Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

Often times when photographing the bridal portraits, we make it a habit to explore our bride and look at all the details of her dress, her jewellery, her flowers, her make up and her hair. We do this because those are details that are important to our bride; she spent a significant amount of time choosing everything and then getting dressed in it all.

One of the shots we love to start with when moving for the details is one where the Bride is in motion. We always start with something very simple; holding the dress up and moving it side to side. Just to get a bit of momentum (not just in the dress but in the flow of the shoot). We really love the way that movement can portray emotion, even if it’s subtle.
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Directions

EnergeticHand movementsPlayful

We simply asked our bride to hold her dress and sway it side to side while also moving her hips with the flow. Gradually we encouraged even more movement and energy to bring a bit more life to the movement as well as to make the whole shoot that much more fun.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“Awesome [Bride], lets have you hold your dress out with one hand and flowers in the other and I want you to sway it from side to side! Thats it! Move your hips too – like you’re dancing with your dress. Really love your dress! There you go! Keep it going!”
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Composition

Center FramedLeading LinesMid Range

Our goal with this shot was to show the dress and the way it flows down from the waist. We chose to tilt our camera down rather than lower ourselves as we found that the angle (much like selfies with a phone) is more flattering. We had our bride be in the middle of the room surrounded by the furniture; which although not symmetrical, does create a natural frame around our bride.
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Try tilt your camera downwards instead of lowering it entirely to experiment with lens distortions. Think of selfie pictures – generally, they’re held from a higher point and pointed downwards. Why? Because what’s closer to the camera seems larger, and what’s further is smaller (generally the neck, the chest, the body, the legs) and tends to make more flattering images.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The Bride’s body Live View Single Shot
Focusing was very easy to do here though we did use live view simply to help with our composition. We had set the focus box to the center, placed it over our bride, and let it lock on.
Light & Weather

Soft LightDirectional LightWindow LightNatural LightIndoor

The room naturally was quite well lit and bright as the room was painted white and we had two large windows to work with. We had our bride stand in the middle where the window on our left would light her up from the front, and the window behind her would create a gentle rim light (though not so visible here).
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Equipment & EXIF

1/1600 f/2.2 ISO 500 WB Auto

Camera

Canon 5D mark IV

Lens

Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II

Editing

Adobe Lightroom Classic Roots Presets

Software used:

 

To edit this shot, I applied our Protea presets and then tweaked the exposures to get the overall mood I wanted. I paid careful attention to the highlights of the dress as I didn’t want them to blow out or become too dull. Once I was happy with the overall tone (white balance shifted too), I brushed in some highlights on the dress (dodging) and darkened some shadows (burning). I then added in a manual vignette by using the radial filter to help isolate our bride. I also added a gradient filter to the floor and removed a few distractions with the spot removal tool.
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This image was edited with

Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The only challenge we had was when we arrived in the room, there was quite a bit of furniture set up and so since we definitely knew we wanted to shoot here at some point, we had to move everything.

Location

Private Home / AirBnB / Apartment Finland

Private Home

Vantaa, Finland

Final tips & Advice

Try not to forget about the bridal details – especially when she is wearing them. We personally find that photographs of the details when the bride is actually wearing them has a lot more meaning and impact than them alone. But, that is purely a preference and in no way the “only correct way”. Try it out and form your own opinion on 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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