Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

When it comes to finding a time for the couple shoot, one thing that we always try and ask our couples to do is to plan it so it happens as last in the day as possible. This not only means that we have a higher chance of working with gorgeous light, but it also allows our couple the time to spend with their friends and family after the ceremony.

What we found works really well is to try and plan it to start one hour before the dinner. While we’re out shooting with the couple, the guests can already be seated and the best part? They can be encouraged to all welcome & cheer the couple as they return from the shooting!

It makes for an amazing entrance shot to have the couple walk in amongst the cheering crowd; and even have the DJ / Musician throw on some awesome music to enhance the event.
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“Guys, just hang out outside until we give you the signal to come in. When you do – celebrate! It’s your party!”
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Composition

Center FramedLeading LinesFull Body

We kept the composition simple by framing our couple in the middle. We also used the pathway formed by the tables to help guide the viewers eyes towards the celebrating couple.
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You don’t always need to create “award winning compositions”. Just make sure you capture everything that you want in the frame and that your subjects take most of the attention from the viewers.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The Brides Face Single Shot Autofocus
When your subject moves towards you, focusing can be a bit tricky at times. Normally, modern cameras have a great feature called “AI Servo” (or similar) where it constantly tracks your subject. However, we very rarely use this as we are really fast with focusing & firing as our subjects move towards us. We simply aim at their faces and let the camera lock, and then we shoot the image.
Light & Weather

Soft LightArtificial LightEveningCandles

As this was taken in summer, we still had plenty of light pouring in through the big windows which really helped brighten up the room. Once doing our test shots, we found our position where we could easily capture our couple as they walk into the light from the windows.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/160 f/2 ISO 500 WB Auto

Camera

Canon 5D Mark IV

Lens

Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II

Editing

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
When the dinner room is pretty tight and there’s a lot of people all sitting around – it can be quite challenging to move with the couple, especially if you’re moving backwards while photographing them.

Location

Castle Italy

Schloss Freudenstein

Castel Freudenstein Str. Masaccio, 39057 Appiano sulla strada del vino BZ, Italy

Final tips & Advice

When you’re in touch with your couple before their wedding, try and put forward the suggestion of doing the couple shoot just before dinner; it really makes a difference when they are informed about the best chances for good light.

When you go into the room before your couple, make sure to get your camera settings right. Do a few test shots before giving the signal.
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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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