Photographed by Melli & Shayne


While our bride was having some adjustments made to her dress, she looked down with the most serene & calm ‘tone’. It completely hit us by surprise but that moment was just beautiful. The way her headpiece took center stage while everything else simply fell in second place was what caught our attention. This wasn’t planned, nor was it during the bridal portrait session. It just happened and without disturbing anyone, we positioned ourselves and took this shot.
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When we saw our bride naturally fall into this pose, we didn’t want to disturb her. Saying anything risked her looking up towards us out of politeness and missing such a natural moment. We very gently & soft-spokenly asked her to not lookup. This just allowed us that little moment longer to shoot even more frames.
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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
“[Bride] without looking up – just keep what you’re doing. It’s absolutely gorgeous. The way your head is tilted downwards is friggen amazing”
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Center FramedLeading LinesClose Up

We framed this so that the headpiece was the first to grab the attention. By having it right in the middle, we are able to take the viewer’s attention to the headpiece before letting the viewer explore the rest of the frame. It’s a dominant composition, which is exactly the feeling we wanted to go for.
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Try and think about what you want to be the most attention-grabbing part of your image and frame it so that it takes the most impact. Pay attention to the rule of thirds; even if rules can be broken.


Single Point Focused on The Brides eyes Single Shot Autofocus
As this moment happened pretty spontaneously, we had to be quick with moving our focus point. While we knew the headpiece would be relatively in focus, we chose to focus on our bride’s eyelashes as they too have a role in this image. Humans are naturally drawn to eyes in an image, and it’s never a bad idea to keep them sharp.
Light & Weather

Soft LightDirectional LightWindow LightNatural LightIndoor

In the getting ready room, we were blessed with large windows off to our right while the rest of the room was painted in a dark color. Since we had plenty of space, we had our bride stand across to the window light so that we could create some dimensions to her via the highlights & shadows. We also made sure not to stand too close to the window otherwise the contrast would have been a bit too harsh.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/200 f/1.6 ISO 100 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon 50mm f/1.2 L


Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:


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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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
When a moment like this comes out of nowhere, getting into position and getting your settings right while also trying not to disturb your subject and potentially disrupt the moment definitely is a challenge.


Private Home / AirBnB / Apartment Germany

Private Home

Nuremberg, Germany

Final tips & Advice

When you see a moment happen that you don’t want to disturb, but feel that you have to say something in order to not let it slip by; then absolutely approach it with delicacy. Start your sentence with exactly what you want your subject to do. Don’t beat around the bush because they will likely get confused as to what you want and then it’s over.

Shoot a lot. There is no real excuse if you’re shooting digital as memory cards are pretty affordable. Shooting a lot, even of the same moment, helps up your chances of getting that perfect moment. You can always pick out the best one later when you cull.
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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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