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This whole shoot was a concept that we had been planning on doing for quite some time and we are so thankful that everything came together and worked out perfectly. Styled shoots, as awesome as they are, can also have their challenges and the logistics is probably one of the biggest hurdles to cover.

For this particular shoot, we found an incredible team to work with who shared the same vision as us; and the way we got our ideas out to them, in the beginning, was to put together a very simple mood board. Showcasing colors, dresses, locations, and moods.

It was an incredible experience and even though we were incredibly lucky with the weather (it rained the entire day before, and after – just not on the shoot day), we all had a great time.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

We asked our bride to run up the sand dune while holding her dress, but while running to look back over her shoulder towards us. We also asked her not to “run as fast as she could” but to run more like a “playful bounce” which helped us frame & get the shot.

What did you say?

Alright [bride], Let’s have you run up towards the top of the hill here but when you run, hold your dress like this (shows her with my imaginary dress) and look back over your shoulder. See if you can even look into the lens. And when you run, try not to sprint. Just have fun, sort of bounce to your stride

How did you compose your image?

We framed our image so that our bride was in the middle of the grass along the sand path which naturally created leading lines towards her. As this was a running shot, we didn’t quite get 100% behind her perfectly but this isn’t about technically perfect images.

How and what did you focus on?

Since we had plenty of light to work with and not too many distracting elements, we switched our focus mode to AI-Servo as well as live view. This way, our camera continuously tracked our bride as she ran and we could hold our camera slightly away from our eyes so we could better see how we were framing the image.


How did you use the light in your image?

The sand dune that our bride ran up to was a perfect “sun blocker” as the sun was still quite strong in the sky. It had just dropped below the crest of the hill and so we were able to shoot our bride in the shade. However, even if the sun did appear while we moved up – we would have had her backlit which would have worked just as well.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Canon 5D Mark IV


Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L II





Shutter Speed






White Balance


How did you edit your image & what did you use?

We edited this with our “Protea Presets” and spent a lot of time removing the barriers from either side of the path. We kept our focus on the skin tones of our bride which meant the final image was a bit brighter than how we normally shoot.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

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What challenges did you face?

The main challenge we faced was getting following our bride while trying to focus on getting our composition right, watch where we were running (didn’t want to rip her dress), keep an eye on the focus, and of course to direct her if needed.

How did you solve them?

We did this more than once just to increase our chances of coming back with the images we wanted. It’s never a problem to do something like this multiple times, even if you know you got the shot. It not only gives you more opportunities, but people tend to get a bit more relaxed if it’s not their first time doing it.

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

Even though we’re all in this really unfortunate situation in the world right now, we were still able to find a productive use of our time. Of course, it’s work and takes a lot of time to plan all of this – especially if you have to drive 9+ hours to get to the spot but in the end, it’s worth it.

When you’re out shooting (any shoot for this matter), absolutely always be respectful and careful of the nature around you. If there are signs that ask you not to go somewhere, don’t be that person that ignores it. Nature is significantly more important than a pretty picture.


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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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