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Our bride had never been in front of the camera before, and we used this to our advantage because we started the bridal portraits with movement. We got her used to the camera, used to the fun and used to the way we work. Afterwards – she was a superstar. Breaking the ice with shots that keep your subject having fun and thinking less about the big camera is definitely a great setup to a good shoot.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

We asked our bride to hold her dress up with one hand, and to hold her flowers in the other and to spin around on the spot. While doing that, we asked her to pay more attention to where she was spinning than to look into the camera.

What did you say?

Hold your dress up with your one hand, and your flowers in the other. Now, spin around in a circle – and have fun! There you go! Spin just so you can feel the dress catch some wind. Just be careful to keep your balance

How did you compose your image?

Because we had such a breathtaking view from the infinity pool, we wanted to still give our bride the most attention with our composition. We framed her in the middle column, but also paid attention to get the horizon running along the top row line. It helps to divide the image symmetrically, making a much more balanced and pleasing image.

How and what did you focus on?

While we had an absolutely gorgeous view, our focus was definitely on our bride. Even if she was moving, we still used our single point auto focus as the distance between us and our bride didn’t change during the spin.


How did you use the light in your image?

Even though we had a very hazy, overcast sky during this shoot – we still paid attention to where the sun was in the sky. We wanted to have a separation between our bride and the scenery behind her so we positioned ourselves so the sun was just behind her and to the right creating a rim light.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L II





Shutter Speed






White Balance


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

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.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

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What challenges did you face?

One challenge we did face was making sure our bride was stable when she spun around; especially considering she was wearing heels. The last thing we wanted her to do was to fall into the pool, or just as bad; hurt herself.

How did you solve them?

Spins don’t always need to be done super fast. We just asked our bride to hold her dress up high enough as to not let it tangle with her heels, and to spin just fast enough for the dress to catch a bit of wind.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

When asking your bride to spin during the bridal portraits, pay attention to where she is looking when she spins. Quite often people tend to look into the camera – and this may not always be what you want.

Above everything else, your bride’s safety is a priority. If you’re close to a ledge or a pool, don’t let them spin so fast that they get dizzy and lose balance. Let it go for max 2 “spins” before asking them to stop and gain their composure. Of course, keep your energy and encouragement up and your bride will happily do it a few times until you get your shot.


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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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