Ms07102020

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There’s nothing quite like working with a couple who aren’t afraid to show their love in front of a camera. We personally find it an awesome little challenge to get our “more introverted” couples to express themselves and finally see them crack and just go full-on loving in front of our lenses – but it’s also quite a treat when your couple just nail it right from the start.

When we asked our groom to pick up his bride, we did so the usual way and had them spin around and playfully tease each other. There was a moment, during one of the spins where I saw the bride look right back into my camera and I absolutely fell in love with that idea of the shot. So as the spin slowed down, I asked her to look right into the camera. To try and find that pin-point center and give me that look. That look that says “I’m connecting with you, the viewer”.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

We asked our groom to pick up his bride by creating a “seat” with his arms (sometimes the guys go straight to grabbing the ass; which doesn’t work) and to spin her playfully around. We then asked our bride to wrap herself, arms & legs, completely around him. When we saw her look into the camera for a brief moment, we asked her to purposely try and do it again – and really look deep into our lens.

What did you say?

“Pick her up and spin her around! Get real close and {bride}, wrap yourself completely around {groom}!

Oh my! {Bride}, when you can, try and look back into our camera. Like, look as deep as you can into the center of the lens! It’s f***ing awesome!”

How did you compose your image?

There were a few reasons why we chose to compose this way (mid-range, portrait). The first being that we wanted to be close enough to really capture that stare into the lens, but also be wide enough to show context and what was happening. We also tried to frame our couple in the sand path so we had two leading lines that converge straight towards our couple. Thus, naturally directing the viewers to the stare.

How and what did you focus on?

Since the whole goal of this image was to make the connection between the viewer & the bride (via her eyes), we made sure that the eyes were in focus. We did this by using our single point autofocus mode and positioning it in the camera to where her eyes are. Since they had stopped spinning, it wasn’t too hard to move it into place.

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How did you use the light in your image?

The sun was still pretty harsh at this point which is why we chose to shoot them backlit, as well as do our best to hide the sun slightly beneath the hill behind our couple. By shooting backlit, we are given a soft shadow in the faces of our couple which is a lot more flattering.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Camera

Canon 5D Mark IV

Lens

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L II

Filter

None

Other

None

Shutter Speed

1/1000

Aperture

f/2.2

ISO

160

White Balance

Shade

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

We edited this shot with our Protea presets, and kept the skin tones the most isolated in the image. We did this because the greens from the grass nearby was already shifting more to the warmer tones. We removed the fencing with our clone tool and enhanced the sun slightly with a radial adjustment ( using dehaze, saturation and white balance).

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

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What challenges did you face?

The biggest challenge was to not lose the natural moment our couple was having together when asking the bride to look into the camera.

How did you solve them?

Just by using shorter, more to-the-point directions, it allowed our bride to know exactly what we wanted without having to think too much about it.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

A lot of the times when going out for the couple shoot, it can be really helpful to have a shoot plan or a shot list of images & poses that you want to get. But you also have to leave room for intuition. There’s been a ton of shoots where we’ve come back with such awesome work, and none of those shots were on the piece of paper. Simply because intuition, seeing moments & reading a couple are equally as important.

When going for pickups, it’s always a good idea (and most of the time gets a laugh out of the couple) to demonstrate to the groom how to pick up the bride. It has happened that the groom grabs her by her a**, and well – that not only doesn’t look to great in the photos, it genuinely looks super uncomfortable.

MELLI and SHAYNE

Shooting since

2014

Current Home

Germany

Website

Instagram

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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