Photographed by Melli & Shayne


During the getting ready part of the day, one of the first things we do when we arrive is scout the room and already “pre-plan” where and what we are going to shoot. It really helps when things start rolling and time starts running out. We saw a large couch in the room that was also close to a big window. We immediately knew that we could use this for group photos and even parts of the final touches for the bride. By scouting ahead, we also noticed that there was a big picture on the wall just behind. This picture was quite distracting as it was full of colors and so we made sure to remove it before shooting. It’s really important to learn to see these things before you start shooting as removing them from your photos afterward can be incredibly tiresome and sometimes not even possible.
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We had our bride site in the middle of the couch and the girls to all place themselves around her. We even had two girls sit on the backrest just behind our bride. Our goal with this was to “circle” our bride with her bridesmaids. We asked them all to look at each other, and then to look at the next “each other” and kept doing this until it became rather hilarious. Ultimately, we wanted to get them all close and laughing and having a genuinely great time together.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
““Alright girls, we want you to look at each other. Doesn’t matter who. Ok, now look at the next person! Go on! And again!””
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Rule of ThirdsCenter FramedMid Range

We loved the genuine laughter and fun these girls were having together and so we moved quite a bit closer so we could fill the frame with all of the girls and really bring emphasis to this moment they were having.

With our bride in the center and in her dress, she stands out amongst the rest and the girls compliment the scene by leaving no gaps around our bride.
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Vary up your compositions by shooting it completely wide, then a bit closer and finally see if you can focus in on a few individuals after you got your safe shots. Especially when theres genuine laughter and good moments happening.


Single Point Focused on The Brides face Single Shot Autofocus
Focusing in group photos is not always too hard and a piece of advice we always give is to focus on the bride. Especially if you are shooting in single point auto focus. As she is the main point of interest, it’s wise that she is the most focused.

Closing down your aperture also helps in ensuring that everyone will be sharp.
Light & Weather

Soft LightWindow LightNatural LightIndoor

Our main light source was a large window to the right of the girls. Being indoors, we had to find a spot that had enough light for us to work with. Just keep in mind that if someone turns their back to the window, their faces will be cast in shadow. In our case, there was quite a bit of light bouncing around the room which helped fill the shadows.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/1000 f/4.5 ISO 1600 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark III


Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II


Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:


The edits are made to be warmer with a big focus on skin tones and light play with shadows and highlights. A few minor local adjustments were made (Gradient and Brush) as well as finishing off with a fine layer of grain. The whites are not blown out nor are the blacks 100% crunched.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The main challenge here was being “loud” enough to get the girls to hear us. They were so much fun and had such a great time together that our little directions sometimes got lost.


Hotel Switzerland

Hotel des Trois Couronnes

Hotel des Trois Couronnes, Vevey, Switzerland

Final tips & Advice

Always take a few moments before you start to scout the location (and doesn’t just have to be the getting ready location). Being prepared and knowing what to expect can really make all the difference between a stressed out period and a smooth workflow.

Try have your girls position themselves around your bride and not to leave too much empty spaces between them. Get them close and encourage them to have fun with each other.
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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.

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