Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

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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Directions

EnergeticJokesLaughingPlayful

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.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“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!”
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Composition

Center FramedWideMid Range

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.
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When going for semi-close up portrait shots, make sure to crop the image at a point where it looks purposeful. Cutting off a small part of the arms, the legs or something can easily be seen as unintentional. A good tip to know is to show just enough that it exists, but not enough for the viewers to want to see the rest of it.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The Bride Face Single Shot Autofocus
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.
Light & Weather

Soft LightNatural LightShade

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.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/640 f/2.5 ISO 125 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
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.

Location

Hotel Germany

Freigeist Hotel

Gesundbrunnen, 37154 Northeim, Germany

Final tips & 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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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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