• broken rules
  • calm
  • Center Framed
  • Cool
  • Mid range
  • Natural Light
  • Posed
  • Serious
  • Shade
  • Soft Light
  • Still

The story behind the image

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One of the most valuable skills when it comes to working with two people; especially if you’ve only just met them, is to try your best to get to know who they are. Not just who they are to you, but as a couple.

When we were chatting to our couple, one of the things they mentioned was that they were definitely not the super romantic type. They of course love each other but don’t find it “them” to always be cuddling, snuggling, and slow dancing during the sunset. They show affection in their own way.

When we went for their couple shoot, we kept it in the back of our mind to not get them into anything too “cheesy”. Or at least, let them think it was so. Instead, we explored different ways to show their connection.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

We had our groom stand, very calmly, facing one direction with his hands down to his sides / in his pockets. We then asked our bride to come up behind him and just lean on his back and shoulder with her arm up and to look straight into the camera. We asked her to just hold that stare, and hold but a slight smirk. Almost arrogantly.

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What did you say?

When you come up and lean on his back with your hand up, look straight into our lens and give us that smirk. That smile that you know that you’re the boss, you’re the coolest. Look so deep into our lens that you try and find our eyes.

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Tone of Directions



We framed our couple in the middle for a few reasons. The first being that the immediate attention of the viewer will go straight to them, and embrace the full mood of their expressions. The second being that the courtyard where we were was full of things that would have been distracting had we composed to keep them in the frame. Finally, we wanted some breathing room around our couple to just have a feeling of openness even if it is a relatively close up image.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Our focus was on the eyes of our bride as this is what draws the most connection to the viewer. We moved our single point autofocus over her eyes and made sure they were sharp.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Brides face

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 50mm f/1.2 L
1/800 @ f/2 ISO100 WB-Auto

The way the EXIF is written out follows the common photographic method (with the inclusion of White Balance at the end). Here it is broken down:

Shutter Speed @ Aperture ISO White Balance.

Light & Weather

One of the main reasons we went to this courtyard was to seek shelter from the setting sun which was still a bit too harsh to shoot in. Since the sun was now being blocked by a high building, we had plenty of shade to work in. We also paid attention to the background to keep this in the shade as well. This just helps balance the frame.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

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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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


The main challenge here was shooting with a couple who weren’t our typical couple who are all for the mega romance. We obviously wanted to make our couple happy, and for us to be proud of the images too.

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To be honest, if it wasn’t for the inspiration and ideas from what we had seen on Instagram we would have struggled a lot more to come up with different ideas. The biggest solution we found was just trying something; and if it didn’t work – to not linger on it and move on to something else.

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Location Name

Masseria San Nicola

Location aDDRESS

Strada Provinciale, SP3, 72015 Fasano BR, Italy

Loation Type




Try and get to know your couple as best as you can; and even though it may be hard – if they aren’t the type of people who are very intimate (especially in front of others), don’t force them to be. It is really rewarding to come back from a shoot where you’re challenged creatively and be proud of the work you’ve done.

We all love Instagram for different reasons, and I’m sure for a lot of the same reasons too. And one that we certainly admire it for is an inspiration. We’ve learned not to compare ourselves to other photographers but to allow ourselves to be inspired by them. Get ideas from them. Learn from them. So whenever we’re in a similar situation – we won’t be a blank slate.

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