the Shoot

Location Equipment
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When we got to the room where our groom was getting ready, he was hanging out with some of his guy friends & family and doing what any soon-to-be groom does. We did our usual room check where we find the spots to take his portraits, as well as to set up his details shots. And while looking, we saw a bottle of Champagne. We knew exactly what we wanted to do when we saw it.

As the time came to take his portraits, we asked him to open that bottle and pour him and his friends a glass of champagne. They cheered and he had his few sips before moving to the spot we chose. We asked him to keep the glass with him, since well – we could tease how drunk he’ll get and it also looked pretty cool in his hands.
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Location Name

Masseria San Nicola

Location aDDRESS

Strada Provinciale, SP3, 72015 Fasano BR, Italy



Location TYPE




Canon 5D mark IV




Canon 50mm f/1.2 L

Lens Filter


Other Equipment
No additional equipment was used.

the Shoot

Directions Composition Focus Light & Exposure
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Energetic Funny Jokes Natural


We had our groom stand with his feet slightly towards the window light and to have his left hand relaxed in his pocket. With his other hand holding the glass we simply asked him to just hang out there while we throw some stupid jokes his way. We also made sure to boost his confidence by complimenting him all the time.

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What was said

Alright my man, just hang out here with your jacket open, left hand in your pocket, feet in this direction, and take a few sips of your drink. It’s okay to get drunk. It’s your wedding! Aww, dude that’s awesome! You’re a friggen model – you’ve done this before? Right? You have! Don’t lie. You’re way too good at this!

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Why I composed the way I did

After getting our wide shots, we moved up closer while we threw out some more ridiculous jokes to get him laughing. We wanted to accentuate this happiness by bringing the viewers right up there next to him. We also tried to keep him framed within the window in the background, but since we were all moving and enjoying the good moment, it lost a bit of its symmetry. But, the moment was worth more than a perfectly aligned composition.

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Rule of Thirds Mid Range Natural Frames


Focus mode

Single point auto focus

Focus Technology

Single Shot Autofocus

Focused on

The Grooms Face

Focus description

The focus here was on our groom’s laughter, and so we made sure to move our single point over his face when taking these pictures. We kept it there and always refocused as we took shots since we found that this increased our success rate while sacrificing a bit of speed in shooting.

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Shutter Speed






White Balance


Other Light Sources
No additional light sources were used.
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Light &

How the light was used

Just off to the left of the image was the entranceway to the room, with a big wide-open door. We positioned our groom to stand about a meter and half away from this door and to always keep his body slightly turned towards it, as well as his face. That way, we could light up his face & capture those awesome dimensions through the highlights and shadows.

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Soft Light Directional Light Window Light Natural Light Indoor

the Shoot

Editing & Presets
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Editing &

Editing Software used

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Preset Used
How I edited this image

We used our Protea presets to edit this grooms portrait and adjusted the warmth via the white balance, tweaked the highlights & shadows and added a fine layer of grain to finish it off. We also cropped the image in slightly making sure the overall image was straight.

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Challenges Solutions Advice

Challenges & Solutions

Events that were challenging during the shoot

The challenge was just warming up our groom to the whole portrait shooting part. From our experience, guys are a bit more nervous when it comes to being in front of the camera and definitely do need a bit more “energy” to loosen up.

Solutions I found

It helps to compliment them a lot, as well as to point out how awkward it is to be photographed. When you do this, you are now “being understanding” of what they’re feeling and so they tend to trust you a bit more. Point it out and own it – but also tell them that it gets easier and remind them just how kick-ass they look. Also, don’t be afraid to whip out some jokes.


Photographing guys can be really good fun. They can definitely be a challenge, but that’s fun in and of itself. No matter how “macho” a guy maybe, he still has feelings and well, he needs to feel good in front of the camera. Compliment them and don’t be afraid to throw in some pretty ridiculous jokes here and there.

Guys also tend to get over things a bit faster than the girls – and so when you notice that he’s starting to get tired with it, just end the session there (once you know you have your shots). On average, our shoots with guys are around 10 minutes max. All you need is a handful of banger shots and you’re good to go.
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Photographed by

Melli & Shayne

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