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One of the things that I noticed happening to me quite a lot during the party part of the wedding day is that I get so absorbed and involved amongst the guests, fearing that I may miss moments or actions that would be an amazing photograph. And while this can be the case, I also realized that stepping back also lends the opportunity to create something just as meaningful and brimming with the story.

In this particular case, the dance floor was outside on a terrace that was lit entirely by string lights. At one point, for whatever reason, I had to leave the dance floor and move further back out and upon doing so – I saw this scene. This wide scene. The couple danced under the string lights surrounded by their friends and it was then, at that moment, that I knew that there is gold to be found by stepping out of the norm and trying something new.

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How did you compose your image?

Finding the right composition was not exactly straightforward as I didn’t want to be so far away that you couldn’t see what was going on on the dancefloor, but at the same time, I wanted to capture as many elements as I could. I found a sweet spot just by intuition and I only did minor cropping in post. There were no major compositional rules that I followed here – only what I personally feel is balanced.

How and what did you focus on?

Focusing in low light/night can definitely be tricky but fortunately, the abundance of string lights meant that whoever was on the dancefloor was being lit nicely. I had no issues focusing for this image as I simply moved the focus point over the dance floor and whoever it happened to lock on to would be just fine.


How did you use the light in your image?

As this was taken during the night time, the only light we had available was the flashes on our camera and of course the string lights that were lighting the dancefloor. As there were so many of them, there was actually plenty of light to work with. I didn’t have any control over how the light was falling or anything of that nature – and this was purely capturing the scene for how it was.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 L II





Shutter Speed






White Balance


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

I chose to go with a Black & White edit of this image as I found the color version to not hold as much cinema as the monotone version. I deliver both to my clients; but persoanlly preferred the black & white version. I applied my preset, adjusted the exposure sliders until I found a nice balance of contrasts and used a little bit of brushing to darken the edges and distracting elements. It was by far not a complicated edit, but thats thanks to the preset doing a great job off the bat.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom CC

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What challenges did you face?

The biggest challenge was finding a composition that felt balanced without going too far or too close.

How did you solve them?

By using the live view mode on my camera, I was better able to see the entire composition and could make adjustments as necessary.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

Take a step back. If you find yourself running out of ideas when you’re shooting something, try and reposition yourself to see something from a new perspective or angle. You may be pleasantly surprised to find an absolute banger of an image just by moving a few meters away.


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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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