Photographed by Melli & Shayne


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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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
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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“[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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Rule of ThirdsCenter FramedFull Body

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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When shooting a scene that isn’t full of movement, force yourself to circle around your couple and really try new angles and framings. Even if you come back with 20 pictures of the same moment, you can then look through those and find the ones that speak to you the most.


Single Point Focused on The back of the bride Single Shot Autofocus
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.
Light & Weather

Directional LightNatural LightSunset

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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Equipment & EXIF

1/250 f/2.2 ISO 125 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon 50mm f/1.2 L II


Adobe Lightroom Classic Roots Presets

Software used:


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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This image was edited with

Roots Presets

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


Safari Tanzania

Grumetri Game reserve

Grumeti Game Reserve, Tanzania

Final tips & Advice

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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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.

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