Photographed by Melli & Shayne


We had just photographed these two’s wedding the day before, and we were out amongst the Italian dolomites for their after wedding shoot. However, the only time they were able to come to the shoot turned out to be midday. In the blazing summer sun with almost no clouds in the sky. It was pretty much our nightmare time to shoot. But, we did’ have much control over the time since our couple had to leave in the afternoon (to catch their flight).

So, we did the best we could. We shot them in all sorts of angles and light and while exploring, we found this little wooden huts/houses. We decided to use them in the background and even get our couple closer to them. And when did this, we realized it actually cast off a bit of a shadow if we had our couple stand almost with their back touching the wood. Low and behold, we found a bit of soft light to work with.
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CalmIntimateNaturalAlmost Kiss

Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
We had our bride stand just in front of our groom and had him bring his arms around her waist to hold hers. While close and intimate, we then asked her to turn her face to the side to allow him to gentle snuggle into her side. We didn’t want to have any laughing or giggling in this shot, so we didn’t throw in any jokes. Instead, we spoke very softly and asked them to just enjoy each other.
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“[Groom], hold her in front of you and reach around her waist to find her hands. Get real close and let her form into you. [Bride], turn your head and let [Groom] snuggle into you. Completely forget about us, and just really enjoy this moment together. “
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Center FramedMid RangeIntimate Framing

We chose to get this shot close up firstly to hide the dark wooden hut behind mixed with the strong, harsh light. But secondly to give a feeling of even more intimacy for the viewer. We purposely cut off part of the groom’s head since he isn’t the main focus of the image. We then filled the frame with our bride as it was her gentle emotion that speaks the most through the image.
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Try and use a longer lens when going for intimate shots as it not only allows you to be further away (allowing your couple room and space to be intimate), but it also compresses the whole image making things feel a lot more romantic.


Single Point Focused on The Bride’s eye Single Shot Autofocus
The focusing was very straight forward. As our bride’s hair did fall a bit in front of her, we shifted our single focus point over her eye and let the camera lock. To be even more accurate, we focused through the viewfinder as we could see exactly where we wanted to focus more easily.
Light & Weather

Soft LightNatural LightShade

Fortunately, we found this spot that was quite shaded in order to get these close-ups. The sun was out in full blast as it was the middle of summer, at noon. Because of this shade, we were able to get some really nice soft light without having to deal with incredibly harsh highlights & shadows.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/2500 f/2 ISO 100 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon 50mm f/1.2 L


Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:


Editing this shot was not too complex as we simply placed our Protea Preset, adjusted the exposures and white balance and we were almost done. We did have to shift the HSL’s a little bit to control the oranges in the skin as they were becoming a bit too saturated. We also added in a soft manual vignette via a radial adjustment just to help bring more attention to the face of our bride by darkening everything around it.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The hardest part of this whole thing was actually finding this spot. Being in an open field and not having too many options, we really were getting worried that the results we would get would not match the quality we want to deliver.


Mountains Italy

Passo di Gardena

Passo Gardena 39033 Corvara, South Tyrol Italy

Final tips & Advice

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, and you may find yourself in a very difficult situation. The best piece of advice we can give is to just do the very best you can and to make sure the couple is aware of the situation. Don’t promise them magnificent images if you know deep down that in those lighting conditions, you will not necessarily be able to give them images that are similar to what they see on your portfolio.

Managing client expectations are always important and so long as they are understanding of that, then you’re totally good. Try new things, explore new places and just do whatever you can to find those awesome shots.
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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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