Photographed by Melli & Shayne


Looking back at this photoshoot, it’s hard to believe that we almost didn’t let it happen. We were simply having a few beers on this gorgeous Sri Lankan beach with our friends while looking for a few spots to surf – and as the light started to dip, we had the small idea of doing an impromptu couple shoot with them.

It was 50/50. Should we do it? Yeah or Nah? Yeah alright. And that was absolutely the right thing. Not only did we have a super good time for the next 30 mins of however long the light lasted, we actually came back with some pretty awesome shots to share!

So, the message here is to just do it. If you have the chance to shoot something, do it. At some point, picking up a camera can start to feel like a chore. Like just “work again”. But sometimes you need to get through that moment and let it remind you of how fun it can actually be.

It’s an amazing thing to turn your passion into your career. It really is. But it’s a challenge to keep it a passion throughout the career :)
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EnergeticHolding Each otherLaughingPlayfulRunning

Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed Natural
We asked our friends to just be themselves and be silly. We had them walk down the beach away from us, with arms around each other and while doing so, to bump into each other, tease each other and just… be. We cheered them on as they giggled, and kept the energy up high too .
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“Bump into each other! There you go! (Girl), try and push him into tho the water! Even give each other a playful kiss while doing it!”
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Center FramedLeading LinesFull Body

We chose to shoot this in portrait since we only really wanted a little bit of the distant rock and palm tree to make an appearance. That way, it didn’t dominate the focus of the viewer. We also tried to get our couple more in the center but they fell slightly off to the side. It’s not perfect but that’s just it. You don’t need to have a perfectly composed image for it to be great. It’s just got to capture something beautiful.
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Whenever you shoot something, try and find a way to capture both landscape and portrait. At least if you’re unsure about what would work best. That way, you have the choice at home to decide which one works well. It can happen that you only really realize it later on. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to look intentional.


Single Point Focused on The Guys back Single Shot Autofocus
Being quite a high energy scene to capture, we really had to pay attention to where our focus point was at all times. We positioned it over the middle of our couple so it allowed us a bit of wiggle room in case we couldn’t keep them exactly where we wanted.
Light & Weather

Soft LightBrightNatural LightCloudySunset

This was taken during the blue hour, as we only had about 10-20mins of light left to shoot. Blue hour is that point where the sun has already dropped below the horizon, but only just. The sky turns from the golden sunset color to a blue hue. Stunning. And super pretty to shoot in and warm up in post later on.
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Equipment & EXIF

1/320 f/1.6 ISO 500 WB Auto


Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon 50mm f/1.2 L


Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:


Edited with “The Roots Presets Classic”, the edits focus on keeping the skin tones creamy warm while balancing the tones of the rest of the image. Using the included toolkit, we were able to quickly boost the blues to bring back a bit of those tropical colors.
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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
The biggest challenge we had here was the amount of time we had to shoot. From the point where we decided to actually do the shoot and the point where it became too dark was approximately 30minutes. So, we had to get going – and going fast.


Beach / Coastal Sri Lanka

The Frog Rock


Final tips & Advice

Maybe it’s the same for other established professionals in the industry, maybe it’s just us, but sometimes it’s hard to pick up a camera and go out and shoot just for fun. If you ever find yourself in that situation – there’s no harm in taking a little break in your quiet season. Better yet, if you can put together a shoot that you know will be hella good fun, do it. Learn to love your craft again.

When shooting during the blue hour, it’s definitely wise to have already started a bit before. That way, you don’t need to rush yourself or your couples through that beautiful light. Give yourselves enough time and planning and things will be just fine.
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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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