• Butterflies
  • Melli and Shayne
  • Wedding
  • Soft Light
  • Roots Preset
  • Rim Light
  • Portrait
  • Paper
  • noon
  • Natural Light
  • Melli & Shayne
  • Canon 5D mark IV
  • Harsh Light
  • Germany
  • full body
  • Free
  • Forest
  • First Kiss
  • Confetti
  • Ceremony
  • Center Framed
  • Wide

The story behind the image

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This was one of those dreams like weddings where everything was ticking off boxes: Awesome couple who are madly in love with each other, a wedding venue out in the middle of the forest, and a setup that was so inspiring. Everything was perfect. However, being in peak summer and having almost no clouds in the sky throughout the day posed quite a challenge for us. The harshness of the light was only complimented by the patches it created in the forest and so we had to figure out a way to work around this.

As for the confetti moment, this was something we were so lucky to have caught in the corner of our eye as we were expecting them to be fired during the exit, not the first kiss. It’s all about being aware of your surroundings and being ready for anything.
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We composed to have our bride and groom in the center just as the confetti canons were shot and also shot this in portrait. We did this for two reasons, to capture more of the paper butterflies and to only include our couple, bringing all the attention of the viewers to them and this moment.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Our focus point was directly on our couple as they went in for their first kiss. We kept it locked on them as best as we could even while the confetti fell down in front of our lens. What definitely helped was being in single point auto focus since if we were in a matrix point mode or similar, perhaps the camera would have tried to focus on a confetti.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Couple

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II
1/1600 @ f/2.0 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

Taken during mid-afternoon, the light was incredibly strong and patchy because of the tree’s it fell through. We exposed for the highlights in the scene since we knew we could bring up details in the shadow later on when we were editing.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day



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 biggest challenge we faced here was the fact that this happened spontaneously and we had to get ourselves into a new position to really get that shot where we are “in” the confetti.

The next thing was the light. It was not the easiest light to work with and we had to be careful to not find angles were the patches of light were too prominent.

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The age-old tip of “always be ready for anything” certainly came into play here. We were already in position for the first kiss and had our cameras and
exposure ready to capture the moment, and all we needed to do once the confetti was fired was move ever so slightly closer and get ourselves amongst the falling paper-butterflies.

As for solving the issue with the light, there was only so much we could do since we couldn’t actually ask our couple to move places. What we did though was expose for the highlights which meant that we could preserve details where otherwise it would be blown out. Through our experiences, it’s much easier to brighten shadows and retrieve details that way than to darken the highlights & exposure in Lightroom.

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Location Name

Faber-Castell Waldhütte

Location aDDRESS

Faber-Castell Waldhütte Faberhof 1, 90596 Schwanstetten

Loation Type




Always be ready for sudden events during the ceremony. Keep your eyes open and if you see someone about to shoot a confetti canon right as the first kiss is about to happen – try and get into place as quick as you can and ready. Focus, expose and shoot. Shoot through the whole moment and then some.

Patchy light can be a tough one, and so if you value details in your work, try to expose for the highlights. That way you can bring back details in the shadows, and hopefully stop the highlights from blowing out.

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