Photographed by Melli & Shayne


Getting a couple to head into the water with the risk of the dress getting wet is something that often crosses our minds when we shoot near the ocean. But, of course, we always leave it up to the couple and make sure the bride is comfortable with it. We know the shots in the water can totally be worth it as it adds a bit more wonder to the shot.

In this case, we asked our couple if they’d be keen and the bride was a bit apprehensive about it. Understandably so. We then told her that we’d do this right near the end so that if the dress got a bit wet, we would have already taken a good amount of shots when it was dry. It’s also important to note that this was an after-wedding shoot, so the big day had already gone by and the dress was to be worn this last time.

We got our groom to carry our bride in the water and to try his best to keep the dress from hitting the water, but alas, he lost grip and it fell. At that moment, nothing really mattered anymore. The bride was loving the moment and the couple fell into this whole intimacy with ease.
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Holding Each otherPlayfulCarry

Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
We asked the groom to carry/cradle the bride as he walked into the water with her. Once he got just deep enough to cover his feet, we then asked them to turn towards us and to really go in for a nice gentle kiss. We encouraged our bride to bring her hand up to his face and pull him in gently which absolutely contributed to the intimacy of the shot. Finally, our bride naturally crossed her legs, but had she not, we would have asked her to do so.
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“Okay, guys, let’s have you [Groom] carry [Bride] in a sort of “cradle” fashion. Like a baby. And walk with her slightly into the water. Not too deep but just far enough to cover your feet. Awesome! Turn around and face us, perfect, and go in for a kiss. [Bride], bring your hand up and gently guide him in and caress his cheek as he is kissing you. Keep it going, guys! Don’t worry about the dress! It’s just a bit of water”
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Center FramedHorizon LineNatural Frames

Since we had cliffs in the background, we didn’t want to have that intersect our couple. So, we raised our camera slightly and while looking through the live view screen, we could compose our shot so that the couple was framed within the water. We also noticed the rocks coming in from the left of the frame and positioned ourselves so that it wasn’t directly behind them. This created a kind of natural framing that helps bring the attention to the couple directly.
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Pay attention to what is happening in the backgrounds of your shots. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook things that you may regret later. It’s significantly easier to do this when you’re using your LiveView as you have a better representation of what the composition is.


Single Point Focused on The couple Live View Continuous
Focusing was very simple in this shot; we just moved our focus point over the couple and let the camera lock on. Since using mirrorless cameras, we now use the AI Servo mode to keep tracking the focus point. This is incredibly powerful as even if your couple doesn’t move, but you do, your focus should still be locked and tracking allowing you more freedom to focus on other points of your image.
Light & Weather

Soft LightDirectional LightNatural LightSunset

At this point, the sun was a little higher than the horizon. So much so that we didn’t quite have that golden hour just yet. It was coming from the right of the frame which helped to create a beautiful sidelight on our couple. We had them turn towards us not only for the composition but because we didn’t want to shoot directly into the sun either. You can see how the light is touching them by paying attention to the bride’s arm.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/200 f/1.2 ISO 200 WB Auto


Canon R5


Canon 50mm f/1.2 L

Additional Equipment

Canon RF - EF Lens adapter


Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:


To edit this shot, we applied our new experimental preset to the image which keeps the skin tones on the warm side while also having a slight wash of warmth over the whites. We tweaked the exposure, white balance, and other usual sliders in the Basic panel to get the overall mood we wanted. From here, we added a layer of grain and called it a day. A very simple image to edit.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
Carrying someone, of any weight, get’s difficult after some time. We can’t expect our groom to hold up our bride indefinitely so we had to be quite fast with everything – and also keep enough energy in him to be able to safely bring her back out.


Beach / Coastal Spain

Cala Tarida

Carrer Posta de Sol, C/ de Cala Tarida, 21, 07829, Illes Balears, Spain

Final tips & Advice

If you’re going to go in the water, make sure that you have as many shots of the bride in her dry dress before. There is always a risk that the water can ruin the dress and it’s never a wise thing to start off in the water. Unless, of course, you plan to shoot entirely in the water. Nonetheless, make sure you plan this with your couple and that they are aware of your plans.
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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.

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