Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

Over the years of photographing weddings, we’ve found that a really great time that works not only for us as photographers in terms of light, but also for the couple and the guests of the day is to take the couple for their shoot just before dinner. Sometimes, if the dinner set up is ready, we even take them to go experience it for the first time privately – and while we’re there, we start our shoot.

The indoor lighting can bring out some incredible results, especially if you have light to play with. However, in our case – we did lack quite a bit of natural light as this was a barn that was converted to the dinner area specifically for this wedding. There really wasn’t much light to work with besides the table lights and spots on the wall (and, quite clearly – the neon sign in the background).

We took a few shots as we would normally do, and while our couple was in this moment together – we spotted the sign in the background and its message. We really quite liked it in combination with the couple passionately in their moment so we chose to very simply move our focus point over the neon sign so we would throw our couple out of focus yet still visible in the frame to have context.
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Directions

IntimateNaturalKissing

We asked our couple to stand in the middle and to embrace each other. To enjoy this moment alone that they finally had, and to go in for a big, but gentle kiss. We reminded them to make sure they had contact to each other at all times with their hands. Whether that was holding her neck gently, or resting her hands on his chest. We always want them to be connected not just by the lips.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Guys, just enjoy this moment together and get real close to one another. Go in for a big but gentle kiss, and really make sure that you’re connecting and touching and feeling each other. Show each other how much you love each other, just by the gentle and subtle things you do with your hands, your kissing and your presence.”
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Composition

Center FramedBroken RulesMid Range

Compositionally, this shot is very straightforward. We had our couple take up the left part of the image while the neon sign took up the right. We made sure to bring ourselves up quite close to the couple for a few reasons, and mainly because the closer we were to the couple – the more ‘out of focus’ they’d become. It also meant that the neon sign would be larger in the frame having more of a dominant role.
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When working with prime lenses, you have to get used to physically moving yourself to find the compositions as they don’t offer a zoom control. Be constantly active on your feet and moving the whole time unless you know exactly the composition you’re going for. Even then, once you have your shot – start your dance around the couple. You never know what you might find.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on Neon Sign Live View Continuous
The focus was shifted over the neon sign with a single focus point to tell the camera to focus only on the sign. This meant that the couple were thrown out of focus. It’s a very simple thing to do – though you do just need to know where your focus settings are on your camera. Get good with it because being able to shift your focus point quickly can come in handy during the day.
Light & Weather

DarkWindow LightIndoor

Having such little light, we had to do with what we had available. There were some relatively small windows on top of the wall with the neon sign which did help slightly but it wasn’t very significant. The main sort of light that we had was coming from the neon sign – but even this wasn’t strong enough to have much of an effect on our couple. Nonetheless, we exposed for the neon sign and framed our couple between us and the sign.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/100 f/1.8 ISO 100 WB Auto

Camera

Canon R6

Lens

Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L

Editing

Adobe Lightroom Classic The Protea Presets

Software used:

 

This shot was very easy to edit as there wasn’t much that was needed to bring out the details and atmosphere we wanted. We applied our protea preset and just kept the exposure and highlights centered around the neon sign. This caused the couple to darken a bit which we quite liked as it adds to the romance and feeling of the image. We did some slight cropping just to help the composition and finally added a little bit of grain to add texture to the image.
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This image was edited with

The Protea Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The hardest part abotu this image was deciding whether a full-body shot was better than a closer up one. Sure, it’s not the biggest challenge in photography but it’s a decision that needed to be made.

Location

Barn Germany

Schloß Primmersdorf

Primmersdorf 1, 2095, Austria

Final tips & Advice

Being active on your feet, even without prime lenses, is a great technique to help you come back with a much wider range of shots and angles. It helps you to see things that you may have missed and can really help better your future compositions as you get used to what works, and what doesn’t.

Also, look for storytelling and contextual elements throughout your coverage. They can really help tell the story and be a wonderful addition to an album too.
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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.

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