• Center Framed
  • city
  • full body
  • Harsh Light
  • holding hands
  • Looking into the camera
  • Middle Thirds
  • Natural Light
  • noon
  • Posed
  • Serious
  • Shade
  • simple
  • Sky Scrapers
  • standing apart
  • urban

The story behind the image

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When we were chatting to our couple, one of the things they really wanted was to have their first lookout on the pier with the skyline of New York in the background. It was a gorgeous spot and a priceless view. However, the first look happened during the midday sun and there were literally 0 clouds.

So, after taking a few shots out in the sun and doing the best we could in tough light, we moved further back and found a spot that was shaded (cast from the buildings) to have our couple stand-in for a few more shots. We wanted a very simple, classic shot. It’s something we always do before we go into the normal couple shoot stuff. We find there’s just something so cool about the old, classic shots if done right.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

We had our couple stand facing us, holding hands and looking right into our camera with a simple smile. It was meant to be a classic shot, but with a bit more relaxation to it. We had our groom have his hand in his pocket, and our bride to hold her flowers down to the side. From there, it was a matter of a few silly jokes to get a genuine smile/laugh and that was that.

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What did you say?

Okay guys, stand facing us, hold hands and [groom] keep your hand in your pocket and [Bride], hold your flowers down low – nice and relaxed. There you go, right on! Look here, where’s that gorgeous smile from you guys! There it is!

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We had our couple stand directly in the middle of the frame as we had a ton of leading lines to work with. Almost every line converged towards our couple which immediately gives them a lot of emphasis. We also chose to shoot this a bit wide so we could capture more of the scene and a large portion of the skyline.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Our focus was very easy to achieve as we had plenty of light and contrasts to work with. We shot through our viewfinder, moved our single point over our couple, and let it lock on.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

Their bodies

Equipment &

Canon 5D mark IV
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II
1/3200 @ f/2 ISO100 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

Fortunately, we found this spot that had shade as the sun was really, really strong. The shade helped to soften the light on our couple and since the sun was directly behind us, it also meant our couple didn’t have to squint or hurt their eyes.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day


Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I applied the Protea preset (flat) to the image as I wanted to keep as much detail both in the highlights and shadows. I then tweaked the usual white balance, exposure, shadows, highlights and saturation sliders until I got close to where I wanted to be. I then finished off by adding in some gradient adjustments to further control and modify the sky as well as the lower half of the image.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Preset Used


The hardest part of this image was trying not to blow out the highlights as we exposed for our couple. Since they were in the shade and the rest of the scene was out in the full, strong sunlight – there was strong contrast that our cameras had to deal with.

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We chose to expose more for the highlights since recovering details in shadows is a lot easier and often times more successful than recovering details from highlights. Detail loss tends to happen sooner in blown-out highlights than crunched shadows.

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Location Name

North 5th Street Pier and Park

Location aDDRESS

North 5th Street Pier and Park

Loation Type



United States

We can’t always choose the time of day something happens – and so it’s up to us to figure out solutions and if there really isn’t anything we can do – then we need to shoot it as best as we can. Fortunately though, unless you’re out in the desert at midday, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find somewhere that has a bit of shade to help with your light & the comfort of your couple.

There’s something really cool about classic, posed shots that we encourage everyone to give a go. There’s nothing wrong with doing a posed shot here and there, and often times ends up being the one that’s printed the most. It’s also a cool little warm-up as you can get the “awkward” shots out the way, leaving only the good stuff to come.

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