• calm
  • Center Framed
  • Directional Light
  • full body
  • Jeep
  • Looking out
  • Natural Light
  • Rule of thirds
  • Safari
  • Serious
  • Sitting
  • Sitting on Car
  • Sunset

The story behind the image

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Getting a shot with the wedding car, or in this case, wedding jeep may not seem like one that is a must-have but it’s a fun little thing for your couple as it helps to paint the story of their elopement.

We took our usual shots with the jeep and just as we were about to wrap, the groom excitedly asked “can I get a few shots where I’m sitting on the bonnet?”. Well, for damn sure you can sir!

Up he climbed, and his bride gently leaned on the bars and they both just took in the scene ahead of them. We circled around, shooting from different angles, shooting wide, close up, portrait, landscape – the whole shebang. But it was this picture in particular that we enjoyed the most.

Why? It showed the jeep, in full, and the groom on the bonnet but also a really flattering angle of the bride and her dress (showing the details of the back). The image feels balanced and the fact that we, as viewers, can’t see what they’re looking at allows space for our own imagination and interpretation of that view.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Since our groom asked to sit on the bonnet, we only helped him find a position that looked flattering and comfortable. We had him sit with his knees up, arm resting on one, and then to reach down to his bride by his side. For her, the only little suggestion we gave (as she found her spot naturally) was to keep her shoulders back and her back upright (to prevent slouching).

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What did you say?

[To the groom] When you’re sitting, keep your knees up and lean your one arm on them. Just like you’re chilling and waiting, and the whole time just keep looking out towards the sunset. [to the bride], you’re standing absolutely perfectly! Just make sure to keep your shoulders open and your back a bit more upright.

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Tone of Directions



When composing, we always try and find a way to make the image feel balanced. And by following the rule of thirds and having our subjects fall on one of the lines (or intersections), it feels that there’s enough interest throughout the image – even if that interest may be open space, or in this case, the rest of the jeep.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Since we shot this quite a distance away, we were not too worried about one of our subjects being out of focus since the focus becomes more forgiving from a distance. We moved our single focus point over the back of our bride since of all things, we wanted that to be the sharprest.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The back of the bride

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 50mm f/1.2 L II
1/250 @ f/2.2 ISO125 WB-Auto

The way the EXIF is written out follows the common photographic method (with the inclusion of White Balance at the end). Here it is broken down:

Shutter Speed @ Aperture ISO White Balance.

Light & Weather

The sun was just about to make a strong appearance below the layer of clouds so while we still had relatively “soft” light to work with, I had our couple face towards where the sun was coming from. I did this because I wanted to have their faces lit, even if the composition showed more of the darker areas. The lit part of their bodies creates a beautiful rim light which makes them pop from the background.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

Editing this image involved a good few local adjustments as I really wanted to bring the most of out it. The goal here was definitely on the warm skin tones while also keeping the dress close to white without looking out of place. I added the Protea (Golden) preset, adjusted the HSL to bring a bit more reds back, and tweaked the usual exposure sliders & white balance. I then enhanced the sunset light with radial filters and manually created a vignette to compliment the play between highlights and shadows.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used


The biggest challenge was finding this very composition. We knew there was definitely a “shot” here, but it was quite finicky to find.

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We tried portrait, landscape, lower, higher, left, right, diagonal – basically everything and eventually found the right position just by being fast and persistent.

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Location Name

Grumetri Game reserve

Location aDDRESS

Grumeti Game Reserve, Tanzania

Loation Type




Amongst many things, always keeping movement in yourself as a photographer is a great way to find interesting angles and compositions. Unless you know exactly what you want, it definitely helps to move around your couple/subjects. Even if you end up with a ton of photos just from that set – not only will you be able to find the one that is just right but it will also open up your eyes for the next time where you can remember what worked and what didn’t.

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