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Intimate Wedding Photos

While we were shooting this intimate moment between our couple, the sun peaked out from behind the hill just off to our side and it let this tiny little stripe of light fall onto our couple. Normally, we would have turned our couple away slightly to avoid this spot of light but in this particular case, we embraced it.

We saw it, loved how it looked and then shifted our couple slightly just so it would land more or less on the eye of our bride. Without wanting to hurt her, we told her to not open her eyes while she feels the sun on it, and instead to just look down.

We then exposed for the highlight and ended up really loving the feel of this image. It was a quick moment that we took advantage of and one that we don’t regret trying out.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

We had our groom stand just behind our bride and embrace her. While this was happening, we had our bride turn slightly towards him as we asked her to try and find the sun light. We then encouraged our groom to cuddle into her gently while playing softly with her hands.

What did you say?

Oh wow! The light is just so friggen awesome right now! There’s a spot of light that has just appeared on you. Cuddle into her from behind and really hold her close, and bring your face down to hers. Now, let’s turn slightly until we get that light on her eye. [bride], just keep looking down. Play with your hands and even gently sway from side to side

How did you compose your image?

We shot this from a slightly higher angle by holding the camera away from our eye and using the live view mode. We did this because an angle from this height tends to make people look a little more flattering, and it also gave us an angle that felt more intimate as we excluded a lot of the scenery by doing this. It feels like you are within this little world with the couple.

How and what did you focus on?

The focusing was simple with this shot as we had our camera in live view and we simply set it to search for focus within the center box. We moved that over the area where the light was hitting our bride as there was plenty of contrast for the camera to detect and lock on to.


How did you use the light in your image?

The light was coming just to our left, and so we turned our couple very slightly so that the light fell onto her eye. It was important that she didn’t open her eye as we didn’t want to risk her being hurt by it. We then exposed for the highlight that was on our bride making sure that we didn’t blow it out and lose detail.

Intimate Wedding Photos

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L





Shutter Speed






White Balance


Intimate Wedding Photos

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

When it came time to edit this image, we applied our usual protea preset except this time we focused primarily on the highlight. We knew we wanted a darker and moodier image, and so our exposure sliders were dropped to compliment this. We also increased our white balance slightly to add more warmth to the skin tones. Finally, we brushed in a few shadows just to help the overall image feel even more moody.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic


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What challenges did you face?

Though this wasn’t a challenge per se, it was something that we had to think about. We had to be careful with moving our couple too abruptly as we didn’t want to ruin the moment they were sharing together.

How did you solve them?

We had to be very soft with our words, and as to the point as possible. We didn’t bla bla for too long and instead just asked them directly to turn slightly until we said stop.

Intimate Wedding Photos

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

Things may pop up during a shoot that you would naturally turn away from, but sometimes it’s worth pushing yourself and embracing them. Whatever they may be. Try something new whenever you can and you know you have a bunch of awesome shots already. Thats the only real way of progressing.

Sure, you may come back with a bunch of undeliverable images; but you’ll also be coming back with a whole bunch of knowledge and experience which in and of itself is a win. It makes you a more prepared, more wise and more informed photographer.


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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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