Before
the Shoot

Location Equipment
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This moment may not seem like too much to the average viewer but if you knew the story behind it, well, it’ll add a little bit more context and hopefully – comedy. During the couple shoot portion of this elopement in the Italian Dolomites we found a pretty beautiful spot that overlooked out into the valley with the towering mountains in the background.

I asked the couple to move ahead, and once they found their spot to start dancing and celebrating the fact that their elopement happened. I threw on some loud, party music on my bluetooth speaker and they were absoltuely having the time of their lives. Until, the bride, noticed something not more than a half a meter away from her.

There lay a rather large, and seemingly fresh pile of “dog business”. To make matters even more risky, the bride was barefoot. It was in mid-dance that she saw this and basically just panicked and ran out towards me laughing her heart out. Her groom, left behind – had no idea what sat right next to him until she shouted it out.

It’s a moment that I am so glad to have captured for them – sure it’s not a “gorgeous intimate couple shot”, but it’s a hilarious memory of that time they almost danced in dog shit on their elopement.
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Location

Location Name

Gardena Pass

Location aDDRESS

Gardena Pass, South Tyrol, Italy

Country

Italy

Location TYPE

Barn

Equipment

Camera

Canon R5

Flash

None

Lens

Canon 24mm f/1.4 L

Lens Filter

None

Other Equipment
No additional equipment was used.

During
the Shoot

Directions Composition Focus Light & Exposure
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Composition

Why I composed the way I did

At this point, my composition was set for the couple dancing where the groom was standing which captured their full bodies, enough leading lines from the valley and framing them within the towering mountain in the background. Lots of little compositional elements at play. However, this all happened so fast and I didn’t really have time to recompose as the bride came bolting toward me.

Fortunately, I adore this composition by having the bride right up in our faces laughing away with the groom just off to the side, still clearly visible, with complete confusion as to what had just happened.

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Compositional Rules

Broken Rules Off Center

Compositional Framing

Close Up

Focus

Focus mode

Single point auto focus

Focus Technology

Live View Continuous

Focused on

The Grooms face

Focus description

By chance, my camera was locking on to the groom’s face as they were dancing and it really wasn’t an issues as the bride was right next to him so they both would naturally be focused. As she ran towards me though, I kept shooting and managed to capture the groom tack sharp while the bride lost it all entirely. If I had to repeat this, I’d do it exactly the same.

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Shutter Speed

1/2500

Aperture

f/1.8

ISO

1600

White Balance

Auto

Other Light Sources
No additional light sources were used.
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Light &
Exposure

How the light was used

It literally rained throughout the elopement except for the small little period where we decided to do the couple shoot. Everything was super overcast and cloudy and that made the light super soft, and pretty much easy to work with. Though to be honest, when things are too flat, it loses interest. The sun was somewhere behind the couple and as it was all just so soft, it didn’t really matter where or how I positioned them in relation to the light.

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Type of light

Natural Light

Time of Day

Afternoon

Quality of LIght

Soft

Weather

Cloudy

After
the Shoot

Editing & Presets
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Editing &
Presets

Editing Software used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Preset Used
How I edited this image

I created two versions of this image; one in color and this one in black and white. I chose to go with the black & white version though because it removes an element from the story (color) which brings more emphasis on the remaining parts such as the light, the emotion, the composition, and so on. I threw on our new “Wijdefjorden” Black & White presets and used the slightly more contrasty version simply because the sky was so overcast and flat that things felt a little boring without contrast. I tweaked everything slightly to get these highlights & shadows that I was after and finished it off with a bit of grain.

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Conclusion

Challenges Solutions Advice

Challenges & Solutions

Events that were challenging during the shoot

The only challenge here was the fact that it all happened so quickly. There was no prediction and no time to really do anything besides continuing what I was doing a moment before.

Solutions I found

I just kept shooting. Simple as that. I didn’t drop the camera, I didn’t change anything – I just kept my finger pressed on the shutter until the bride was right up next to me.

Advice

Moments like these can happen out of nowhere and you can’t be blamed if you missed a shot like this. But if you do have a split second to realize something is about to happen, try your best not to put your camera down and keep shooting. The cost of a digital file is basically 0 and so it hurts none to delete rubbish frames later. However, you could end up with a pretty sick shot and moment for your couple to remember.
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Photographed by

Melli & Shayne

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