst the forest, we could still capture directional light from the entrance of the forest. We had our bride stand with her back towards the light because we wanted her to turn her head over her shoulder to look at her flowers – resulting in her face being lit from the front.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L





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?

We had no particular challenge with this image except that we had to keep an eye on the pose. Sometimes your subject can turn ‘too far’ over their shoulder which makes them look really uncomfortable & unnatural.

How did you solve them?

To help with this, turn their whole body slightly more towards you instead of exactly 90 degrees (side profile). By opening the shoulders more to your direction, they would find they don’t need to reach too far and can find themselves in a much more comfortable posture.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

Always make sure to capture full body shots too. It’s really nice to have a choice later on and to even deliver both images to your clients.

It’s okay to make silly jokes when posing your bride or groom. If you’re going for genuine smiles & laughter, you’ve got to genuinely make them do that. Those, are always the best smiles.


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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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