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During this studio shoot, I was actually the “2nd shooter”, and Melli was the lead photographer. We often do this when it comes to photographing the same subject for a few reasons; not to get into each other’s way, to let the subject(s) focus on only one photographer and of course, to try a few new things while the safe shots are being taken by the lead photographer.

I was in the middle of the process of playing around with slow shutter speeds and incorporating motion blur into the images when I decided to just simply rotate my camera from left to right while keeping its focus point in the center. I had no idea what the result was going to be but since I wasn’t the lead photographer, I wasn’t too worried if I ended up creating nothing useful.

However, as it turned out, the model burst out with laughter from something Melli said and I peeked down at the screen of my camera to see what I had captured – and I was super, super happy! I loved the movement in combination with the genuine laughter from the Model.

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How did you compose your image?

Since we were shooting on a relatively clean and simple background, the composition was more about how the model appeared in frame. And in this case, I wanted to be fairly close up to her as I was loving the vibes she was giving off. I did slightly crop this image in Lightroom just to refine her positioning but overall, my goal was to have the frame filled with the subject but with enough breathing room around her to not make the image feel overly crowded of full.

How and what did you focus on?

I had the camera set to AI Servo focus which is a setting I’m often use, and I simply moved the focus point over the model’s face to focus on her eyes. However, this image doesn’t benefit from sharp focus – in fact, it’s the blur and imperfection that “makes” this image.


How did you use the light in your image?

This was taken indoors right next to a large window. The outside weather was more on the rainy/cloudy side which did limit how much light was actually coming in through the windows. I wanted to have the model lit as the shadows were not strong enough to have a “harsh light” effect. Therefore, we had her stand at a part of the wall where the soft light was falling.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Canon R5


Canon EF 24mm f/1.4 L II


K&C Blackmist 1/8



Shutter Speed






White Balance


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

This was a relatively easy photo to edit; I simply added the Chérie Presets by Roots Presets to the image, made some minor adjustments to the cropping, white balance, and exposures, and then finished it off with a layer of grain.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom CC

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What challenges did you face?

The only challenge that I had was risking the fact that I could create an image that is just not great, or worth delivering.

How did you solve them?

By being the “second” shooter, It didn’t matter to me whether I made something deliverable or not at this point. I knew we were getting the safe, banger shots from the lead photographer, Melli.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

If you’re working as a pair or duo, it’s important that you both understand your roles and know who is shooting what. What we found works best is to have one of you lead the shoot, and the other to focus on things on the side such as little details or experimental ideas. That way, not only do you not get in each other’s way, but the subject(s) only need to pay attention to one of you; and are not torn between who to listen to.


Shooting since


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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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