• afternoon
  • Back lit
  • bouquet
  • Bright
  • Energetic
  • Flowers
  • full body
  • kissing
  • Leading lines
  • leaning back
  • Natural Light
  • Playful
  • Rule of thirds
  • sand
  • sand dunes
  • Sun flare

The story behind the image

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When it came time to start shooting, we were a little early on the “sun clock”. We normally would have waited a bit until it had dropped below something to give us that gorgeous soft golden light, but as to not rush everything and allow time for our couple to warm up – we started shooting a bit before all that happened.

We are totally not against shooting into the light and do quite enjoy it. In this particular case, we made sure to have the sun directly behind our couple and then position ourselves so the flowers (and part of the couple) intersected with the sun. 

We did this for a couple of reasons; to create a beautiful flare over the couple and to help out camera find its focus. Shooting into the light can often be challenging for your camera to find the focus as everything becomes very hazy and washed out.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

We had actually just finished with a pickup shot where our groom had lifted his bride up off the ground. This was taken shortly after as he put her back down, and so the directions only followed what we had told them prior to this shot.

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What did you say?

Careful when you put her down! Don’t drop her and make sure you hold on! And go in for that kiss!

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We chose to shoot this image in portrait since we wanted to make sure we had enough space to include the sun in the frame while also keeping the couple full body. We had them in the center of the image to bring immediate attention to them while also trying to align the sun just behind the couple.

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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Since this was shot directly into the sun, it was a bit tricky to find the focus. What we did was position ourselves so the couple completely blocked the sun, we found our focus, and then slightly moved back to our original composition.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Couple

Equipment &

Canon 5D mark IV
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II
1/1000 @ f/2.2 ISO160 WB-Auto

The way the EXIF is written out follows the common photographic method (with the inclusion of White Balance at the end). Here it is broken down:

Shutter Speed @ Aperture ISO White Balance.

Light & Weather

We wanted to shoot into the light, so to achieve this we had our couple stand between us and the sun. We did this to firstly create a flare on our couple as the sun was still quite high and strong, but also to help create a backlight to separate them from the background.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

The edits of the image started with applying our protea preset and getting our white balance and exposures right. We adjusted the exposure, contrast, shadows, highlights, and clarity to help with this. Once we liked our tones and were happy with the overall edit, we went in and used the clone tool to remove the fence.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used


Focusing was the hardest part of this whole image was our couple had just come from a very ‘motion-oriented’ moment and with the sun flaring right into our camera, we did find it struggled quite a bit.

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We tried our best to position ourselves quickly in such a way that our couple blocked the sun so we could focus and then just as fast move back to our original composition.

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Location Name

Sankt Peter-Ording

Location aDDRESS

Sankt Peter-Ording, Germany

Loation Type

Beach / Coastal



When you have your couple do something that has a lot of movement, don’t stop shooting until they are completely done with it. You may just find sneaky little moments that happen right at the end that can be an absolute killer of a shot.

Another method of trying to focus while shooting into the sun is to block the sun temporarily with your hand, get your focus, and then remove your hand. It helps to practice this a bit though as it can be quite tricky.

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