Photographed by Melli & Shayne


When it comes to working with videographers, we make it a thing to brief everyone where we plan to be for capturing moments that happen once off. And during this brief, we figure out what’s best for everyone, and what shots they need.

However, at this particular moment, we were pushed aside by one of the videographers who simply decided that they weren’t going to allow us our room. Fortunately, we were still able to capture a killer moment for our couple, but it’s things like this that can really make it a challenge.

We spoke to the videographer afterward, explaining that what happened was very uncool and that we risked not getting our shots because of this. They apologized and just simply out of lack of experience, they didn’t do it with any ill intent or on purpose. We left the wedding with no hard feelings, but no connection either.
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Center FramedLeading LinesMid Range

Despite having to immediately change our spot due to the little scenario mentioned earlier, we still managed to find a composition that worked. We made sure to try and include guests on either side of our couple while keeping them in the center. The guests naturally form a frame around our couple which helps to direct the attention straight to our subjects.
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Keep your eyes open for natural frames; even if that frame is formed by guests.


Single Point Focused on Bride’s Face Single Shot Autofocus
Focusing during sparkler exits can definitely be tricky as it’s oftentimes in a very low-light situation (minus the sparklers) and there’s movement. For this shot, we chose to shoot through the viewfinder since the focusing happens much faster; and we were able to use our single point to precisely lock on to our bride’s face. Since we couldn’t move backward too much – we kept refocusing as they moved closer towards us.
Light & Weather

Artificial LightNightSparklers

Being a sparkler exit, the only light we had to work with was coming directly from the sparklers. We asked the guests to keep their sparklers up and above our couple creating a bridge for them to walk under which not only helped light more of the scene, but it gave us a better chance of capturing a lot more sparklers in the frame.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/125 f/1.4 ISO 3200 WB Auto


Canon 5D mark IV


Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II


Adobe Lightroom Classic The Protea Presets

Software used:


Adobe Lightroom

Being an evening, low-lit shot, the editing was a bit more complex than usual and required fine adjustments of the HSL as well as the White Balance, Vibrance & Saturation. We applied our Protea Presets and then took our time to go through each slider and tweaking it to get the tones we liked. We removed signs of magenta & purple (caused by light sometimes). We also added quite a few radial adjustments as we wanted the sparklers to bloom a bit more.
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This image was edited with

The Protea Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The hardest part in this shot besides the usual focusing on our moving subjects in low light was the fact that we had to recompose our shot quickly while trying our best not to miss the moments that were happening right in front of us.


Wedding / Event Venue Portugal

Quinta da Penalva

Quinta da Penalva, Sintra, Portugal

Final tips & Advice

It doesn’t matter what happens between you and other vendors – you are all there to create the best you can for your couple and if anything comes up that’s not the most pleasant – then it’s always best kept for afterward or at the very least, somewhere it will have no effect on the wedding party. In the end, no one wants to give the couple a bad experience and so it’s just important to remember that.

A good tip for sparkler exits is to brief the guests on how to hold the sparklers. A lot of them wouldn’t have done it before and may not know exactly what to do with them. Show them all how to do it, and where to place them. It’ll definitely help you get that awesome shot you were hoping for.
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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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