Photographed by Melli & Shayne


Some of the most authentic, most genuine moments happen without any input from us as photographers. What’s so important about being able to capture them is to always be ready and to always be shooting. It doesn’t matter if you come back with 2000+ images, because what’s the cost of an additional SD card vs an incredible moment captured?

Just after our couple had finished celebrating and pouring the champagne into each other’s mouths, the groom went in for a big kiss on the bride’s cheek and she was all into it. It was a complete spur of the moment thing with 0 planning on our part. The only thing we did was shoot. We shot right through the whole “celebratory event” and then some.
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Center FramedHorizon LineWideFull Body

We chose to shoot this in portrait mode since we liked that it kept the focus on our couple and the moment more so than the environment they were in. Because the moment was the main focus, by eliminating the surroundings – the viewer is drawn immediately to the couple. We also tried our best to keep them framed within the sand dunes behind (notice the horizon doesn’t cross through their heads).
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Shooting portrait can really help focus the attention on your subjects as it limits the amount of landscape visible in the image.


Single Point Focused on On the Bride’s face Single Shot Autofocus
Normally for action moments, we switch to continuous focus, but as we all weren’t moving too far from the same spot we kept it to single shot. The reason we did this was to not let the camera get confused by any hands crossing the focus point and having it try and focus on that instead.
Light & Weather

Soft LightCloudyAfternoon

As the weather was very cloudy, the light we had to work with was incredibly soft and beautiful. The sun was not far away from setting, but it still was quite a “white” light. Since the light was easy to work with, we didn’t focus too much on where the light was in relation to these shots, and instead paid more attention to other parts of the image.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/1000 f/1.4 ISO 1600 WB Auto


Canon 5D mark IV


Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II


Adobe Lightroom Classic The Protea Presets

Software used:


It was fairly easy to edit this shot as we had really soft and beautiful light to work with. We applied our Protea preset to the image, adjusted the exposure & contrast sliders, and tweaked the white balance to bring in a bit more warmth to the image.
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This image was edited with

The Protea Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The only challenge we had here was being fast enough into position to capture this moment. Everything was happening really fast and so we couldn’t afford to waste time.


Beach / Coastal Germany

Sankt Peter-Ording

Sankt Peter-Ording, Germany

Final tips & Advice

As much as you can, really try and get to know your equipment. If you can start to “see” how a shot would look like with a 50mm and a 35mm without actually having the camera in your hands, you’ll be well on your way to finding some amazing compositions and moments. It helps you be prepared.

Honestly. Don’t stop shooting. Shoot right until you are sure nothing else will happen. Because it’s these little moments that happen when your couple thinks you are “done” that is oftentimes incredibly genuine and beautiful.
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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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