• almost kiss
  • Germany
  • Soft Light
  • Shade
  • Natural Light
  • Intimate Framing
  • intimate
  • holding each other
  • Free
  • Back
  • First Look
  • emotional
  • Dress
  • Details
  • Close up
  • Center Framed
  • calm
  • Unposed

The story behind the image

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The first look is always exciting. They’re exciting for the couple and for us to capture. It’s a moment where feelings, emotions, and actions are all true. No staging. No poses. Just genuine love for each other.

When we capture first looks, we do our very best to not interfere with anything. We only location scout and give the couple a signal once we’re all set up and ready. The rest happens as it happens.

We love to move around our subjects when we’re shooting, and this shot is a good example of that. As our couple fell deeper into their moment, we moved up and found different angles to capture it all. Even shooting with a longer lens to not distract them too much.
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This is one of the cases where the rule of thirds was not followed. One of the main points of focus was the details of the dress our bride wore, as well as her necklace. We framed it so we still kept a bit of their heads in the shot, just enough to show their emotion, but we let her back take the biggest part of the overall image.

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Compositional Rules

None / Simple


Center FramedClose UpIntimate Framing


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Our focus was on the necklace as it turned out to be an easy spot for our cameras to lock on to. Since we used a longer lens, we didn’t need to worry too much about the focus fall off as we were still a distance away from our couple. We simply used our single point autofocus and moved that where we wanted it.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The Brides necklace

Equipment &

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 85mm f/1.2 L II
1/400 @ 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

As the first look took place just after the getting ready & before the ceremony, we didn’t have the most ideal to work with as this was around midday. We did however find a shaded area in a courtyard which allowed us enough room to move around our couple. This shade creates a beautiful soft light over our couple without any blown out spots or too much contrasts.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Light Quality


Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

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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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


Our main challenge was being ready the whole time for these “micro-moments”. They happen so fast and often never reappear again. We had to constantly pay attention to what was happening as to not disturb them and to get ourselves into a position to take our shots.

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The biggest thing we do for this is to just keep shooting. We don’t stop and we rarely would put our camera down. Heck, we’d open our left eye while looking through the viewfinder with our right, just to give us that extra bit of situational awareness.

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Location Name

Wasserschloss Unsleben

Location aDDRESS

Wasserschloss Unsleben, Schloßgasse 22, 97618 Unsleben

Loation Type




The first look moments are beautiful to capture and can be full of emotions, genuine feelings & stunning opportunities to capture. The biggest thing is to not over plan it and get too involved in it. Find a great spot for your couple (you should be in charge here as they wouldn’t know what’s good for your photography), and then let them do their thing.

Always be on the move during these moments and don’t stop shooting until they’re done. Some first looks are over in 2 seconds, others take their time. Whatever it is, keep shooting until the couple looks to you to stop.

Once you’ve got your safe shots, move in for close-ups. Look for little details, little emotions, little gestures, and try and fill your frames with these. They make awesome storytelling pieces and can be really striking by themselves.

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