Photographed by Melli & Shayne


When we were first starting to take our wedding photography seriously, we knew we had to build up a portfolio with images of couples who we’d like to attract more of. Those that matched our style, our vision, and our way of working. We set up a styled shoot and found a couple (she was a model, he was her boyfriend) and set to plan what was going to be a great shoot.

The truth is, we had constant challenges thrown at us. From incredibly temperamental weather (we nearly canceled the whole thing) to dangerous ice conditions to walk through as well as really cold temperatures. The shoot turned out incredible; better than what we had hoped – but it was a challenge all throughout. We were just lucky we stuck through the bad weather as that cleared up a few moments before we were to start shooting.
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GentleIntimateAlmost Kiss

Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
As our couple was quite distant from us, we gave them a briefing first before moving into our shooting position. We simply asked them to stand and face each other, with their bellies touching. From there, to hold each other and forget all about us shooting. To really enjoy that moment alone together and to always keep a connection (hands on the cheek, the neck, the hips etc…).
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“Stand so close to each other that your bellies touch. We’re going to shoot from over there so just completely forget about us. Be yourself, and really enjoy this moment together. Caress each other on the cheeks, hold each other close, even move in for a gentle kiss from time to time. Whatever you guys feel like doing”
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Center FramedWideFull Body

Composing this shot revolved around the reflection in the water. We wanted this to play as much of a role as our couple does in the frame. Since the environment was pretty vast and open, we chose to frame this shot closer and in portrait to minimize the emptiness of the image. We of course took our wide shots too but the one we stuck with was this one.
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Experiment with reflections and natural frames when you’re out with your couple.


Single Point Focused on The couple Single Shot Autofocus
Although our focus of this image was our couple and their reflection, we chose to move our focus point over our couple since we knew the reflection in the water could never be as sharp due to the nature of it. We moved our single point autofocus over our couple and let it achieve its focus before shooting.
Light & Weather

Soft LightNatural LightCloudyAfternoon

Taken during the blue hour, we had a very soft (although cold) light to work with. Because the sun had already set, we didn’t need to pay too much attention to how or where the light was. We focused on our composition more since the light at this time was soft all round.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/400 f/2.2 ISO 500 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark III


Canon 85mm 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. We also removed elements from the image which we found distracting & didn’t add to the finished photograph.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
One of the many challenges we faced here was the temperatures. They were only dropping as the sun had set and this meant that we had to be quite fast with our couple since our bride was wearing nothing but a light dress. Since the comfort of our couple is always a priority, we had to make sure that we had a way to keep her warm between shots.


Mountains Germany

No specific name

Riedboden 82481 Mittenwald

Final tips & Advice

Sometimes things go wrong on a shoot. Sometimes things go wrong way before the shoot has even happened. But if you stick through it and you don’t let those things get to heart then you’ll come out on the other side all the better.

Keep your eyes open for ways to use the environment creatively. Look for places that give reflections, or natural frames. They’re a great way to change things up and add a bit more interest to the story you’re telling.
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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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