Photographed by Melli & Shayne


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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Calm Energetic
Planned On the spot
Tricky Easy
Posed 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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“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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Rule of ThirdsMid RangeNatural Frames

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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Do your best to capture both wide and close up shots of a portrait session. The more you can come back with, the better. It just allows you a lot more flexibility when putting together blogs as well as finding that perfect shot to deliver.


Single Point Focused on The Grooms Face Single Shot Autofocus
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.
Light & Weather

Soft LightDirectional LightWindow LightNatural LightIndoor

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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Equipment & EXIF

1/640 f/2 ISO 400 WB Shade


Canon 5D mark IV


Canon 50mm f/1.2 L


Adobe Lightroom Classic M&S The Roots Presets

Software used:


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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This image was edited with

M&S The Roots Presets

Challenges & Solutions
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.


Hotel Italy

Masseria San Nicola

Strada Provinciale, SP3, 72015 Fasano BR, Italy

Final tips & Advice

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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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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