Photographed by Melli & Shayne


We had a busy day in front of us and with only the two of us documenting both, photo & film, we had to be well organized to get the shots we wanted. Having had a wonderful wedding planner on board helped plan out the day in terms of photos.

We knew that in the afternoon when we had scheduled the detailed shots of the untouched dinner setting, we wouldn’t have the best light in the room the dinner was set up.

We therefore kindly asked the wedding planner to light the candles for us at that specific time which did help the atmosphere in the photos as well as allow for a more interesting composition. Teaming with the other vendors to get this all done on time was a key factor and so worth it.
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Center FramedLower ThirdsMid Range

For this composition, we purposely chose to leave quite a bit of breathing room above the table to show more of the space the table setting was in, as well as the wallpaper that was meaningful to the owners of the venue. We lowered ourselves until just above candle height and tried to find compositions where we could shoot through things to add a bit more depth to the scene.
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Try lowering yourself and finding interesting angles to shoot the same subject. It’s all well and good to get the standard, safe shots – but once you have them and you find you have a bit of time, push yourself to try something brand new.


Single Point Focused on Candles Single Shot Autofocus
Since we were aiming to shoot through something, we had to be in complete control over what was being focused on. Therefore, we used our single point focus mode and placed it over the candles. Since the rest of the table was simply below the candles, they too fell in focus.
Light & Weather

Soft LightIndoorCandles

The main light source was coming just off to the left of the frame from a big, open window. The room itself was quite dark and fortunately, this table was placed right where it caught the light. This lowly lit room also worked to our advantage as having the candles on meant we could capture a much prettier scene.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/250 f/2 ISO 500 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark III


Canon 85mm f/1.2 L


Adobe Lightroom Classic The Marula Presets

Software used:


We had to pay careful attention to the editing of this shot as the blues were very easily affected by our preset. We chose to use our Marula presets since they aren’t very harsh and could handle this situation a bit easier. That being said, once applied and tweaked to get the exposure right, we used a gradient adjustment on the top half to fix the discoloration of the blues as well as a manual vignette with a radial adjustment.
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This image was edited with

The Marula Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The main challenge we faced here was keeping the blues closer to reality than to art. Our presets do shift the blue quite a bit and since we wanted to create an image that our couple would love but also the venue, we had to pay attention to the tones.


Castle Italy

Schloss Freudenstein

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

Final tips & Advice

Capturing the details of the wedding day is not only important for the couple since they very likely spent a lot of time choosing, planning, and building them, but it’s important for vendors too. Being able to share some of your images of their work with them means they basically do free advertising for you. Just make sure that they agree to tag you / reference you as the photographer.

If you can, try and time photographing the dinner set up when the sun has dropped to keep the light levels relatively low. Then, light the candles. It really makes for a much more interesting image and the bokeh alone can even elevate the shot.
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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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