Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

One of the things we love the most about being wedding photographers is the sheer amount of diverse people you get to meet and shoot. Not all couples are comfortable in front of the camera, and I personally love that. I love being able to spend a bit of time with the couple and break down this barrier and let them open up and trust me behind the lens. However, when I do cross a couple who are just incredibly natural and comfortable, I see that as an absolute win too!

That was the case here, our couple is known for being models for other photographers and despite this, they are a true, loving couple. You could feel it when we met them when we had dinner together the night before and even after the shoot. They genuinely are in love and that made the whole shoot incredibly fun to experience.

While shooting, there was this moment where we had asked them to face each other and snuggle in together, sheltering from the wind, and without too much more directions – they just naturally fell into this moment. It’s deep. It’s meaningful. It’s beautiful.
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Directions

CalmHolding Each otherIntimate

Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
Even though I didn’t direct them too much, I did instigate that they got into this position where they faced each other, but the bride lay with her head on the groom’s chest. And for the groom to wrap his one arm over her shoulders, while the other either played with her free hand or rested on her waist. From here, we normally offer small little suggestions, but in this case, they just dove right into this moment together.
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“Alright you beauties, I want you to stand facing each other and get so close that your bodies are pressed against each other. [Bride], lean your head on his chest and [Groom], when she does, wrap your arm around her and hold her. Embrace her. Shelter her from the wind – and with your other hand, keep it down on her waist or play with her hand so we don’t block her face. “
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Composition

Rule of ThirdsCenter FramedIntimate Framing

The original shot was quite a bit wider than this as we were composing to keep more of the dress in the frame as it was flowing really beautifully in the wind. However, when we started editing this shot, we very quickly realized that the moment & emotion between the couple was the most important part of the image. It’s where the ‘magic’ lies. So, we cropped in relatively strong and positioned it so we filled the frame with our couple (almost 90%).

By doing this, we really bring the viewers into the moment and let them get a grasp on just how special this moment was between the two. And that, in effect, is our goal. Because the viewers are not just me and you, but the couples themselves and they should be transported back to these beautiful moments.
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Don’t be afraid to crop in quite strongly in lightroom. The resolution on today’s cameras is so good that the quality reduction is barely noticeable. Just don’t go overboard.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The Grooms hand Single Shot Autofocus
We kept the focus simple and since our initial goal was to capture the flowing dress, we decided to focus on the hand of the groom which would have given us a nice base focus at a wide aperture. However, this did cause their faces to fall out of focus a bit. If we knew our goal was to capture the couple and their emotions – we would have moved our point over their faces.
Light & Weather

Soft LightBack litNatural LightAfternoon

Fortunately the light was really quite soft when we took this picture as the sun had just gone behind a cloud. But since we were not prepared for that, we had our couple turn themselves in a position where the sun was just behind them and to the side. We did this because we wanted to shoot the shaded parts of them to help us with soft light. It also meant that we could have some directional play of light as we could ask them to turn their faces towards the light.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/640 f/1.2 ISO 640 WB Auto

Camera

Canon 5D mark IV

Lens

Canon 85mm f/1.2 L

Editing

Adobe Lightroom Classic The Protea Presets

Software used:

 

To edit this shot, we applied our protea preset after cropping it to the composition we wanted. We then adjusted the white balance, exposure, highlights & shadows, and other smaller tweaks to get the overall tones the way we wanted them. We noticed that their faces were becoming a little dark so we threw in a little radial filter over their faces and brightened that area up slightly. We finally finished off with a layer of grain to add texture to the overall image.
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This image was edited with

The Protea Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The only challenge we faced here was being as delicate as we could be when the moment arose. We didn’t want to break the moment by throwing in words of encouragement or further ideas.

Location

Beach / Coastal Germany

Sankt Peter-Ording

Sankt Peter-Ording, Germany

Final tips & Advice

One piece of advice I would give here is that if a couple ends up in a moment that is really beautiful, really soft, and really gentle – stay quiet. Unless there is something super important where you just have to interfere, then it’s best to really keep the compliments and sounds to a minimum. Any time you make a sound (including the camera), it takes them out of it even just a little bit.

Be a ninja.
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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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