Photographed by Melli & Shayne


During the couple shoot, the laces of our bride’s boots came undone and our couple naturally found this rock to sit on while the guy offered to tie them for her. A sweet little gesture of course, and we totally jumped on the opportunity to have them get all close and let them do their thing. 

We asked our girl to find a comfy spot on his leg and just as the boot had been tied, we looked right at the guy and gave him the signal to tickle her. It was a fun, spontaneous moment that they both fully fell into. It turns out that he is often teasing her, tickling her, and playing around so this was totally symbolic of their relationship.

When we asked him to tickle her, we didn’t give it much thought. We didn’t plan or even have the slightest clue that we would suggest this. It was all on the spot, and we figured – why not? If it didn’t work, we’d just move on to something else and forget about it. But if it did, and we captured an awesome shot from it – it was worth it.
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We had the girl sit on the guys lap while he went to tie her boot. Just as he finished, he looked up towards us and we asked him to tickle her. We kept the energy up and let them go wild
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Awesome, thanks for tying her boot. Hey [guy], tickle her! Squeeze her knees! Haha that’s it! Go go go! “
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Rule of ThirdsCenter FramedWideFull BodyNatural Frames

To be honest, our composition was not the best in this image as we did end up cutting off the guys foot. This happened because we were more focused on this spontaneous moment between the two and we moved our positions slightly. We tried to correct it as best as we could while editing and we settled with keeping the shot wider to show more of the environment, and bring less attention to the cut-off foot.
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Sometimes we miss a composition and while it may not be perfect, it’s not the most important thing when it comes to an image. The most important thing is the emotion this image brings out – especially to your couple. Regardless of whether this is technically perfect or not, it matters more that they look at it and love it.


Single Point Focused on The Girls Face Single Shot Autofocus
As the girl started laughing and moving sporadically, we tried to move our focus point over her as we really wanted her to be the sharpest in the frame. Though the fact that the both of them were on the same position meant that both were easily focused as a result.
Light & Weather

Soft LightBack litRim LightNatural LightSunset

The sun was had not completely set just yet, but it did drop quite far below a big mountain in the background. It was still high enough to cast out a stunning blast of light which made the image feel a lot more dynamic. Since we had the sun behind our couple, we also got a nice rim light (check the girl’s hair) which separated our couple from the background.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/2000 f/1,4 ISO 100 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark III


Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II

Flash / External Light

Flash / External Light Setup

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Adobe Lightroom Classic The Protea Presets

Software used:


We applied our protea preset as a base and then tweaked the exposures and contrasts to get the overall tones we liked. Since the image was quite underexposed, we were able to retain a lot of details in the highlights – but nonetheless, we chose to push those highlights even brighter to add a bit more “haze” to the image. We then added in a slight sun enhancement via a radial filter to bring out more warmth, and finally ended off with a gradient slider from the left to introduce a bit more shadows.
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This image was edited with

The Protea Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The biggest challenge we had was finding a composition/crop that worked as the couple were quite off-center and the foot being cut off didn’t add to the feel of the image


Lake Austria


Vorderer Langbathseen, Austria

Final tips & Advice

In the end, what matters more is what your couples/clients think. If the picture you created isn’t technically perfect, or you spot a ton of things you wish you could have done better, but the clients absolutely adore it and it brings back good memories for them – it’s a winner. That’s after all thats what we’re doing – creating these little windows for people to relive these moments.
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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.

Designed with love by Katharina + Katharina & Shayne Thomas. Background image by Adrián Vilanova

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