Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

When we went out with our couple for the shoot, we tried to find a spot where we could capture a lot of the valley and scenery that this venue in Tuscany had to offer. We always do our location scouts in advance but sometimes we realize the spots we found earlier don’t look as good as we hoped.

In this case, we didn’t plan on sending our couple down amongst the dry grass. We saw this during the couple shoot and how the sun was setting. As it happened near the end, we asked our couple if we could quickly go down and get a few shots there – to which they were super keen on.

location scouting is incredibly important beforehand, but it can always happen that you find another spot during the shoot that is even better than the one you found earlier. Just keep your eyes open the whole time and don’t be afraid to try something. If it doesn’t work, admit it, and then move on.
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Directions

CalmNaturalWalking

We asked our couple to hold hands while they walked out from the grass towards us. While walking, we encouraged our bride to take lead and have both of them look over their left shoulder towards where the sun had set. We didn’t interact much more as we wanted them to be as natural as possible.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Alright guys, make your way back out towards us. While walking, just hold your hands and [bride], maybe you can walk ahead and lead. Great, and keep looking towards that awesome sunset”
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Composition

Center FramedLower ThirdsFull Body

For this composition, we chose to keep our couple int he lower 2/3rds of the frame since we did want to include a bit of the sky and the distant valley behind them. The couple was also walking up a slight hill towards us (which meant we were higher than them) which allowed us to use this angle. Notice how our couple’s faces are in the center block; this naturally helps bring attention to their faces first.
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Try shoot with the camera way from your eye and held in your hands (while having your live view mode on). If your camera has a decent enough focus in this mode, you can get really captivating compositions much faster & easier.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The Brides face Live View Single Shot
Since we wanted to hold our camera away from our eye to help find an interesting composition, we switched to Live view. This allowed us to see our composition but also use a contrast based focusing method to help get the image in focus with the low amount of light we had.
Light & Weather

Soft LightDirectional LightMoodySunset

This was taken at the very end of the couple shoot and was literally on the way back to the reception. At this time, the sun had already sent and we were left with the gorgeous blue hour. While our couple walked out towards us, we asked them to look towards where the sun had set since light still came from this direction. This way, we lit up their face while creating more dimensions to them. A beautiful gentle play between highlights & shadows.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/200 f/2 ISO 250 WB Auto

Camera

Canon 5D Mark IV

Lens

Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II

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
Our biggest challenge we faced was the light disappearing very fast. During the blue hour, you really don’t have much time and so we had to work really fast in order to have a chance of coming back with a cool shot.

Location

Garden / Field Italy

The Lazy Olive

The Lazy Olive, Loc. Finerri, 7, 53041 Asciano SI, Italy

Final tips & Advice

As beautiful as the blue hour is, it definitely is a challenge and goes by incredibly fast. If you don’t come home with a groundbreaking blue hour shot – don’t beat yourself up. It happens to all of us and there are so many factors that are at play.

Always keep shooting. That’s one of the best pieces of advice we were given. Even when you’re directing your couple, have your camera ready and snap at the moments you see. Sometimes the very best images happen when no one is even ready.
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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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