Photographed by Melli & Shayne


While photographing the dinner set up, we saw the stylist lighting the candles and laying the last few details before the couple arrived to see it all for the first time. We thought to our selves, wouldn’t it be nice if we were the stylist and someone took some pictures of me while I was working? Well, that’s exactly what we did. And why we did it.
Photographing other vendors while they work is not only a huge compliment, but it’s an awesome way to make strong networks with each other and even have more ways to share each other’s work on social media.
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Center FramedLeading LinesMid Range

Composing for this frame meant that we wanted to keep the shot wide enough to have context and to capture the details in the room, but close up enough to feel more immersed in the frame. We angled ourselves so the table ran from the bottom left to the top right diagonally, allowing the viewers to travel right the way through the image.
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Pay attention to how things flow through your composition. Especially with leading lines. They help direct your viewers to the main subject of your image.


Single Point Focused on The Girls hands Single Shot Autofocus
Focusing in a candle-lit room can be challenging, but fortunately, there were enough candles and ambient light to work with to get the focus. Since the vendor was the main subject in this image, we made sure to focus on her.
Light & Weather

Soft LightDarkIndoorCandles

We chose to shoot towards the candles and have them fall into the bokeh to create these bubbles of light in the background. Another reason we did this was that the candles would create a beautiful, even if soft, rim light around our vendor, helping to separate her from the background. Finally, the main ambient light source (open doors) was off to our left, which helped light up the front of our subject.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/100 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:


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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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The only difficulty we had when shooting this image was that our vendor wasn’t quite aware that we were doing this, and therefore she moved from one spot to the next. But this was a conscious decision not to alert her – we wanted a very natural shot of her doing the finishing touches.


Wedding / Event Venue Germany

Vila Vita

Eventscheune Dagobertshausen, Im Dorfe 14, 35041 Marburg

Final tips & Advice

In the end, you’re a business. And the more ways you can promote yourself, the better. One of the lesser-known ways is to take pictures of vendors in action. They will more than likely be super happy to have some cool shots of themselves and will opt to share them on social media and their website. So long as you agree that they will tag you / link to you then there you go.

Working with candlelight definitely has its challenges but if you can take your time and get things right, you can get some really beautiful and romantic shots. Don’t shy away from challenges and tough situations – take the chance to learn and grow from it.
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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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