• afternoon
  • Mountains
  • Sunset
  • sunny
  • Soft Light
  • Rocks
  • Rim Light
  • Playful
  • Natural Light
  • lower thirds
  • Back lit
  • Leading lines
  • Lake
  • holding each other
  • Haze
  • Golden hour
  • full body
  • Dancing
  • Center Framed
  • Walking

The story behind the image

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As wedding photographers, our portfolio is our most crucial tool for booking the right clients. Having a portfolio that you are proud of and that reflects your style, your vision and what you want to attract more of is incredibly important. This shoot was a free shoot we did during the earlier years of our business.

We wanted to create something that we knew would work for our portfolio and would help us reach more of our target clients. We arrived at the location quite early because we really wanted to make sure we wouldn’t miss the perfect light. In this case, we were a little too early and found a cool little spot to have a coffee before the shoot. Nothing wrong with that :) Rather too early than rushing and stressing about time.

Most importantly, we made sure for this shoot to have full control of every aspect; the location, the styling, the color compositions, every detail. We really wanted to showcase our aesthetics and especially attract people with the same preferences for soft natural tones, golden sunset light, and epic nature. As we didn’t have anyone like this book us by then, it was the perfect way to bring our portfolio in the right direction.

We can only encourage you to try and set up shoots like this for yourself. It has helped us so much and even made us develop our style more deeply. We have made connections that we would otherwise have not and we had a lot of lessons learned that we could bring in for our next styled shoots.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

This was a spontaneous moment between our couple as we simply asked them to change positions so that he was taller than her, and in doing so, he very carefully gave her a hand and made sure she was safe while walking on this rock.

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What did you say?

Guys, we need to change it up a bit, it’s better when he is standing higher than you, can you switch sides quick? and carefully of course!

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We had our couple stand on this rock and composed the frame in portrait to bring all the attention to the couple and to where they were standing. It’s always nice to include the landscape elements where you can, and to also hide those that you find distracting. With an 85mm we were also able to compress the scene together and bring even more focus to our couple.

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Lower Thirds


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

We had a little challenge with the focusing here as the sun was just peaking over the mountain range, causing a flare in our lens. What helped was to briefly cover the sun with one hand and then lock the focus on your couple. Then, remove the hand and keep shooting.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Girls body

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 85mm f/1.2 L
1/640 @ f/2.2 ISO1600 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 the late afternoon, the sun was just about to hide behind the mountain tops. It was at that point where we got this crazy amount of haze that poured through resulting in this golden wash behind the couple.

The weather was super clear this day, and so we opted to wait until the sun was behind the mountains to keep shooting and get that soft light.

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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


Our challenges with this shoot was firstly to make sure our couple was safe during this shot. They were on this uneven rock and we really didn’t want them to slip or hurt themselves.

We also had a little tricky situation with focusing since the haze created by the sun on the mountain range also flared up our lens. This made it really tough to lock on for our cameras.

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Always make sure your couple are safe. Ask them about how they are feeling and whether or not they can accomplish this pose that you’re after. If at any point they feel, or you, that they may be at risk – stop. It’s not worth risking anyone getting hurt or having an unpleasant experience.

As for the focusing, a simple little trick is to block the sun with your hand momentarily, focus and while holding down your shutter (keeping the focus locked), remove your hand and fire away.

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Location Name


Location aDDRESS

Vorderer Langbathsee, 4802 Ebensee, Austria

Loation Type




Always have your camera ready, even when you’re directing your couple to new spots or poses. Sometimes it even helps to have your camera up to you face and talk to them. It may seem a bit weird at first but it doesn’t take long for everyone to get used to it. If you’re doing a free shoot for your portfolio, you absolutely have to be in charge of as much things as you can. Especially the styling since that plays a big role in the final feel of the image.

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