Photographed by Melli & Shayne

Story

One of the things we are most grateful for being wedding photographers is the fact that we get to see such incredible places, people, and moments. It’s a career we never thought we’d be into (if you asked us a good few years ago) but life has its paths, and we have absolutely no regrets.

When this couple asked us if we’d be keen to travel just north of the Arctic circle in Norway to capture their elopement, how could we resist? We got there a few days early and spent an entire day location scouting and just enjoying the whole experience of being up there. We found this spot, made sure it’d work with the light & then planned everything with our couple on the day of.

They had a beautiful, gentle, self-made ceremony just between themselves. They shared their words, shared their tears, and shared their love and this moment was the conclusive end of their little ceremony. They embraced for a moment, and right then and there – nothing else mattered but them.
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Composition

Center FramedHorizon LineHigh AngleFull BodyNatural Frames

We found this spot on a hill that gave way to the view of the ocean and the islands. I had the couple stand in the middle of all the landscape features to let them be framed naturally. I also held the camera slightly above my eye level so I could keep them framed within the water as to not have any lines cutting through them.
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Look for natural frames created by the environment and see if you can find a spot that lets your couple sit in the middle of them.

Focusing

Single Point Focused on The couple Single Shot Autofocus
Since I had the camera away from my eye, I had to use live view which helped me find this composition a lot easier. Focusing was no problem at all as the couple wasn’t moving too much from their spot, and I could simply keep the focus-box over them without too much effort.
Light & Weather

Soft LightBack litMoodyNatural LightSunset

The sun was just out of the left side of the frame and was still relatively high in the sky. The made it quite challenging to capture the full dynamic range of the image as the sun bounced off the water pretty strongly. Because of this, the spot we chose needed to allow us to shoot into the light as we would then photograph the shaded side of them; a much softer light to work with at the expense of losing dynamic range.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/4000 f/2 ISO 1000 WB Auto

Camera

Canon 5D mark IV

Lens

Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II

Editing

Adobe Lightroom Classic The Protea Presets

Software used:

 

Editing this image was definitely a bit more tricky than usual. Since the sun was still quite harsh, it bounced off the ocean water causing a lot of the highlights to almost blow out. After applying our Protea preset, we used our brush tool to paint over the water and make local adjustments to the exposure, saturation, white balance and contrasts to help bring back the detail. The same was applied to the sky and to the couple themselves. We also added in a sun-enhancing radial adjustment to help warm up the light.
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This image was edited with

The Protea Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The hardest part was editing this image to bring back details that we felt were important to the overall mood of the image. Since the sun was still quite harsh, the highlights struggled to keep details.

Location

Beach / Coastal Norway

Hillesoy

Hillesoy 9110 Sommarøy, Norway

Final tips & Advice

If you have a tricky image that doesn’t quite follow your usual editing routine, then take a break and come back to it later if you can. Sometimes seeing it with fresh eyes and new energy can be motivating to spend that extra time going into detail to bring out the best of the image.

Absolutely always, always, always do a location scout. Especially when it’s an elopement and your couple have asked you for suggestions on places to go. Make sure you get there a day or so before and have plenty of time to explore different options. Bring sun-tracking apps with you so can also see when and where the sun will be at any given point. Finally, have a backup plan just in case this location is inaccessible on the day you want to shoot.
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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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